Larry Bird is one of the greatest basketball players who ever lived, but he almost never pursued a career in the NBA in the first place. Before entering the 1978 NBA draft from Indiana, Bird thought he would end up pouring concrete as a construction worker.
Larry Bird’s Legendary NBA Career
Baird earned the nickname Larry Legend for good reason. The great Boston Celtics played 13 seasons in the NBA and ended his career as one of the top five players of all time in the league.
Over the course of his incredible career, Bird averaged 24.3 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Celtics. He shot 49.6% from the field and 37.6% from three, and has led the league in free-throw percentage in four different seasons.
In his 13 years with the Celtics, Bird has appeared on 12 All-Star games, 10 All-NBA teams, and three defensive teams. The star won three NBA titles, three Most Valuable Player awards, and two Finals Player of the Year. Bird has a clean resume filled with accolades and NBA records. It’s silly to think he had any other career path in mind before pursuing professional basketball, but it’s true.
Larry Bird thought he was going to be a construction worker
Bird was an exceptional high school basketball player at Springs Valley High School in French Lake, Indiana. He was so dominant that he got a scholarship to play at Indiana University in 1974, but he didn’t have an easy time adjusting to a bigger city.
Therefore, Bird dropped out of school shortly after joining the Indiana basketball team. After returning to French Lake and working as a trashman for a year, Bird joined Indiana State to resume his basketball career. He became such a huge star there that he grew into one of the top favorites, finishing sixth overall in the 1978 NBA Draft.
But before he made it to the NBA, Bird thought he’d end up as a construction worker. At least, that’s what he told Dan Shaughnessy from Boston Globe in 1985.
when I was in [Indiana] The state, after I finished my degree, made me teach special needs children in a high school. That was difficult. It gives me a lot of respect for the people who do this.
I thought I was going to be a construction worker, pouring concrete. I wasn’t very good at school shopping, but I was nowhere near the building. In terms of basketball, I just wanted to be the best player on my high school team.
If Bird decided to become a builder, he would likely end up as one of the greatest concrete builders of all time.
A wise choice in the end
Byrd was a simple man who grew up in a small town in Indiana. He never expected to see fame and fortune when he grows up, but soon discovers that he has a special talent on the basketball court. This talent eventually brought him impressive fortunes and a Hall of Fame plaque, but he would have been equally happy to work and build and live a simple life in his hometown.
But pouring concrete wouldn’t have helped Bird build a net worth of $75 million. It’s safe to say he made a wise decision.
All stats provided by Basketball Reference.
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