Larry Bird

Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball player, former coach, and former executive who most recently served as President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed "The Hick from French Lick," Bird has been described as one of the greatest basketball players and greatest shooters of all time.

Drafted into the NBA by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft, Bird started at small forward and power forward for the Celtics for 13 seasons. Bird was a 12-time NBA All-Star and received the NBA Most Valuable Player Award three consecutive times (19841986). He played his entire professional career for Boston, winning three NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP awards. Bird was also a member of the gold-medal-winning 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team known as "The Dream Team". He was voted to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame again in 2010 as a member of "The Dream Team".

After retiring as a player, Bird served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000. He was named NBA Coach of the Year for the 1997-1998 season and later led the Pacers to a berth in the 2000 NBA Finals. In 2003, Bird was named President of Basketball Operations for the Pacers, holding the position until retiring in 2012.[1] He was named NBA Executive of the Year for the 2012 season. Bird returned to the Pacers as President of Basketball Operations in 2013[2] and remained in that role until 2017.

As of 2012, Bird is the only person in NBA history to be named Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, NBA Finals MVP, All-Star MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.[3]

Larry Bird
Bird in 2004
Personal information
BornDecember 7, 1956 (age 62)
West Baden Springs, Indiana
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High schoolSprings Valley
(French Lick, Indiana)
CollegeIndiana State (1976–1979)
NBA draft1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Playing career1979–1992
PositionSmall forward / Power forward
Coaching career1997–2000
Career history
As player:
19791992Boston Celtics
As coach:
19972000Indiana Pacers
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

As executive:

Career NBA statistics
Points21,791 (24.3 ppg)
Rebounds8,974 (10.0 rpg)
Assists5,695 (6.3 apg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Early life

Bird was born in West Baden Springs, Indiana, to Georgia (née Kerns) and Claude Joseph "Joe" Bird, a veteran of the Korean War.[4] He was raised in nearby French Lick, where his mother worked two jobs to support Larry and his five siblings.[5] Bird has said that being poor as a child still motivates him "to this day".[6] Georgia and Joe divorced when Larry was in high school, and Joe committed suicide about a year later.[7] Larry used basketball as an escape from his family troubles, starring for Springs Valley High School and averaging 31 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 assists as a senior on his way to becoming the school's all-time scoring leader.[4][8]

College career

Larry Bird ISU
Bird warming up for Indiana State

Bird received a scholarship to play college basketball for the Indiana University Hoosiers in 1974.[9] After less than a month on campus he dropped out of school, finding the adjustment between his small hometown and the large student population of Bloomington to be overwhelming.[4] He returned to French Lick, enrolling at Northwood Institute (now Northwood University) in nearby West Baden, and working municipal jobs for a year before enrolling at Indiana State University in Terre Haute in 1975.[10][11][12] He had a successful three-year career with the Sycamores, helping them reach the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history with a 33-0 record where they played the 1979 championship game against Michigan State.[13][14] Indiana State lost the game 75–64, with Bird scoring 19 points but making only 7 of 21 shots.[4] The game achieved the highest ever television rating for a college basketball game, in large part because of the matchup between Bird and Spartans' point guard Earvin "Magic" Johnson,[5] a rivalry that lasted throughout their professional careers. Despite failing to win the championship, Bird earned numerous year-end awards and honors for his outstanding play, including the Naismith College Player of the Year Award.[14] For his college career, he averaged 30.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game,[15] leading the Sycamores to an 81–13 record during his tenure.[14] Bird also appeared in one game for the baseball team, going 1-for-2 with 2 RBI.[16]

Professional career

Joining the Celtics (1978–1979)

Bird was selected by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft.[15] He did not sign with the Celtics immediately; instead, he played out his final season at Indiana State and led the Sycamores to the NCAA title game. Red Auerbach publicly stated that he would not pay Bird more than any Celtic on the current roster, but Bird's agent bluntly told Red that Bird would reject any sub-market offers and simply enter the 1979 NBA Draft instead, where Boston's rights would expire the second the draft began and Bird would have been the likely top pick. After protracted negotiations, Bird inked a five-year, $3.25 million contract with the team, making him the highest paid rookie in league history at the time.[8][17] Shortly afterwards, NBA draft eligibility rules were changed to prevent teams from drafting players before they were ready to sign, a rule known as the Bird Collegiate Rule.[17]

Early success (1979–1983)

Houston Rockets at Boston Celtics 1979-10-12 (Official Scorer's Report-Original) (Larry Bird crop)
Bird recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his NBA debut against the Houston Rockets on October 12, 1979.

