15 GIFs featuring Larry Bird that will win you over once more.

15 GIFs featuring Larry Bird that will win you over once more.

Not every general manager recognizes an NBA legend, much less one who will go on to become a future MVP. Prior to his 1978 NBA draft entry, Larry Bird was not regarded as highly by many NBA scouts. The Boston Celtics had to wait on the lanky, floppy-haired forward from Indiana State, but it paid off handsomely because they trusted him enough to select him as the sixth player that year.

In addition to changing the course of play on the court, Bird won three NBA titles. Bird had an impact on the laws governing contracts today. Numerous new regulations pertaining to player contracts were put to a vote and ultimately altered the course of the game. This primarily occurred as a result of Bird remaining in college for an additional year after being drafted, during which time he rose to become the highest paid rookie up to that point. The Bird Collegiate Rule is the current name for this set of guidelines.

In his thirteen years in the NBA, Bird won three NBA titles with his Celtics teams and was twice named MVP of the Finals. In addition, Bird was a consistent All-Star, making 12 appearances over 13 seasons. The Lakers-Celtics rivalry was defined by two halves, one of whom was Magic Johnson. The other was Larry Bird. With an on-court adversary such as Earvin Magic Johnson, Bird had it all.

The Lakers and the Celtics faced off in three championship games between 1984 and 1987. Unfortunately for Bird, his team lost two of the three games against Johnson. Bird returned to Indiana as a head coach after his playing career ended, and the years 1997–2000 are arguably the best in the franchise’s history.

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