Bird was a historic player, a great competitor, a tenacious team defender, and one of the most explosive athletes in the history of the game. And that’s where his impact on the league and the game ends. He would have been remembered for his incredible play long after he hung up his shoes if it wasn’t for the rulebook. The rulebook is a collection of guidelines for officiating that includes everything from what constitutes a foul to how to refer to the players in a game, which is what led to his infamy. The rulebook is also what gave Bird the nickname “Hornet.”

Back in the 1980s, Larry Bird was a skinny little rookie with a chip on his shoulder. He made his name in the NBA by being a force on offense, and it didn’t take him long to earn the nickname “The Hick from French Lick”. Despite his talent and drive, Bird was often overlooked in the playoffs, both because he didn’t play defense, and because his teams tended to play the most defensive-minded style. This was a strike against him even in the eyes of other players.

The NBA’s “Larry Bird Rule” is one of the league’s most loved rules, and for good reason. To me, its essence is one of the league’s most well-kept secrets—loved so much that over the years, it has become a bit of a legend. The rule was created in 1997, and while some of its specifics have changed over the years, the rule itself is still the same. The details are simple, and the rule’s most essential principles are easy to grasp.. Read more about how old was larry bird when he retired and let us know what you think.

If you look at the size of Larry Bird’s NBA footprint, it’s best seen from the International Space Station. He was a Hall of Fame player, a successful coach and a longtime manager. Byrd hasn’t accomplished much in the NBA.

But despite all the influence Byrd has had on players, coaches and executives, perhaps the most enduring part of his legacy is the NBA rulebook itself. Byrd was personally responsible for two major political changes during his career.

It had nothing to do with political decisions. But it was Byrd who inspired at least one change that still affects the modern NBA.

Yeah, Larry Bird. That’s why the free agent exception is called Bird’srights.


The NBA and the players’ union reach agreement on the league’s first salary cap for the 1983-84 season. Contrary to popular belief, the Boston Celtics were not the first team to be exonerated by what became the retirement of Larry Bird. This provision allows teams to exceed the salary cap to retain their free agents.

Byrd signed a seven-year contract for the 1983-84 season, so he was already on the activation list. Celtics president Red Auerbach, however, used a new loophole to assure Boston of a few more pieces of a strong 1980s team.

The Celtics used their rights to Bird to retain him in 1988.

Byrd also put a damper on theNBA draft process

Larry Bird (Indiana State) smiles with general manager Red Auerbach after signing with the Boston Celtics. | Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics used a rarely used rule in the 1978 draft to secure the trade rights of Indiana State star Larry Bird. Byrd had already decided to go back to school for his senior season in 1978-79. Last season, Auerbach’s Celtics won just 32 games, leaving Boston in sixth place. So instead of taking a player who would sign a real contract, Auerbach went the other way.

He chose Byrd to a position called the junior rule. This allowed teams to go out with juniors from college, whether they were prospective or not. The team then has until the day before next year’s draft to sign a player. Boston selected Byrd as a junior. The Celtics signed him to a five-year contract just over two weeks before the 1979 draft.

This rule was repealed in May 1979 and became effective with the 1980 NBA Draft. The then-owner of the Chicago Bulls said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times (via The Draft Review), that this was directly related to the Larry Bird situation.

That way, the child doesn’t come under the pressure of a professional team while still playing in college. The NCAA rule prohibits a kid from having an agent while he can still play, so a guy like Byrd had to take matters into his own hands.

Chicago Bulls general partner Jonathan Covler

Despite these difficulties, Byrd is doing well.

Larry Bird and stacks of hardware


In the 1983-84 season, Larry Bird won the first of his three NBA MVP awards. Later, he was part of a rare group that won three consecutive years. Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain are the only other members of this club. Byrd was also the NBA Rookie of the Year from 1979 to 1980, was a two-time NBA Finals MVP, and was also the All-Star Game MVP. And then there’s the whole Dream Team thing.

Bird was named Coach of the Year in his first season at the helm of the Indiana Pacers. Byrds Pacers won 19 more games than in the preseason. They defeated Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

In 1999, Byrd led Indiana to the Conference Finals, where they lost to the New York Knicks. In 2000, the Pacers reached the NBA Finals for the only time, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. When he took the job, Byrd said he would coach for three years. He was true to his word and resigned after the final.

In 2003, he moved to the Indiana office, where he made personnel decisions for nine seasons. During the 2011-12 season, Byrd was named NBA Executive of the Year. Yes, he is the only man in history to hold the MVP, Coach of the Year and Manager of the Year trophies.

Larry Bird has changed the game on the field, on the sidelines and on the board. But its influence has also extended to the rules of the game itself.

Statistics and biographical information provided by Basketball Reference.

COMPARED TO: Larry Bird made $24 million playing basketball, but the fun came from the simplest source: Nothing has changed“They didn’t even have a hoop, but he didn’t care. He wanted to play basketball. And so he held his own tournament in the middle of a street in Springfield, Massachusetts. He scored and he lost. And he went on to make history. As the “father” of the NBA’s three-point shot, Larry Bird was a pioneer who helped usher in a new era of basketball.. Read more about larry bird list of injuries and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How did Larry Bird Impact Basketball?

Larry Bird was a great player who helped make basketball popular in the United States.

What made Larry Bird so great?

Larry Bird was a great basketball player because he was a great shooter and had good passing skills.

What did Larry Bird say about Michael Jordan?

Larry Bird said that Michael Jordan was the best player he ever faced.

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