In his rookie season (1979-1980), Bird immediately transformed the Celtics into a title contender. The team improved its win total by 32 games from the year before he was drafted and finished first in the Eastern Conference.[18][19] With averages of 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game for the season, he was selected to the All-Star Team and named Rookie of the Year.[15] In the Conference Finals, Boston was eliminated by the Philadelphia 76ers.[19]

Before the 1980–81 season, the Celtics selected forward Kevin McHale in the draft and acquired center Robert Parish from the Golden State Warriors,[20][21] forming a Hall of Fame trio for years to come; the frontcourt of Bird, McHale, and Parish is regarded as one of the greatest frontcourts in NBA history.[22][23][24] Behind Bird's leadership and Boston's upgraded roster, the Celtics again advanced to the Conference Finals for a rematch with the 76ers.[25] Boston fell behind 3–1 to start the series but won the next three games to advance to the Finals against the Houston Rockets,[26] winning in six games and earning Bird his first championship.[25] He averaged 21.9 points, 14 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.3 steals per game for the postseason and 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, and 7 assists per game for the Finals but lost out on the Finals MVP Award to teammate Cedric Maxwell.[15][27]

At the 1982 All-Star Game, Bird scored 19 points en route to winning the All-Star Game MVP Award.[28] At the conclusion of the season, he earned his first All-Defensive Team selection.[15] He eventually finished runner-up in Most Valuable Player Award voting to Moses Malone.[28] In the Conference Finals, the Celtics faced the 76ers for the third consecutive year, losing in seven games.[29] Boston's misfortunes continued into the next season, with Bird again finishing second in MVP voting to Malone and the team losing in the Conference Semifinals to the Milwaukee Bucks.[28][30]

Battles with the Lakers and MVP tenure (1983–1987)

Larry Bird layup
Bird playing against the Washington Bullets

Bird was named MVP of the 1983–84 season with averages of 24.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.[15] In the playoffs, the Celtics avenged their loss from the year before to the Bucks, winning in five games in the Conference Finals to advance to the Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.[31] In Game Four, the Lakers—led by Bird's college rival Magic Johnson—were on the verge of taking a commanding 3-1 series lead before a flagrant foul was committed on Kurt Rambis that resulted in a brawl and caused the Lakers to lose their composure.[32] Boston came back to win the game, eventually winning the series in seven.[31] Bird was named Finals MVP behind 27.4 points, 14 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game.[31]

On March 12 of the 1984–85 season, Bird scored a career-high and franchise record 60 points in a game against the Atlanta Hawks.[33] The performance came just nine days after Kevin McHale set the previous Celtics record for points in a game with 56.[34] At the conclusion of the year, Bird was named MVP for the second consecutive season behind averages of 28.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game.[15] Boston advanced through the playoffs to earn a rematch with the Lakers, this time losing in six games.[35]

In the summer of 1985, Larry injured his back shoveling crushed rock to create a driveway at his mother's house. At least partially as a result of this, he experienced back problems for the remainder of his career.[36]

Larry Bird Lipofsky
Bird playing for the Celtics in the 1985 NBA playoffs

Before the start of the 1985–86 season, the Celtics made a daring trade for Bill Walton, an All-Star center with a history of injury.[37] The risk paid off; Walton's acquisition helped Boston win a league best 67 games.[38] One of Bird's career highlights occurred at the 1986 NBA All-Star Weekend when he walked into the locker room at the inaugural Three-Point Shootout and asked who was going to finish second before winning the shootout.[39][40] With averages of 25.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists, and 2 steals per game, Bird became just the third player in NBA history to win three consecutive MVP Awards.[41] In the playoffs, the Celtics lost only one game through the first three rounds en route to a match-up against the Rockets in the Finals.[37] Bird averaged 24 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game for the championship round, leading Boston to victory in six games.[42] The '86 Celtics are commonly ranked as one of the greatest basketball teams of all-time, with the Boston Globe's Peter May and Grantland's Bill Simmons listing them at number one.[43]

