Larry Bird Rookie Card “The Hick From French Lick”

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With their pick in 1st Round of the 1978 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected Larry Bird from Indiana State University. Larry Bird has one official rookie card.

Fun fact, Larry Bird is the only person in NBA history to be named MVP of the league, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.

His career spanned between 1979-1992 and was an All-Star of the league 12 out of the 13 years that he played.

His only rookie card is “Magical” as he shares it with his career rival.

The Game of Larry Bird

However, career accomplishments aside for just a moment.

Larry Bird was raised in the humble blue-collar town of French Lick, Indiana.

It was his upbringing there that gave him that tough blue-collar work ethic and was the source of his multiple nicknames “The Hick From French Lick,” -or- “The Great White Hope,” -or- “Larry Legend.”

In the 1980s the rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers featured Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, it made for some very exciting basketball, especially in the NBA Finals.

His super-hero-like quality was in his defensive anticipation.

He had a feel to know where the opposing team’s next move was going to be and would respond accordingly.

Larry wasn’t the fastest, he wasn’t the strongest, but he was one of the smartest, and his knack of anticipation caused many turnovers and frustrated many opponents.

But don’t think for one second he couldn’t score.

At 6′ 9″ tall he held his own with the inside game but Larry had a knack for shooting the 3 point shot too.

He led the league in threes for two seasons 84-85, and 85-86. He ranks 39th as the All-Time Scoring Leader in both the ABA & NBA with 21,791 career points, respectively.    

Career Stats & Accomplishments

Career Averages: 24.3 Points | 10 Blocks | 6.3 Assist – per game.

Accomplishments:

  • 1979-80 Rookie of Year
  • 12x NBA All-Star
  • 2x All-Star MVP
  • 3x NBA Championships
  • 2x NBA Finals MVP Award
  • 10x All-NBA
  • 3x All-Defensive
  • 3x Consecutive MVP Awards 1984, 85, 86!
  • Hall of Fame Induction 1998

In 1992, Bird played for the U.S.A. in the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. It was the first time Pro-Basketball Players were given the opportunity to represent the U.S., they were nicknamed “The Dream Team” and went on to win the gold.

Do You Really Know Larry Bird?

Some really interesting trivia about Larry Bird.

He was known as a big-time trash talker on the court which was common in that era, but Larry took it to that next level.

Larry has also written two books, the first an autobiography titled, “Drive: The Story of My Life” and the second was co-authored with whom else but his on-court rival Magic Johnson titled, “When the Game Was Ours.

Let us not forget he appeared in three movies as well; “Blue Chips,” “Space Jam” and “Celtic Pride.”

Perhaps my favorite tidbit of trivia, the social media app Twitter and one of its co-founders, Biz Stone, is a lifelong Celtics fan and the Twitter bird is named Larry in honor of Larry Bird!


True Rookie Card of Hall of Famer

Larry Bird

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1980-81 Topps, Card #16

Larry Bird 1980 Topps #34.. (side a)

Larry Bird 1980 Topps #34. (side b)

The sole rookie card of Larry Bird can be found in the 1980-81 Topps set. This is a very unique 264 card set due to the three-player panels that make up the complete the card.

Card #6 is an amazing card because it depicts not only the rookie card of Larry Bird but also the rookie card of Magic Johnson – the man in the middle, Dr. J is the cherry on top that has all the makings of an iconic card.

One thing to note, the hobby doesn’t consider this card complete unless all three panels are intact, so if you come across one don’t separate them!

To learn more about the rookie card of Larry’s long-time rival click here The Magical Rookie Card of Earvin Johnson.

 

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.


Sources:
Larry Bird Stats | Basketball-Reference.com https://www.basketballreference.com/players/b/birdla01.html#all_all_college_stats (accessed March 25, 2017).
Looss Jr., Walter. “Larry Bird.” Digital Image. Sports Illustrated Vault. (accessed March 27, 2017). https://www.si.com/vault/nba/photo/2016/12/07/sis-60-best-photos-larry-bird
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