did larry bird have a shoe deal

College career edit Bird warming up for Indiana State

In the 1978 NBA Draft, Bird was chosen with the sixth overall pick by the Boston Celtics. [23] He completed his final season at Indiana State and guided the Sycamores to the NCAA championship game rather than signing with the Celtics right away. Bird’s agent Bob Woolf informed Celtics general manager Red Auerbach that Bird would turn down any sub-market offers and instead enter the 1979 draft, where Boston’s rights would expire on June 25 and Bird would have been the most likely first pick. Auerbach had previously publicly declared he would not pay Bird more than any Celtic on the current roster. After protracted negotiations, Bird inked a five-year, $3. On June 8, he signed a $25 million contract with the team, making him the highest-paid rookie in sports history. Shortly after, the NBA draft eligibility rules—known as the Bird Collegiate Rule—were altered to prohibit teams from selecting players before they were prepared to sign. [27].

When Bird arrived in his first season (1979–80), the Celtics were instantly a title contender. The team finished first in the Eastern Conference and increased its win total from the season prior to his draft by 32 games. [28][29] In a 114–106 victory over the Houston Rockets, Bird recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in his professional debut. [30] In a 115–111 victory over the Detroit Pistons on November 14, 1979, Bird recorded his first career triple-double with 23 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists. [31] On November 23, Bird defeated the Indiana Pacers 118–103, recording his first 30-point scoring performance in addition to 11 rebounds and 3 assists. [32].

Bird’s averages of 24 earned him the title of 1983–84 season MVP. 2 points, 10. 1 rebounds, 6. 6 assists, and 1. 8 steals per game. [23] The Celtics revenged their previous year’s defeat by the Bucks in the playoffs, winning five games in the conference finals to go to the Finals where they faced the Lakers. [44] Before a flagrant foul on Kurt Rambis sparked a brawl and the Lakers lost their cool, the Lakers—led by Magic Johnson, the Birds’ college rival—were poised to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in Game Four. [45] Boston rallied to win the game and, in the end, the series in seven games. [44] Bird was named Finals MVP behind 27. 4 points, 14 rebounds, and 3. 6 assists per game. [44].

On December 9, 1984, Bird defeated the Atlanta Hawks 128–127, scoring 48 points, pulling down 14 rebounds, and dishing out five assists. [46] In a game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 12 of the 1984–85 season, Bird scored a career-high and a franchise record 60 points. [47] The performance took place just nine days after Kevin McHale’s 56 points in the previous game set the previous record for the Celtics. [48] Bird was named MVP at the end of the season for the second year in a row, behind averages of 28 7 points, 10. 5 rebounds, and 6. 6 assists per game. [23] Boston defeated the Lakers in six games when they rematched after making it through the playoffs. [49].

Bird hurt his back while he was shoveling crushed rock to make a driveway at his mother’s house in the 1985 offseason. He dealt with back issues for the rest of his career, at least in part, as a result of this. [50] Bird playing for the Celtics in the.

Prior to the 1985–86 season, the Celtics made a risky trade for All-Star center Bill Walton, who had a history of injuries. [51] The gamble paid off as Boston won a league-high 67 games thanks to Waltons acquisition. [52] During the 1986 NBA All-Star Weekend, one of Bird’s greatest moments occurred when he entered the locker room during the first Three-Point Shootout and inquired about the person who would finish second before winning the shootout. [53][54].

On November 27, 1985, Bird defeated the Detroit Pistons 132–124, finishing with 47 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. [55] On March 10, 1986, in a 115–116 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Bird recorded 50 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. [56].

With averages of 25. 8 points, 9. 8 rebounds, and 6. Bird became just the third player in NBA history to win three consecutive MVP Awards with an average of 8 assists and 2 steals per game. [57] The Celtics advanced to the Finals of the playoffs by winning just one game during the first three rounds, where they faced the Rockets. [51] The Celtics defeated the Rockets 4 games to 2, with Bird recording a triple-double of 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in Game 6 of the Finals series. [58] Bird averaged 24 points, 9. 7 rebounds, and 9. 5 assists per game for the championship round. [59].

The Boston Globes Peter May and Grantlands Bill Simmons rank the 86 Celtics as the best basketball team of all time, a consensus among basketball fans. [60].

The Celtics made their final Finals appearance of Bird’s career in 1987, overcoming the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons in challenging series. With five seconds left in the fourth quarter of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between Boston and the Pistons, Boston was down 107-106. Bird then stole an inbound pass. With less than a second remaining, Dennis Johnson, a teammate of Bird’s, made the game-winning 2-point layup after Bird went out of bounds. The dramatic play saved the series for the Celtics. The Celtics lost to a formidable Lakers team that had won 65 games during the season when they advanced to the NBA Finals. In the end, the Lakers defeated the Celtics in six games, with Bird averaging 24 2 points on . 445 shooting, 10 rebounds and 5. 5 assists per game in the championship series. [61] The Detroit Pistons made up for the agony of the previous season by defeating the Celtics in six games in the Eastern Conference finals in 1988. Eight NBA titles were won by Bird and Johnson together in the 1980s; Magic won five and Bird three. In every NBA Finals during the 1980s, Boston or Los Angeles was present. [62].