In 1987, the Celtics made their last Finals appearance of Bird's career, fighting through difficult series against the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons. In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pistons, with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Boston trailing the Pistons 107–106, Bird stole an inbounds pass. Falling out of bounds, Bird turned and passed the ball to teammate Dennis Johnson, who converted a game-winning 2-point layup with less than a second left. The dramatic play saved the series for the Celtics. When they reached the NBA Finals, the Celtics--hampered by devastating injuries--lost to a dominant Lakers team which had won 65 games during the season. The Celtics ended up losing to the Lakers in six games, with Bird averaging 24.2 points on .445 shooting, 10 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in the championship series.[44] The Celtics would fall short in 1988 losing to the Detroit Pistons in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals as the Pistons made up from the heartbreak the previous season. Between them, Bird and Johnson captured eight NBA championships during the 1980s, with Magic getting five and Bird three. During the 1980s, either Boston or Los Angeles appeared in every NBA Finals.[45]

Throughout the 1980s, contests between the Celtics and the Lakers—both during the regular season and in the Finals—attracted enormous television audiences. The first regular season game between the Celtics and the Lakers in the 1987–88 season proved to be a classic with Magic Johnson banking in an off balance shot from near the three-point line at the buzzer for a 115–114 Lakers win at Boston Garden.[46] The historical rift between the teams, which faced each other several times in championship series of the 1960s, fueled fan interest in the rivalry. Not since Bill Russell squared off against Wilt Chamberlain had professional basketball enjoyed such a marquee matchup. The apparent contrast between the two players and their respective teams seemed scripted for television: Bird, the introverted small-town hero with the blue-collar work ethic, fit perfectly with the throwback, hard-nosed style of the Celtics, while the stylish, gregarious Johnson ran the Lakers' fast-paced Showtime offense amidst the bright lights and celebrities of Los Angeles. A 1980s Converse commercial for its "Weapon" line of basketball shoes (endorsed by both Bird and Johnson) reflected the perceived dichotomy between the two players. In the commercial, Bird is practicing alone on a rural basketball court (in reality the court was one Bird had had made on the property in French Lick that he had purchased for his mother), when Johnson pulls up in a sleek limousine and challenges him to a one-on-one match.

Despite the intensity of their rivalry, Bird and Johnson became friends off the court. Their friendship blossomed when the two players worked together to film the Converse commercial, which depicted them as archenemies. Johnson appeared at Bird's retirement ceremony on February 4, 1993 and emotionally described Bird as a "friend forever".

Late career (1988–1992)

The 1987-1988 season was the highest-scoring season of Bird's career. In Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Atlanta Hawks, Bird shot 9 of 10 from the floor in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points in that quarter and lifting the Celtics to a series-clinching victory over Atlanta. Bird finished with 34 points. His effort helped to overcome a 47-point performance by Atlanta's Dominique Wilkins. Wilkins remarked, "The basket was like a well. I couldn't miss. He couldn't miss. And it went down to the last shot of the game. Who was going to make the last shot? That's the greatest game I've ever played in or seen played." The Celtics failed to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in five years, losing to the Pistons in six games during the Eastern Conference Finals.

Bird's 1988–89 season season ended after six games when he had bone spurs surgically removed from both of his heels. He returned to the Celtics in 1989, but debilitating back problems and an aging Celtic roster prevented him from regaining his mid-1980s form. Nonetheless, during the final years of his career, Bird maintained his status as one of the premier players in the game. In his final three seasons with the Celtics, Bird averaged over 20 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists per game, shot better than 45% from the field, and led the Celtics to playoff appearances.

