The Boston Celtics were unable to pass the eye when Larry Bird joined the NBA.

The Boston Celtics were unable to pass the eye when Larry Bird joined the NBA.

When Larry Bird came to play for the Boston Celtics, he had no idea what he was getting into. Bird arrived in the city following some difficult negotiations that saw him emerge as the highest-paid NBA rookie ever.

He socialized with a few of his new teammates and made an effort to settle into his new surroundings. But when he stepped onto the court at his first camp, he questioned if he was actually in the right place.

In fact, Larry Bird was selected by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, while still a junior. Bird’s rights were held by the Celtics until the 1979 draft because he chose to play his senior year at Indiana State. Red Auerbach and Bird’s agent, Bob Woolf, reached a record-breaking agreement just before the deadline, but negotiations were close to the wire.

Bird took a team with 29 wins in his debut season and made it win 61 games, which was a league-high total. After averaging 21.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, Bird was named Rookie of the Year.

Bird and the Celtics won their first of three titles in a decade the following season, thanks to a trade with the Golden State Warriors that changed the team’s fortunes. At 62-20, the Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers shared the league’s best record.

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