Games involving the Celtics and Lakers in the regular season and the Finals drew sizable television audiences throughout the 1980s. Magic Johnson’s off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer in the Lakers’ 115-114 victory at Boston Garden during the 1987–88 regular season matchup against the Celtics turned the game into a legendary encounter. [63] The rivalry sparked fan interest because of the historical rift between the teams, who played each other multiple times in championship series in the 1960s. Professional basketball had not had such a major matchup since Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain faced off. [citation needed] Because the two players were complete opposites in almost every way, their apparent contrast with their respective teams appeared to be staged for television. Johnson was the outgoing embodiment of the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, while Bird was the introverted player from a small town playing in blue-collar Boston. Bird played defense-first, hard-nosed basketball for the Boston Celtics, while Johnson led the Lakers’ fast-paced Showtime offense. The apparent contrast between Bird and Johnson was captured in a 1980s Converse basketball shoe ad for the brand’s “Weapon” line (endorsed by both players). In the commercial, Bird is working out by himself on a makeshift basketball court (which he had constructed on the French Lick property he had bought for his mother). Johnson arrives in a fancy limousine and challenges Bird to a one-on-one game. [64].

Even though they had a fierce rivalry, Bird and Johnson grew close off the court. When the two athletes collaborated to film the Converse commercial, which portrayed them as archenemies, their friendship flourished. On February 4, 1993, Johnson made an emotional appearance at Birds’ retirement ceremony, referring to Bird as a “friend forever.” [65].

The 1987–88 season was the highest-scoring season of Birds career. Bird scored 20 points in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, shooting 9 of 10 from the field to help the Celtics win the series. [66][67][68] Bird finished with 34 points. His effort enabled them to overcome Dominique Wilkins of Atlanta’s 47-point effort. [69] Wilkins remarked, “The basket was like a well. I couldnt miss. He couldnt miss. And it came down to the game’s final shot. That was the greatest game I’ve ever played or watched someone play. Who was going to make the final shot? The Eastern Conference finals saw the Celtics lose to the Pistons in six games, preventing them from making it to the NBA Finals for the first time in five years.

The Birds’ 1988–89 season came to an end after six games due to surgery to remove bone spurs from both of his heels. [70] He joined the Celtics again in 1989, but a deteriorating Celtic team and crippling back issues kept him from reaching his mid-1980s level of play. However, Bird continued to be one of the best players in the game in the latter years of his career. Over the course of his final three seasons with the Celtics, Bird averaged over 2020 points, 9% rebounds, and 7% assists per game, shot better than 45% from the field, and guided the team to postseason play.

Bird retired from the NBA after missing 22 games as a result of a compressed nerve root in his back, which prevented him from leading the Celtics to a 29–5 start in 1990–91. He underwent back surgery in the off-season to remove a disc, but his back issues persisted, causing him to miss 37 games in the 1991–92 campaign. Bird missed four of the seven games in the 1992 Eastern Conference semi-finals versus the Cleveland Cavaliers because of persistent back issues.

When Bird played for the Celtics, they went 71–28 during his final two seasons, when he suffered from severe back problems. They would have finished 30–29 without Bird, highlighting his significance and ability to alter the course of games when he was on the court. [71][72][73][74].

On August 18, 1992, Bird announced his retirement. [75] The Celtics quickly retired Bird’s number 33 jersey after he left.

The name of Larry Bird’s intimidating black-and-white Converse sneaker was the Weapon. Converse used NBA players like Isiah Thomas, Kevin McHale, and Bird’s rival Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers to promote the sneakers during the 1980s. An old Converse advertisement says, “Bird and Magic have chosen their weapons.” Now choose yours. ”.

From the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame collection (image courtesy of Heritage Werks) Thompson Playing in Rare Air Rick Discovered From Red Connected

Playoff statistics edit

1980 Boston 9 9 41.3 .469 .267 .880 11.2 4.7 1.6 0.9 21.3
1981† Boston 17 17 44.1 .470 .375 .894 14.0 6.1 2.3 1.0 21.9
1982 Boston 12 12 40.8 .427 .167 .822 12.5 5.6 1.9 1.4 17.8
1983 Boston 6 6 40.0 .422 .250 .828 12.5 6.8 2.2 0.5 20.5
1984† Boston 23 23 41.8 .524 .412 .879 11.0 5.9 2.3 1.2 27.5
1985 Boston 20 20 40.8 .461 .280 .890 9.1 5.8 1.7 1.0 26.0
1986† Boston 18 18 42.8 .517 .411 .927 9.3 8.2 2.1 .6 25.9
1987 Boston 23 23 44.1 .476 .341 .912 10.0 7.2 1.2 0.8 27.0
1988 Boston 17 17 44.9 .450 .375 .894 8.8 6.8 2.1 0.8 24.5
1990 Boston 5 5 41.4 .444 .263 .906 9.2 8.8 1.0 1.0 24.4
1991 Boston 10 10 39.6 .408 .143 .863 7.2 6.5 1.3 0.3 17.1
1992 Boston 4 2 26.8 .500 .000 .750 4.5 5.3 0.3 0.5 11.3
Career[23] 164 162 42.0 .472 .321 .890 10.3 6.5 1.8 0.9 23.8


When did Larry Bird Converse come out?

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were fierce competitors and budding rivals throughout their time in the NBA, yet there was one thing that brought them together in 1986 — the Converse Weapon. Both superstars added the sneaker to their arsenal and the results speak for themselves.

How many NBA players have had their own shoe?

While those days saw barely a handful of endorsees who had a sneaker tied to them, today’s world features over 25 athletes in the NBA alone that have their own signature sneaker.

Did Tim Duncan have a shoe deal?

Duncan was associated with Nike early in his career. However, after releasing two signature shoes with the footwear brand, Duncan joined their competitor Adidas during the 2003 All-Star weekend. He also had deals with Bridgestone and AT&T.