After leading the Celtics to a 29–5 start to the 1990–91 season, Bird missed 22 games due to a compressed nerve root in his back, a condition that would eventually lead to his retirement. He had off-season surgery to remove a disc from his back, but his back problems continued and he missed 37 games during the 1991–92 season. During the 1992 Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bird missed four of the seven games due to recurring back problems.

On August 18, 1992, Bird announced his retirement. Following Bird's departure, the Celtics promptly retired his jersey number 33.

International play

In the summer of 1992, Bird joined Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and other NBA stars to play for the United States basketball team in that year's Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.[47] It was the first time in the United States' Olympic history that the country sent professional basketball players to compete. The "Dream Team" won the men's basketball gold medal. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame called the team "the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet".[48]

Player profile and legacy

Bird was voted to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996,[49][50] was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998,[51][52] and was inducted into the Hall of Fame again in 2010 as a member of the "Dream Team".[53] In 1999, Bird ranked No. 30 on ESPN SportsCentury's list of 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th century. He played both the small forward and power forward positions.[54]

Bird has been described as one of the greatest basketball players and greatest shooters of all time.[56][57][58] He was selected to 12 NBA All-Star teams.[59] Bird won three NBA championships (in 1981, 1984, and 1986) with the Celtics[54] and won two NBA Finals MVP Awards.[60] Bird won three consecutive regular-season MVP awards; as of 2016, the only other players to accomplish this feat are Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.[61] Bird is also remembered as one of the foremost clutch performers in the history of the NBA; he was known for his excellent play in high-stakes, high-pressure situations.[62][63][64]

Bird scored 24.3 points per game in his career on a .496 field goal percentage, an .886 free throw percentage, and a 37.6 percentage on three-point shots. Bird had an average of 10.0 rebounds per game for his career and 6.3 assists.[65] Bird was the first player in NBA history to shoot 50% or better on field goals, 40% on three-pointers, and 90% on free-throws in a single NBA season while achieving the league minimum for makes in each category.[66] He accomplished this feat twice.[67] Bird won NBA three-point-shooting contests in three consecutive years.[68] He sometimes practiced shooting three-point shots with his eyes closed.[65]

Bird is also remembered as an excellent passer[69] and defender.[54] While he was relatively slow, Bird displayed a knack for anticipating the moves of his opponent, making him a strong team defender.[56] He had 1,556 career steals.[70] In recognition of his defensive abilities, Bird was named to three All-Defensive Second Teams.[56]

Bird was widely considered one of Red Auerbach's favorite players. He considered Bird to be the greatest basketball player of all time.[71][72][73] Bird's humble roots were the source of his most frequently used moniker, "The Hick from French Lick".[74] Bird was also referred to as "The Great White Hope"[13] and "Larry Legend".[75] Bird was known for his trash-talking on the court.[76][77]

Career as coach and executive

Monumento larry bird
A Larry Bird plaque at Quincy Market, Boston

The Celtics employed Bird as a special assistant in the team's front office from 1992 until 1997.[78] In 1997, Bird accepted the position of coach of the Indiana Pacers[79] and said he would be on the job for no more than three years.[80] Despite having no previous coaching experience, Bird led the Pacers to a 58–24 record—the franchise's best as an NBA team at the time—in the 1997–98 season,[81] and pushed the Chicago Bulls to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals.[81] He was named the NBA Coach of the Year for his efforts.[82] Bird then led the Pacers to consecutive Central Division titles in 1999 and 2000 and a berth in the 2000 NBA Finals.[81] Bird resigned his head coaching position shortly after the end of the 2000 season, following through on his initial promise to coach for only three years.[83]

In 2003, Bird was hired as the Pacers' President of Basketball Operations.[84] After the 2011–2012 NBA season, Bird was named NBA Executive of the Year, becoming the only man in NBA history to win the NBA MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year.[85][86] On June 27, 2012, a day before the 2012 NBA draft, Bird and the Pacers announced that they would be parting ways; Bird said that health issues were among the reasons for his departure.[87] Bird returned to the Pacers as president of basketball operations in 2013.[2] He stepped down again in 2017, but stayed with the team in an advisory capacity.[88]

