2. Larry Bird
3x NBA MVP, 3x NBA Champion, 2x NBA Finals MVP, 12x NBA All-Star, 9x All-NBA First Team, 3x NBA All-Defensive Second Team, 1980 NBA Rookie of the Year
The Boston Celtics are a proud organization with a winning tradition. They are one of the most decorated franchises in the league, and it takes a lot to be considered a Celtic great. One of the faces synonymous with the Celtic tradition is none other than Larry Bird.
Bird was drafted sixth overall by the Celtics and would go on to play his entire career in Boston. He won three NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP awards during his tenure. He also spearheaded one of the most formidable frontcourts alongside Robert Parish and Kevin Mchale.
In fact, Bird made the playoffs every season he played – only losing in the first round twice.
His battles against the Los Angeles Lakers and Magic Johnson were the stuff of legends. During the 1980s, either Boston or Los Angles appeared in every NBA Finals. The contrast in personality and styles between Bird and Johnson helped drive the perceived dichotomy and is still considered one of the greatest rivalries to date.
However, all good things must come to an end, and Bird’s health began to deteriorate. He required surgery to remove bone spurs in both his heels, and his debilitating back would be a problem for the latter part of his career. But such was his legacy and impact on the Celtics that they promptly retired his jersey No. 33.
After his retirement, Bird pursued other basketball interests, namely coaching and front office management. He was successful in both aspects, winning Coach of the Year in 1998 and Executive of the Year in 2012. To this date, he remains the only person in NBA history to win Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.
Compare Larry Bird statistically to other great players!