Basketball has never been the same since the iconic Larry Bird entered the game. Bird, who was born in West Baden Springs, Indiana, on December 7, 1956, has earned a permanent place in basketball lore thanks to his accomplishments as a player and coach in the NBA.
In light of the passing of time, it is crucial to rely on the most recent and reliable sources for information regarding his status. Because prominent personalities’ health and well-being might fluctuate over time, it is imperative to check recent news stories or official pronouncements to determine whether Larry Bird is still alive or not.
Is Larry Bird Still Alive?
Yes, the well-known NBA player and former coach Larry Bird is still alive, content, and in good health. Sportscaster Mark Jones unintentionally referred to Larry as “Late” on a Christmas Day broadcast, which sparked rumors and theories about his demise.
Unfortunately, Mark struggled to finish his sentence as he took over the program to offer perspective, saying, “Not even the late… the great Larry Bird…” Since Bird worked for the Pacers in a number of coaching and executive roles from 1997 through July 2022, he is well familiar with Indiana’s systems. In 2022, he resigned from his position as an advisor in Indiana, but earlier this year, he joined the franchise again as a consultant.
Larry Bird’s Early Life and Family
Larry Bird’s birthday is observed annually on December 7. He was born in 1956. Although he was raised in French Lick, Indiana, he was actually born in West Baden Springs, Indiana.
He experienced emotional upheaval as a result of his parent’s divorce and his father’s suicide while he was a senior in high school. As a result, Larry’s family experienced financial hardship.
Three brothers, Mike, Mark, Jeff, and Eddie, plus a sister, Linda, make up Bird’s family of five. After her divorce and suicide, Georgia, his mother, tried to raise the six children.
Because Larry Legend left his family, he was touched by every family incident, yet this led him to pursue the chance to play basketball.
His transition into a sportsman as a basketball player enabled him to escape his family’s problems.
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Larry Bird’s Education
He established himself as a top player during his time at Spring Valley High School, averaging 31 points, 21 rebounds, and four assists as a senior. In 1974, Bob Knight, the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers, gave Bird a scholarship to play college basketball.
He dropped out of school after less than a month because he found the adjustment from his sleepy hamlet to Bloomington’s bustling student population to be too much. He later went back to French Lick and enrolled at what is now Northwood University after leaving Northwood Institute.
He worked several municipal jobs to support himself during his year there. Bird made the decision to return to school in 1975 and enrolled in Terre Haute, Indiana’s Indiana State University. In 1979, Larry Legend received his bachelor’s degree in physical education.
On the other hand, he also enjoyed a fruitful college basketball career. He received many honors throughout his time in college, including the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.
Larry Bird’s Personal Life
In 1975, Larry Legend wed Janet Condra; however, after a year of marriage, the couple began to struggle, almost ending their union.
They did, however, live together for a while and had a daughter named Corrie before ending their union forever in 1977.
Bird later married Dinah Mattingly in 1989, and the two of them adopted two kids. After the death of his father, Korean War veteran Claude Joseph, Bird had to endure emotional and financial upheaval during his early years. In his numerous interviews, Larry said that despite his current success and financial security, his upbringing had always kept him driven.
Larry Bird’s Career
In 1974, Bird won a scholarship to play collegiate basketball for Bob Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers. He left school less than a month after arriving on the campus of Indiana University because he found it difficult to acclimate to Bloomington’s vast student body after leaving his small community.
He moved back to French Lick, enrolled at the adjacent Northwood Institute (now Northwood University), worked for the local government for a year, and then registered at Indiana State University in Terre Haute in 1975.
His three-year tenure with the Sycamores was fruitful, and he was instrumental in their 33-0 record and first-ever NCAA tournament appearance when they faced Michigan State in the 1979 championship game. Despite Bird scoring 19 points but only hitting 7 of his 21 shots, Indiana State lost the game 75–64.
Due in large part to the clash between Bird and the Spartans’ point player Earvin “Magic” Johnson, a rivalry that lasted throughout their professional careers, the game received the greatest television viewership for a collegiate basketball game.
Despite not succeeding in winning the title, Bird received multiple accolades and trophies at the end of the season for his exceptional play, including the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.
He led the Sycamores to an 81-13 record during his time there with an average of 30.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game for his college career. Bird played one game for the baseball squad and had a 1-for-2 performance with 2 RBIs. He earned a Bachelor of Science in physical education from the university in 1979.