Awards and honors

As player:

As coach:

As executive:

In popular culture

  • Bird has appeared in three movies, each time playing himself: Blue Chips, released in 1994 by Paramount; the Warner Brothers film Space Jam with Michael Jordan and Bill Murray, in 1996; and Celtic Pride with Dan Aykroyd, Daniel Stern, and Damon Wayans, which was also released in 1996.[89]
  • Bird's likeness has appeared in several video games. In One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird, Bird plays opposite Julius Erving in a game of one-on-one. A sequel, Jordan vs Bird: One on One, was a 1988 basketball video game. In 2011, Bird was featured on the cover of NBA 2K12, alongside Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Bird is also a playable character in the revamped NBA Jam.[90]
  • The band Dispatch has a song called "Just Like Larry" about Larry Bird, who is their hometown hero from his days as a member of the Boston Celtics.[91]
  • Larry Bird and Magic Johnson wrote a book together (with Jackie MacMullan) titled When The Game Was Ours.[92]
  • In a commercial during Super Bowl XLIV, Dwight Howard and LeBron James challenge each other at trick shots for a McDonald's lunch. After they finish, clapping is heard, then the camera pans to the crowd and Bird says "Great show, guys. Thanks for lunch." Howard and James share a confused look. Howard asks, "Who was that?" James replies, "I have no idea." This refers to a McDonald's commercial from 1991 in which Bird and Michael Jordan have a trick shot contest, in which the winner got the lunch and the loser had to watch the winner eat.[93]
  • In October 2005, a man in Oklahoma City, Eric James Torpy, was convicted of shooting with intent to kill and robbery. He asked that his sentence be changed from 30 years' imprisonment to 33 so that it would match Bird's jersey number. His request was granted.[94]
  • Twitter's logo is named Larry in honor of Larry Bird.[95]
  • One of the lead characters in the television series The Neighbors is an alien named Larry Bird, played by Simon Templeman.[96]

Personal life

Bird married Dinah Mattingly in 1989. They have two adopted children, Conner and Mariah. Bird also has a biological daughter, Corrie, from his first marriage to high school classmate Janet Condra.[97] He has four brothers, Mike, Mark, Jeff, and Eddie, and a sister, Linda. Eddie also played basketball at Indiana State from 1986 to 1990 and today is the city park superintendent at Terre Haute.

Career statistics

NBA statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Denotes seasons in which Bird won an NBA championship
* Led the league
Cited from Basketball Reference's Larry Bird page.[15]
Regular season
1979–80 Boston 82 82 36.0 .474 .406 .836 10.4 4.5 1.7 .6 21.3
1980–81 Boston 82 82 39.5 .478 .270 .863 10.9 5.5 2.0 .8 21.2
1981–82 Boston 77 58 38.0 .503 .212 .863 10.9 5.8 1.9 .9 22.9
1982–83 Boston 79 79 37.7 .504 .286 .840 11.0 5.8 1.9 .9 23.6
1983–84 Boston 79 77 38.3 .492 .247 .888* 10.1 6.6 1.8 .9 24.2
1984–85 Boston 80 77 39.5* .522 .427 .882 10.5 6.6 1.6 1.2 28.7
1985–86 Boston 82 81 38.0 .496 .423 .896* 9.8 6.8 2.0 .6 25.8
1986–87 Boston 74 73 40.6* .525 .400 .910* 9.2 7.6 1.8 .9 28.1
1987–88 Boston 76 75 39.0 .527 .414 .916 9.3 6.1 1.6 .8 29.9
1988–89 Boston 6 6 31.5 .471 .947 6.2 4.8 1.0 .8 19.3
1989–90 Boston 75 75 39.3 .473 .333 .930* 9.5 7.5 1.4 .8 24.3
1990–91 Boston 60 60 38.0 .454 .389 .891 8.5 7.2 1.8 1.0 19.4
1991–92 Boston 45 45 36.9 .466 .406 .926 9.6 6.8 .9 .7 20.2
Career 897 870 38.4 .496 .376 .886 10.0 6.3 1.7 0.8 24.3
All-Star 10 9 28.7 .423 .231 .844 7.9 4.1 2.3 0.3 13.4
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 164 162 42.0 .472 .321 .890 10.3 6.5 1.8 0.9 23.8

