Larry Bird had a more humble career path in mind before becoming an NBA legend




Larry Bird is one of the greatest basketball players to ever live, but he hardly ever pursued an NBA career in the first place. Before entering the 1978 NBA Draft in Indiana State, Bird believed he would end up pouring concrete as a construction worker.

Yeah, seriously.

Larry Bird’s legendary career in the NBA

Bird received the Larry Legend nickname for good reason. The great Boston Celtics played 13 seasons in the NBA and ended his career as one of the top five players to ever play in the league.

Over 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 he has dominated the league in free throw percentage in four different seasons.

In 13 years with the Celtics, Bird made 12 All-Star appearances, 10 All-NBA teams and three All-Defensive teams. The star forward has won three NBA titles, three MVP awards and two final MVPs. Bird has a crisp resume filled with NBA accolades and records. It’s absurd to think he had another career in mind before he got into professional basketball, but it’s true.

Larry Bird thought he was going to be a construction worker

Larry Bird watches before a game between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks | Tom Berg / WireImage

Bird was an outstanding basketball player at Springs Valley High School in French Lick, Indiana. He was so dominant that he got a scholarship to play at Indiana University in 1974, but he had no difficulty adjusting to a bigger city.

So Bird dropped out of school shortly after joining the Indiana basketball team. After returning to French Lick and working as a garbage collector for a year, Bird enrolled in Indiana State to resume his basketball career. He became such a big star there that he became a top prospect and he became No.6 overall in the NBA in 1978.

But before he reached the NBA, Bird believed he would end up as a construction worker. At least that’s what he told Dan Shaughnessy about the Boston Globe in 1985.

When I was at [Indiana] State, when I finished graduating, they asked me to teach children with special needs in high school. It was hard. It gave me a lot of respect for the people who do this.

I thought I would end up being a construction worker, pouring concrete. I wasn’t very good at stores in school, but I had been in the construction business. When it comes to basketball, I just wanted to be the best player on my high school team.

Larry Bird

If Bird had decided to become a construction worker, he probably would have become one of the greatest concrete pourers of all time.

A wise choice in the end

Bird was a simple man who grew up in a small town in Indiana. He had never expected to see fame and fortune growing up, but he soon discovered he had a special talent on the basketball court. This talent ultimately earned him impressive riches and a Hall of Fame plaque, but he would have been equally happy to work in construction and live a simple life in his hometown.

But pouring concrete would not have helped Bird build a net worth of $ 75 million. It’s safe to say he made a wise choice.

All statistics are courtesy of Basketball reference.

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