The Celtics won the NBA championships in 1981, 1984, and 1986, led by the "Big Three" of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish. The franchise has never been defeated when all three players are active.
Bird, who played his entire career with the Celtics, is one of only eight players to score at least 30 points in each game they have played in an NBA season. The other seven players are Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Durant, and Westbrook.
He was named MVP of the 1981 NBA Finals after he led the Celtics to their first championship in 22 years. That same year, he was also named the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Award Ceremony. He is the only player in NBA history to receive this award both overall and as a Celtic.
After leaving Boston for the Indiana Pacers in 1988, Bird returned home to play his final two seasons with the Celtics again winning another title in 1990. He retired for good after that season having scored 100 points in a game five times, including a record-setting 56 points in a single game against the Chicago Bulls in April of 1991.
During his time with the Celtics, Bird won six NBA championships, tied for most with Wilt Chamberlain.
Magic Johnson of the Celtics, as mentioned at Bird's retirement party Bird is regarded as one of the best basketball players and shooters of all time. He was chosen for 12 NBA All-Star teams. Bird won three NBA titles with the Celtics (in 1981, 1984, and 1986) and two NBA Finals MVP awards. Before becoming a full-time player, he led Indiana to the 1978 NBA Championship.
Bird's number 3 was retired by both the Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. He is considered one of the greatest point guards in NBA history.
After retiring from playing, Bird became an assistant coach under Stevens at the University of Boston. Under Bird's guidance, the Celtics won two more championships in 2008 and 2009.
He then moved to the Orlando Magic where he had a very successful first season as a head coach before suffering a stroke during the 2012-2013 season that ended his coaching career.
As far as I know, Bird has never lost a game that he has coached.
He has been selected to the NBA's All-Time Team, and is also in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Larry Bird is one of my favorite athletes of all time. He was a great player who used his talent to help the Celtics win multiple championships.
Another strong contender: Larry Bird's Celtics teams from the 1980s. Bird recently shared his thoughts on which of the Boston teams was the best in an interview with former teammate Kevin McHale. When asked which team he enjoyed playing for most, Bird didn't hesitate to say that it was the 1988-89 squad that finished with a record of 60-22 and won its first championship in eight years. "We had a great group of guys who really bought into what we were trying to do," said Bird, who added that the biggest reason for their success was the ability of their star player, himself, to make all his teammates better.
Nowadays, many fans consider the 1996-97 version of the Celtics to be the greatest team in NBA history. Although they never won more than 67 games in a season, they captured three straight titles between 1997 and 1999, beating all opponents in each series. Is this the best team that Larry Bird has played on in his career? We will never know because Bird retired after the 1999 season.
However, if we were to choose one team as the best one that he led during his career, it would be easy to select the original Celtics team that he helped bring home two championships in 1986 and 1987. As mentioned earlier, Bird named his last two teams after them.
Johnson led the Los Angeles Lakers to championships in 1980, 1982, 1985, and 1988, garnering three Finals MVP awards along the way. Bird led the Boston Celtics to victories in 1981, 1984, and 1986, winning two Finals MVP honors.
With the Lakers, Magic won five rings (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988) and was voted Finals MVP three times (1980, 1982, 1987). Bird won three championships with the Celtics in 1981, 1984, and 1986, and was named Finals MVP in the last two.
The top five Celtics of all time
He also has the record for most points in a game with 51.
Bird also holds several C's franchise records including most 3-pointers made in a season (196), most steals per game (3.7), and total steals (241).
Larry Bird is one of only eight players to score at least 40 points in each of their first seven seasons. The other players are Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James.
Bird also owns the record for most points scored by a player who never wins an MVP award. He is tied with Wilt Chamberlain and Karl Malone and has been widely considered one of the best power forwards in NBA history.
Bird played 20 years in the NBA and ranks third all time in scoring behind Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.
He died on April 5, 2016 after suffering from cancer.
Larry Bird has already had a league record sold at auction.
Following a disastrous 1977-78 season in which the Celtics finished 32-50, Auerbach's task grew much more difficult as John Havlicek, the franchise's all-time leading scorer, retired after 16 seasons. In the 1980s, Larry Bird led the Celtics to five finals and three titles. As a result, Auerbach has been surpassed in most statistical categories by Bird and Kevin McHale.
In fact, only two players have ever scored more points for the Celtics: Bill Russell with 1272 points and 108 games played, and Bird with 3380 points and 10 seasons with the team. Also, only Bird has scored more points per game (44.6).
Auerbach passed on the opportunity to play during the 1976-77 season, when Havlicek led the way and helped the Celtics win their first championship in 17 years. Instead, he stepped away from basketball to focus on his business interests outside of sports. He sold his share of the team to an investor group led by musician George Mikan for $4 million in April 1977. Auerbach then returned as head coach of the team for the next season, but resigned after just one game due to health concerns related to his heart condition. He died on September 24, 1979 at the age of 59.
Even though he never played in a single game for the Celtics, Auerbach is still considered by many to be the greatest talent ever lost to sports injury.