Bird in 2004
December 7, 1956 |
West Baden Springs, Indiana
|Listed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Listed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school||Springs Valley
(French Lick, Indiana)
|College||Indiana State (1976â€“1979)|
|NBA draft||1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Boston Celtics|
|Position||Small forward / Power forward|
|Career highlights and awards|
3Ã— NBA champion (1981, 1984, 1986)
NBA Coach of the Year (1998)
NBA Executive of the Year (2012)
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||21,791 (24.3 ppg)|
|Rebounds||8,974 (10.0 rpg)|
|Assists||5,695 (6.3 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
|College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006
A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.
I wasn't real quick, and I wasn't real strong. Some guys will just take off and it's like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals.
Once you are labeled 'the best' you want to stay up there, and you can't do it by loafing around.
While day by day the overzealous student stores up facts for future use, he who has learned to trust nature finds need for ever fewer external directions. He will discard formula after formula, until he reaches the conclusion: Let nature take its course.
Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you're ready to play as tough as you're able to, you'd better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you're not giving it all you've got.
The one thing that always bothered me when I played in the NBA was I really got irritated when they put a white guy on me.
As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me – red, yellow, black. I just didn't want a white guy guarding me, because it's disrespect to my game.
Push yourself again and again. Don't give an inch until the final buzzer sounds.
When I was a kid, I never thought about anything. Never had to think about where I was going to school or what I was going to do. I just lived minute to minute.
I don't know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody – somewhere – was practicing more than me.
When I was a kid, like 14 or 15, I played with the waiters from the hotel, 'cause that was the best game. And these guys, they'd let me play. And they were black guys.
What's better? Dogs or broomsticks? I mean will the world really ever know?
It doesn't matter who scores the points, it's who can get the ball to the scorer.
I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.
I really don't like talking about money. All I can say is that the Good Lord must have wanted me to have it.
Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It's being able to take it as well as dish it out. That's the only way you're going to get respect from the players.
If there was a payment to the bank due, and we needed shoes, she'd get the shoes, and then deal with them guys at the bank. I don't mean she wouldn't pay the bank, but the children always came first.
I used to love the feeling of running, of running too far. It made my skin tingle.
It's been a journey, the NBA. It's taken me a lot farther than I ever expected.