James Haidak | Boston Celtics Legends | Larry Bird
James Haidak on Boston Celtics Legend Larry Bird
Whenever James Haidak gets asked about his all-time favorite player for the Boston Celtics, he would immediately say Larry Bird. Considered as one of NBA’s greatest players, Larry Bird led the Celtics to three NBA championships and five NBA finals.
First season with the Boston Celtics
What James Haidak likes the most about Larry Bird is his loyalty to the team that shaped and honed him into the legend that he would one day become. He only played for the Celtics throughout his 13-season career in professional basketball.
Larry’s first season with the Boston Celtics gave the NBA a glimpse of what was to come. He proved himself on the court when he led the Celtics to a 32-game improvement and the top spot in the Eastern Conference, a vast improvement from the team’s lackluster performance the previous year, or really, before the Celtics drafted Bird.
From his first season in professional basketball, which was the 1979-1980 season, to his retirement in 1992, Larry Bird became one of the most celebrated and respected players on and off the court.
His accomplishments in the NBA include:
- 3 NBA championship titles (1981, 1984, and 1986)
- 2 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards (1984 and 1986)
- 3 NBA Most Valuable Player Awards (in consecutive years, from 1984 to 1986)
- NBA Rookie of the Year (1980)
- NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (1982)
Quick stats: 24.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, and 6.3 apg
In college, Larry Bird was also a force to contend with on the basketball court. Before joining the Celtics in the 1979-1980 season, he led Indiana State University to an undefeated 1978-1979 regular season, for which he earned the title National College Player of the Year in 1979.
Coaching the Indiana Pacers
After he retired, the Indiana Pacers hired Larry to be their head coach. From 1997 to 2000, he helped improved the Pacers’ ranking in the NBA, eventually leading them to the NBA Finals in 2000. In 1988, he was named NBA Coach of the Year.
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