Long before Larry Bird became a legend in the city of Boston, his family had to endure hard times while he was growing up in French Lick, Indiana. His mother had to work 2 jobs to support Larry and his 5 siblings.
Back in 1988 renowned sports columnist Frank Deford interviewed Larry, and he discussed his families struggles.
“My mother, Georgia, was employed mostly as a waitress. “I remember, she worked a hundred hours a week and made a hundred dollars, and then went to the store and had to buy $120 worth of food,” Larry says. “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.”
“It motivates me to this day,” Bird said. “I never once worried about college when I was in high school, and I never worried about the pros in college,” he says. “When it was the Celtics drafted me, I could’ve cared less.” Bird made $650K a year during his first 5 seasons with the Celtics.
Larry has a net worth of $75 million dollars, but he doesn’t act like it. You will never catch Larry Legend showing off. Bird has always remained humble, and lives as close to a normal life as he can with someone of his celebrity stature.
“I really don’t need anyone to build my ego. When I’m home in Boston, I want to go out and eat, pay my bill, and get the hell out,” he said.
“Back in French Lick, I don’t have those problems, and that’s why I go back there. It’s the same with nice cars, Mercedes and all that. I can’t see putting $50,000 or $60,000 into a car when our house growing up was worth $10,000. I just can’t buy that. And clothes never did catch my eye. I never really enjoyed ‘em. I always wore what I felt comfortable in. I’ll wear pretty much anything if I get it for free.”
36 years ago today… Larry Legend ?
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) May 26, 2023