College statistics

Cited from Basketball Reference.[15]
1976–77 Indiana State 28 36.9 .544 .840 13.3 4.4 32.8
1977–78 Indiana State 32 .524 .793 11.5 3.9 30.0
1978–79 Indiana State 34 .532 .831 14.9 5.5 28.6
Career 94 .533 .822 13.3 4.6 30.3

Head coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %

See also


  1. ^ "Sports Essentials". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Bird Returns | The Official Site Of The Indiana Pacers". June 26, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "Pacers' Bird named NBA's top exec". CNN Sports Illustrated. May 16, 2012. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was voted the NBA's Executive of the Year on Wednesday, becoming the first person to win that award, plus the MVP and Coach of the Year honors.
  4. ^ a b c d Schwartz, Larry. "Plain and simple, Bird one of the best". ESPN. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Schwartz, Larry. "Eye for victory". ESPN. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Deford, Frank (March 21, 1988). "Boston's Larry Bird, in what may be his finest season, gets Red Auerbach's vote—over Bill Russell—as the best ever". Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved May 24, 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Papanek, John (November 9, 1981). "Gifts That God Didn't Give". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ a b "Larry Bird: Biography". Retrieved June 28, 2013.
  9. ^ Davis, Seth (March 4, 2009). "When March Went Mad". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on September 30, 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Bird, Larry (1989), Drive: The Story of My Life. Doubleday, pp. 39–40. ISBN 0-385-24921-7
  11. ^ "Throwback Thursday: Celtics Draft Larry Bird Sixth Overall". Boston Magazine. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  12. ^ Professor Parquet (January 7, 2015). "The story of how rookie phenom Larry Bird led the NBA's greatest turnaround season – CelticsBlog". CelticsBlog. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals. HBO, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c "Larry Bird Bio". NBA Encyclopedia. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Larry Bird NBA Stats". Retrieved May 13, 2015.
  16. ^ Dana Hunsinger (May 4, 2015). "Larry Bird's baseball career: A lofty .500 batting average". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  17. ^ a b May, Peter (2007) [1994]. The Big Three. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-4165-5207-9. OCLC 86221987. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
  18. ^ "1978–79 NBA Season Summary". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "1979–80 NBA Season Summary". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "Kevin McHale NBA & ABA Stats". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  21. ^ "Robert Parish NBA & ABA Stats". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  22. ^ Jun 30, foxsports; ET, 2017 at 10:28p (October 13, 2016). "5 best players in Boston Celtics history". FOX Sports. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  23. ^ "Legends profile: Kevin McHale". Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "NBA expert panel: Warriors not the greatest of all time, or even No. 2". June 13, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
  25. ^ a b "1980–81 NBA Season Summary". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  26. ^ "1981 NBA Eastern Conference Finals". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  27. ^ "1981 NBA Finals". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  28. ^ a b c " Larry Bird Bio". Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  29. ^ "1982 NBA Playoffs Summary". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  30. ^ "1983 NBA Playoffs Summary". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
  31. ^ a b c "1984 NBA Playoffs Summary". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  32. ^ MacMullan, Jackie (2009). When the Game Was Ours. Mariner. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-547-39458-9.
  33. ^ Schwartz, Larry. "Eye for victory". ESPN. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  34. ^ MacMullan, Jackie (2009). When the Game Was Ours. Mariner. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-547-39458-9.
  35. ^ "1985 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  37. ^ a b "1985–86 Boston Celtics". Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  38. ^ "1985–86 NBA Season Summary". Basketball Reference. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  39. ^ Caplan, Jeff (February 5, 2010). "With Bird in, good things came with 3s". ESPN. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  40. ^ "Relive the Moment: Larry Bird Easily Wins Inaugural 3-Point Contest After Asking Field Who Would Finish Second". New England Sports Network. August 17, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  41. ^ "Larry Legend – Bird wins third straight MVP". ESPN Classic. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  42. ^ "1986 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  43. ^ Poulard, JM. "The 1985–86 Boston Celtics". Warriors World. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
  44. ^ "1987 NBA Finals Composite Box Score". Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  45. ^ Staff, "NBA Season Recaps: 1946-2018 |". Retrieved November 24, 2018.
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Further reading

