20 years ago tonight, the Boston Celtics retired Larry Bird’s famous #33 jersey. Larry Legend” is arguably the best player in NBA history.
The occasion of retiring Bird’s jersey was so special that they dedicated an entire evening to it, even though there wasn’t a game, and sold out the Boston Garden.
The two-hour ceremony gave Bird a proper send off as #33 was forever hoisted to the rafters. The most favorite highlight of that night was when Larry’s nemesis Magic Johnson showed up with a Boston Celtics t-shirt under his Lakers warm-up gear, which you can see in the video above.
Bird is easily one of the best players in NBA history, if not the absolute best. Just take a quick gander at the career highlights and awards section of his Wikipedia page. Three time champion, two time Finals MVP, three time regular season MVP, 12 time all-star, 1980 Rookie of the Year, 1982 All-Star Game MVP, nine-time All-NBA first team; it just goes on and on.
For as great as he was as a player, he’s been equally great in the front office.
Last year, he was named the NBA Executive of the Year. As a coach, with no prior head coaching experience, Bird won NBA Coach of the Year honors in his first season and led the Pacers to back to back Central Division titles, including an NBA Finals birth in 2000. He retired following that season, but was then hired to the Pacers’ front office in 2003, took over for Donnie Walsh in 2008 and ever since has had a huge hand in making the team what it has become.