NBA Champion Larry Bird Reveals The Only Reason Why He Didn’t Retire From NBA in 1988

Larry Bird is a real Boston Celtics superstar. From 1979 through 1992, he was a member of the team. When he was at his best, he could be called the league’s best player. During this time, he earned three championships and three MVP honors.

However, Bird suffered from major injuries later in his career. In 1986, the Celtics drafted Len Bias, who was compared in college to Michael Jordan. Bias, however, unfortunately, died before he could play. However, Bird once stated that if Bias had joined, he would have retired earlier.

Larry Bird reveals he would’ve retired earlier

Larry Bird
Larry Bird

“I would have left in 1988. I would have retired in 1988. I was starting to have ankle problems, and they were going to have to detach my Achilles to get these [bone] spurs out. I knew I was going to miss the whole year. If he (Len Bias) was there, I would have just shut it down,” Bird said.

After 1987-88 season was over, Bird had to face his injuries. He needed to have bone spurs removed from both of his heels. He only played six games that season, and although he made a comeback a year later, his back problems prevented him from returning to his previous elite performance in the NBA. Len Bias was a highly anticipated college prospect who was expected to join the league in the 1980s. Unfortunately, he passed away from a tragic drug overdose before he could become part of a team. If he had lived until 1988, he would have developed into a superb successor for Bird. It’s sad that fans never had the opportunity to witness his career.

Bird struggled later in his career

Larry Bird had exceptional statistics throughout his best years of 1982 to 1988, averaging 26.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. During that period, he accomplished a lot, including two Finals MVP awards, three consecutive MVP titles, and two championships. Many people expected him to become the greatest, but his performance dropped after constant injuries. Following a long time in the sidelines in the 1988-89 season, Bird returned to the Celtics and played three more seasons. His average points per game, however, dropped by more than five points, and he could only manage 21.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.

These numbers are still quite good, but when compared to Bird’s regular performance, they were not that great. As a result, it is not surprising that he has decided to retire. He chose to give up $4.5 million when he retired, showing how serious he was about his commitment.

Read More: Nick Wright Believes The Failures Of Michael Jordan As Hornets Owner Will Damage His GOAT Status