External links

1981 NBA Finals

The 1981 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1980–81 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. It pitted the 62–20 Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics against the 40–42 Western Conference champion Houston Rockets. This series has the distinction of featuring for the Second time in NBA history, and last to date, a team with a losing record in the Finals. The previous team was the Minneapolis Lakers in 1959.

1982 NBA All-Star Game

The 1982 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game that was played on January 31, 1982, at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This was the 32nd edition of the National Basketball Association All-Star Game and was played during the 1981–82 NBA season. The coaches were Bill Fitch for the East, and Pat Riley for the West. Larry Bird was named the game's MVP for his 4th quarter heroics during crunch time.

1982–83 NBA season

The 1982–83 NBA season was the 37th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Philadelphia 76ers winning the NBA Championship, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 0 in the NBA Finals.

1984 NBA Finals

The 1984 NBA World Championship Series, also known as Showdown '84, was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1983–84 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers in a seven-game Finals, winning Game 7 111–102. Celtics forward Larry Bird averaged 27 points and 14 rebounds a game during the series, earning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP). Bird was also named the league's regular season MVP for that year.

This series was the long-awaited rematch of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics after their rivalry was revived in 1979 with the Magic Johnson–Larry Bird pair entering the league. After the Lakers won Game 1, a crucial steal in Game 2 led to a tie game and the Celtics were able to win in overtime to tie the series. The Lakers won Game 3 easily and almost won Game 4, but were again thwarted. Now tied 2-2, the Lakers and Celtics each held serve at their home court to send the series to Boston for Game 7. Game 5 was a classic, with Bird coming up with a huge game in one of the (literally) hottest games ever (97 °F (36 °C)) in the non-air conditioned Boston Garden. Game 7 was also contested in hot temperatures that hovered around 91 °F (33 °C). The score was close but the contest eventually went to the Celtics. Cedric Maxwell scored 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in the decisive Game 7 victory.

Los Angeles won all three games played on Sunday afternoons. Boston won the games played on Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night.

The Series schedule was an odd schedule, due entirely to the whims of television. Game One was played on a Sunday afternoon in Boston, about 36 hours after the Lakers had eliminated the Phoenix Suns in the Western Finals. The teams then had three plus days off, not playing until Thursday night. Then, after Game 3 on Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles, the teams had two plus days off, not playing again until Wednesday night. That in turn started a wearying back-and-forth across the country ... Wednesday night at LA, Friday night at Boston, Sunday afternoon at LA, and Tuesday night at Boston ... to end the series.

The following year, the Finals format switched to 2-3-2, where Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 were hosted by the team with the best record. The change in format came after Red Auerbach complained about the constant travelling during the finals. The 2-2-1-1-1 format would return for the 2014 NBA Finals.

1985–86 NBA season

The 1985–86 NBA season was the 40th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning their third championship of the decade, beating the Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals.

1986 NBA Finals

The 1986 NBA Finals was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1985–86 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. It pitted the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics against the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets, in a rematch of the 1981 Finals (only Allen Leavell and Robert Reid remained from the Rockets' 1981 team). It was the second and last NBA Championship Series of the 1980s not to feature the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Celtics defeated the Rockets four games to two to win their 16th NBA championship. The championship would be the Celtics' last until 2008. Larry Bird was named the Finals MVP.

On another note, this series marked the first time the "NBA Finals" branding was officially used, as they dropped the "NBA World Championship Series" branding which had been in use since the beginning of the league, though it had been unofficially called the "NBA Finals" for years.

