Larry Bird is widely regarded as one of the best basketball players to ever play the game. He’s widely considered to be one of the greatest small forwards in NBA history, and even led the Boston Celtics to three championships during his time with them. However, many people don’t know that Bird almost didn’t get drafted into the NBA and almost quit playing basketball before he was signed by the Celtics in 1979. The bird was an All-American high school player who played for Indiana State University until 1981. He also played baseball for their team for two years. In between his junior and senior years, however, there were doubts about whether he would even return to ISU for his final year of college or not because of how well he was playing baseball (he won a gold glove as a catcher). In fact, a few teams were so unsure if Bird would return that they ran polls on their websites asking fans if they should draft him or not! Fortunately for us fans, he did come back and play that final season with ISU. But what happened after he finished his college career? Did any team give him a shot? What are some interesting details about his early career?
Was Larry Bird Drafted?
Yes, Larry Bird was drafted. In 1978, the Boston Celtics drafted him as the 6th overall pick in the NBA draft.
Why Was Larry Bird Drafted
Commit to Improving Your Game
One of the first signs that Bird was willing to put in the work to improve his game was when he committed to playing for the 1976 United States Men’s Basketball team at the age of 20. Many players who are on that level at such a young age are already set in their ways and rely on their natural talent, but not Bird. He was willing to put in the time and effort to become a better player. At the time, many people saw this as a step backward in his career because it would take him out of the college game, but Bird saw it as a step forward. It allowed him to improve his game and increase his knowledge of the game. Bird knew that if he wanted to become a successful player, he would have to put in the work. He had the basketball IQ and the desire to improve his game, which are two important factors to being a successful basketball player.
Be a Great Defender
As a rookie in the NBA, it can be easy to feel like you have nothing to offer, and your skills are nowhere near the level of the league’s legends. However, if you look at what made Bird a successful player, it all starts with his defense. Having the ability to defend your position will allow you to stay on the court, which will allow you to make an impact. Bird was willing to put in the work to become a great defender. He was a quick and agile player who was able to switch when necessary. He also had a high level of awareness that allowed him to anticipate the play and get into the right position. Additionally, Bird’s defensive play would help him earn the trust of his coaches and fellow players. This is because it shows that you are willing to do what it takes to help the team win. When you do this, others are more willing to help you out and make you feel included.
Know When to Pass and When to Shoot
As an offensive player, it is important to know when to shoot and when to pass the ball. The ability to read the court and teammates’ movements and find the best option is a skill that only comes with experience and lots of practice. When he was a rookie, Bird was reluctant to shoot the ball unless he had a clear shot that he could make. He would pass and defer to his more experienced teammates whenever his first option was not open. Although he was shooting more efficiently with each season, many people still saw Bird as a player who would rather pass than shoot. This made other players feel better about their own game, but it also held Bird back from reaching his full potential. Bird learned to take the best shot available and not worry about who shot it. He became more willing to shoot the ball, which helped the Celtics become one of the best teams in the league.
Be Smart with the Ball
As a point guard, it is important to realize that your role on the team is to make others better, not yourself. However, being a point guard also means being a leader who makes smart decisions with the ball, and is able to find the right teammate at the right time. This is something that Bird struggled with at the beginning of his career. He was prone to turnovers and making quick decisions that played into the hands of the opposing team. As Bird developed as a player, he became more confident with the ball in his hands, which allowed him to make better decisions. He also became more willing to let his teammates have the ball when they were more likely to make a good play. This improved the Celtics’ offensive play and made the team more dangerous in games.
Develop Good Relationships
As a rookie, Bird was shy and quiet, which may have held him back from being accepted by his fellow teammates. He was a young player who may have felt like he didn’t have anything to offer, and that other players wouldn’t want to be around him. However, Bird realized that the only way he would become accepted and make a name for himself in the league was to develop relationships with his teammates. He was willing to go out of his way to spend time with his fellow players, and show that he was invested in them. This would help build trust and create a team atmosphere where everyone feels like they are included. It is important to remember that it may take time to develop relationships with your teammates. It may not happen overnight, and it may feel like it takes a lot of effort, but it is important to build lasting relationships with your teammates.
What Happened To Larry Bird After He Was Drafted?
- After being drafted by the Boston Celtics, Bird decided to play for Indiana State University for a year before joining the NBA. This was a good decision for Bird because it helped him get ready for the NBA and develop as a player. It also allowed him to gain experience and build relationships with his teammates. During this time, he also continued to work on his game and improve his skills. He practiced shooting, worked on footwork, and spent time working on his quickness and agility.
- In 1978, Bird joined the Boston Celtics when he was selected 13th overall in the NBA Draft by the team. At first he struggled with injuries, but eventually worked them out of his system so that they would not affect him again during his career. He then went on to become one of the best players in NBA history during his 13 seasons in Boston where he won three championships with the team (1981-1984), made nine All-Star teams (1982-1990), and won three NBA MVP awards (1984, 1985, and 1986). He was also a 12-time NBA All-Star Game selection.
- Bird spent his entire career playing for the Boston Celtics until he retired in 1992. After retiring, Bird decided to stay with the Celtics as an executive for the team. He has been an important part of the organization since then, working hard and doing his best to help the team succeed and get better. In 1997, he was named head coach for the Indiana Pacers for one season before returning to his position as a front office executive with Boston.
- When Bird was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, he was one of the first three players to be inducted as a member of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History team. He is also a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and has his own statue at Conseco Fieldhouse, which is called “Hickory Larry”.
- Bird is also a successful businessman who has made millions of dollars in the real estate market. After retiring, he bought several buildings in downtown Boston and Indianapolis as well as a restaurant called Larry Bird’s Legends. He also owns a golf course in Indiana called The Bird’s Nest which is named after him. His business success has allowed him to be very wealthy and invest in his own future and that of his family.
- In addition to having an outstanding career on the basketball court, Bird is also known for being a great person off the court. He has received numerous awards throughout his career including the NBA Sportsmanship Award (1985), the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1985), and has been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame (1991) and College Basketball Hall of Fame (1992). He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Indiana State University (1996) for his outstanding work on and off the court, along with his great accomplishments.
Larry Bird was always destined to be a basketball star. He had natural talent and was always committed to the sport. It’s amazing to see how one man changed the NBA and the game of basketball. The NBA is so different from what it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s because of Bird’s influence. It’s crazy to think that he almost didn’t get drafted.