Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Since retiring as a player, he has been a mainstay in the Indiana Pacersorganization, currently serving as team president. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, spearheading one of the NBA’s most formidable frontcourts that included center Robert Parish and forward Kevin McHale. Bird was a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) three consecutive times (1984–1986). He played his entire professional career for Boston, winning three NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP awards.
He was a member of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team (“The Dream Team”) that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics. Bird was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998 (and was inducted again 2010 as a member of the “Dream Team”).
Despite having no previous coaching experience, Bird led the Pacers to a 58–24 record—the franchise’s best as an NBA team at the time—in the 1997–98 season, and pushed the Bulls to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year for his efforts, becoming the only man in NBA history to have won both the MVP and Coach of the Year awards. He then led the Pacers to two consecutive Central Division titles in 1999 and 2000, and a berth in the 2000 NBA Finals.
He served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000. In 2003, he assumed the role of president of basketball operations for the Pacers, holding the position until retiring in 2012. After a year away from the position, he announced he would return to the Pacers as president of basketball operations in 2013. In addition to being part of the 50–40–90 club, he is the only person in NBA history to be named Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.
Career highlights and awards
3× NBA champion (1981, 1984, 1986)
2× NBA Finals MVP (1984, 1986)
3× NBA Most Valuable Player (1984–1986)
12× NBA All-Star (1980–1988, 1990–1992)
NBA All-Star Game MVP (1982)
9× All-NBA First Team (1980–1988)
All-NBA Second Team (1990)
3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1982–1984)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)
3× NBA 3-Point Shootout champion (1986–1988)
2× 50–40–90 club (1987-1988)
AP Athlete of the Year (1986)
No. 33 retired by Boston Celtics
NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
National college player of the year (1979)
2× Consensus first-team All-American (1978–1979)
2× MVC Player of the Year (1978–1979)
NBA Coach of the Year (1998)
NBA All-Star Game head coach (1998)
NBA Executive of the Year (2012)