The mother of the basketball player he had driven to see didn’t want to hear his pitch. “It was small—about 12,000 kids, and a lot of them commuted, so there weren’t a ton of them on campus.” Bird had made a recruiting visit in high school, and might very well have picked the Sycamores after his senior year had the program not insisted on Bird attending junior college first. But there was a time when Larry Legend was just Larry, when one of the greatest to ever play the game was willing to give it up, a crossroads overshadowed by the end of Bird’s story: lasting fame. Crum clanked his first shot. But Bird, whom fans from outside the Valley labeled a kid from nowhere playing nobodies, failed to capture the state’s imagination. “I love my childhood there. Help us build our profile of Janet Condra! Larry owns a hotel called Larry Bird’s Boston Connection. In my family, we’d never had anyone graduate from college, and she thought I was going to be the first one. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. He dated several girls but ended up marrying Janet Condra. West Baden Springs, Indiana native, Bird was born on December 7, 1956, is one of the most respected names in the history of the NBA, he is widely recognized as "Larry the Legend". The first-year basketball coach at the Northwood Institute, based in the old West Baden resort, was more concerned with the players in his own program as the season approached. Bird (top row, No. “There was so much going on, but the outlet was basketball.”. Bird wasn’t interested, but Crum pressed, suggesting they settle the matter with a game of H-O-R-S-E, a ruse the Cardinals coach had employed successfully in the past with other recruits. That’s what I stuck to. “For me, it’s always been about looking forward. They have a daughter together named Corrie Bird. “He was really quiet,” says Moore. “No, I haven’t,” said Bledsoe, “but if you do, please tell him I’d like to talk.”, “The whole thing was rather strange,” he says. More than 200 of them contacted Bird. And sometimes, even the on-court transition to Terre Haute proved tumultuous. The fourth of six children, he helped in the cafeteria as a fourth-grader, and by the seventh grade was working 40 hours a week after school at Agan’s Market, a little store connected to the restaurant where his mother cooked. And he made good on the boasts, amassing a litany of stories that brim with self-assurance and teeter on arrogance—swagger fed by the year he began to believe enough in himself to reject a future others had charted for him. With averages of 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game for the season, he was selected to the All-Star Team and named Rookie of the Year. The couple split for good not long after. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. “I thought I might do construction work. © Copyright 2020 Indianapolis Monthly, All Rights Reserved. Hodges and Evans drove up and down the main drag and side streets of French Lick and its twin town, West Baden, but the “big blond kid” proved elusive. Larry Bird was born on as Larry Joe Bird to parents: Georgia and Claude Joseph "Joe" Bird, a veteran of the Korean War. He was picked by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft. That’s the best damn player I ever played against.”, Bird says it was his mother he thought of as he hitchhiked home from Bloomington that fall. But the shooter the coaches sought in the spring of 1975 didn’t miss. Several of the players shooting foul shots today after practice exemplify front-office moves from Bird that have made the team a title contender the last few seasons: Center Roy Hibbert—sometimes dominant, always enigmatic—was acquired in a draft-day trade, as was George Hill, the versatile guard from Indianapolis. and more from FamousFix.com. He did all of his talking with the ball.”. The second time Bill Hodges went looking for Larry Bird in April 1975, just days after his first trip to French Lick, the Indiana State assistant came prepared. Bird joined Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan and other NBA stars to play for the United States basketball team in that year's Olympics in Barcelona, Spain in 1992. on August 18, 1992, Bird announced his retirement as an NBA player. And then, “He just stopped showing up,” says Bledsoe. He told the family they’d be better off without him. But the 18-year-old, who had quit two colleges in the last five months, wasn’t interested. Later, that fall, Bird married Springs Valley classmate Janet Condra. “We just won a state championship, and he’s not smiling or nothing.”. “She’d come in one week for the money and be back the very next to pay it off,” says Wayne Ferguson, who worked for the bank. Almost four decades later, Dan Moore, a former Amateur Athletic Union basketball coach, offers a photo. Dutifully, the giants pair off with the journalists, sharing mundane bits of this and that—a rote transaction that will be performed ad nauseam over the coming 82-game season. Login to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your contributions. They were childhood sweethearts. The community was strapped but proud, too. Anyone who witnessed the ‘Super’ ball playing of Larry Bird in the tournament, should realize now, that he is one of the smoothest and most capable ball players in Indiana today. In 1975, Bird married Springs Valley High School classmate Janet Condra. She is famous for Larry Bird's first wife. Required fields are marked *. As for riding he has a pacer’s “Indy” Car, fully retrofitted and street legal. The picture in question was Larry Bird and Mariah at a basketball game with Mariah’s hand on his leg. The Buzz “Larry was pressured into going to Indiana by people in town who wanted him to play in the Big Ten,” she said. If that’s all you’ve got to go off of, you mine as well never bring it up. A follower of Larry’s since the’80’s. Larry Bird returned to basketball that weekend of the AAU tournament. She is famous for Larry Bird's first wife. But Bird, NBA Executive of the Year in 2012, is far from being a figurehead—or, God forbid, a mascot. “S-O-F-T.” Seemingly fashioned from farm implements and floor burns—the man once bloodied his uniform in an all-star game (Hoosier Dome, 1985)—the only soft thing about Bird’s game was his shooting touch. Things will work out.’ ”, Attending Northwood, he says, wasn’t his idea and was doomed to fail from the start. Now, you invite them up to the house to have some iced tea.”. Third from the left. Prior to meeting Dinah, Larry was married to Janet Condra, with whom he had a daughter named Corrie. She his the stepmother of Corrie Bird from his husband’s first marriage to ex-wife Janet Condra; adopted son Connor and daughter Mariah. Hodges began his spiel, explaining that he wanted to talk about playing for the Sycamores. STARmeter. Your email address will not be published. Dinah Mattingly Is Larry Bird’s Second Wife. to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your contributions. Bird spent about six weeks practicing with the Blue Devils. The same boy who had smashed bags of potato chips to bring more groceries home to his family, the one who had worked 100 hours to earn himself a bicycle, made a practical choice, but one not even those closest to him fully understood. Did You Know Trivia. quotes “Hi, Coach,” she said. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'fabwags_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_0',136,'0','0'])); Dinah was Larry Bird’s longtime girlfriend since whom he met when both were students at Indiana State. Corrie is the eldest of all the children in her family. I’ll admit that it’s slightly awkward, but not as much as Busted Coverage makes it out to be. In 2000, he led the Pacers to their only NBA Finals appearance, and then retired after the season. “Here I am thinking, What a lot of talent going to waste.”. magazines, I thought it was pretty funny myself. “He said, ‘Did you ever think you’d be where you’re at today?’ And I said, ‘Well, what do you mean?’ And he goes, ‘Well, I’ve been with you. Besides, he has several other houses in Orange County, French Lick, and Southborough Massachusetts, etc. “Kevin would’ve been a helluva player if he’d gone to college.”. According to our records, Janet Condra is possibly single. Hodges agreed to give him a look; he needed a point guard. Corrie is the eldest of all the children in her family. Just look at it. The internet had other things to allege about Bird’s past. I'll get to … Is Victor Oladipo’s Girlfriend Bria Myles? And suddenly the unbelievable seems believable: Forty years ago, this man was a boy who passed on a chance at big-time basketball; a brief moment, from the fall of 1974 to the spring of 1975, when the small-town star left Bob Knight’s Indiana University Hoosiers before a single game and returned home to become—, “—a construction worker,” Bird says. Twenty-four days into his time at IU, before the team had even begun to practice, Bird left the Bloomington campus. “I sort of always felt my dad gave up on not only himself, but us kids,” says Bird. Back row. Decades removed from his playing days, Bird, the Pacers’ president, remains the franchise’s most recognizable asset. I’m going to go back to school—the right school at the right time. He found several of Bird’s classmates, and enlisted them in recruiting the reluctant star. The Springs Valley Herald, Bird’s hometown paper, was more expressive: “Larry Bird, 6’7″ forward for the Hancock team, helped his team tremendously by playing some of the best basketball anyone in Indiana would ever want to witness, which everyone was sure he was capable of doing in the first place. First wife of Larry Bird. “I said, ‘Don’t worry about it. “It’s like, once I left IU, I had all of these people telling me what I should do. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996 and elected into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1998, Bird won three NBA championships, three league MVP crowns, and Rookie of the Year honors during his 13-year career with the Celtics. He’s standing in the back row.”, The picture was taken in 1975, after Moore’s AAU basketball team, Hancock Construction Company, won a state championship. But the former Bird home is no different than the others clustered there. Some beautiful country down in Southern Indiana. That summer, stung by a lack of playing time on the Indiana Boys All-Star team in its annual series with Kentucky, Bird twice refused to enter a game at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse to play mop-up minutes. “If they can’t win, then they oughta lose.”, “Okay,” said King. I definitely didn’t ever dream of playing in the NBA. 20. Condra was his high school classmate and first met each other at Spring Valley High School. Bird has four siblings' all brothers named Mike, Mark, Jeff, and Eddie. Bird turns 58 this month. Although the couple was very young they married prior to … However, they split after less than two years for unknown reasons, after which Larry started an intimate relationship with Dinah that later grew into marriage, tying the knot in a private ceremony in 1989.
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