Larry Joe Bird is an American basketball player who professionally played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bird is a 3-Time NBA Champion, 2-Time NBA Finals MVP, 3-Time Most Valuable Player, 12-Time NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Game MVP, 9-All NBA First Team, 1-Time All-NBA Second Team, 3-Time All-NBA Defensive Second Team. Bird had a successful three-year college basketball career with the Sycamores, averaging 30.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game.
Bird was drafted as the 6th overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. He averaged 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game in his freshman season and was named Rookie of the Year. With the acquisition of Kevin McHale and Robert Parish before the 1980-81 season, the Celtics formed a Hall of Fame trio and formed a team that is widely considered as one of the best team ever in NBA History. The Celtics reached the NBA Finals that year and defeated the Houston Rockets in six games. Bird averaged 21.9 points, 14 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.3 steals per game for the postseason and 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, and 7 assists per game for the Finals as he won his first NBA Championship.
In the 1983-84 season, Bird won his first MVP Award averaging 24.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. The Celtics reached the Finals where they faced the Lakers led by Bird's college rival Magic Johnson. Bird went onto win his second NBA Championship title as the Celtics defeated the Lakers in seven games. He was named the NBA Finals MVP averaging 27.4 points, 14 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. In the 1984-85 season, Bird scored a career-high 60 points against the Atlanta Hawks. At the end of the season, Bird was named MVP for the second consecutive season behind 28.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. Boston advanced to the NBA Finals where they lost to the Lakers in six games.
In the 1985-86 season, Bird averaged 25.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists, and 2 steals per game, becoming just the third player in NBA history to win three consecutive MVP Awards. In the 1986 NBA Finals, he averaged 24 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game as the Celtics defeated the Rockets in 6 games to win his third NBA Title. The Bird Celtics made their last Finals appearance in 1987 but were defeated by a dominant Lakers squad.
In 1992, Bird won an Olympic Gold Medal for the USA as part of the ‘Dream Team’. Due to several back injuries over the course of time, Bird announced his retirement as an NBA player in the same year. For his career, he averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists per game while shooting 49.6% from the field and 37.6% from three-point range. Bird is widely recognized as one of the best small forwards, one of the greatest shooters, and one of the greatest players to have ever touched the hardwood. He was voted to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.