Until the 2011 series, this was the last time the NBA Finals had started before June. Since game three, all NBA Finals games have been played in June. Starting with the following year, the NBA Finals would be held exclusively in the month of June. It was also the last NBA Finals series to schedule a game on a Monday until 1999 and also the last NBA Finals game to be played on Memorial Day. Until the 2018 series, it was the last to conclude before June 10.

CBS Sports used Dick Stockton and Tom Heinsohn as the play-by-play man and color commentator respectively. Meanwhile, Brent Musburger was the host and Pat O'Brien (the Rockets' sideline) and Lesley Visser (the Celtics' sideline) were the sideline reporters.

1990 NBA All-Star Game

The 40th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 11, 1990 at Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. Magic Johnson was named the game's MVP.

The East was led by the trio of Celtics' big men Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and the Bulls' dynamic duo of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The trio of Piston players Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Dennis Rodman, plus Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Dominique Wilkins and center Patrick Ewing completed the team.

The West was led by the Lakers' trio of Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and A.C. Green. Clyde Drexler, Akeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, David Robinson, Rolando Blackman, Lafayette Lever and Tom Chambers completed the team.Coaches: East: Chuck Daly, West: Pat Riley. This was the first of four consecutive All-Star Games in which the coaches of the previous year's NBA Finals were the head coaches of the All-Star Game.

This was the last NBA All-Star Game broadcast by CBS before moving to NBC in the following year.

50–40–90 club

Informally, the 50–40–90 club is the group of National Basketball Association (NBA) players who have had a shooting percentage at or above 50% for field goals, 40% for three-pointers, and 90% for free throws during an entire NBA regular season while also achieving the NBA minimum number of makes in each category (300 field goals, 82 three-pointers, and 125 free throws). A total of eight players have had 50–40–90 seasons.

50–40–90 indicates a great all-around shooting performance and is considered the ultimate standard for shooters. Only Steve Nash (four times) and Larry Bird (twice) have repeat 50–40–90 seasons. Nash's lifetime 49–43–90 regular season average is the closest anyone has come to achieving a career 50–40–90 mark. Nash's lifetime 47–40–90 playoff average is the closest anyone has come to achieving a career 50–40–90 mark in the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki is the only member that falls short of the updated minimum requirement for three-point makes implemented since 2013, finishing with 72 threes in 2007.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league's original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Boston Bruins. The Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history; the franchise has won the most championships in the NBA with 17, accounting for 23.9 percent of all NBA championships since the league's founding.The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, and have played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals (including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010), of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players (Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname "Celtics" and their mascot "Lucky the Leprechaun" are a nod to Boston's historically large Irish population.After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen in what was known as the new "Big Three" era, following the original "Big Three" era that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, which combined to win the 1981, 1984, and 1986 championships.

Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge began a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals by the Cleveland Cavaliers. This prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, and the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Cavaliers. In the 2018-19 season however, the team bounced back by sweeping the Indiana Pacers in the first round of playoffs.

Dennis Johnson

Dennis Wayne Johnson (September 18, 1954 – February 22, 2007), nicknamed "DJ", was an American professional basketball player for the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics and coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. He was an alumnus of Dominguez High School, Los Angeles Harbor College and Pepperdine University.A prototypical late bloomer, Johnson overcame early struggles and had a successful NBA playing career. Drafted 29th overall in 1976 by the Seattle SuperSonics, Johnson began his professional career as a shooting guard. He eventually led the Sonics to their only NBA championship in 1979, winning the Finals MVP Award. After a short stint with the Phoenix Suns, he became the starting point guard for the Boston Celtics, with whom he won two more championships. Johnson was voted into five All-Star Teams, one All-NBA First and one Second Team, and nine consecutive All-Defensive First and Second Teams. Apart from his reputation as a defensive stopper, Johnson was known as a clutch player who made several decisive plays in NBA playoffs history.The Celtics franchise has retired Johnson's #3 jersey, which hangs from the rafters of the TD Garden, the home arena of the team. On April 5, 2010, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame officially announced that Johnson had been posthumously elected to the Hall. He was formally inducted on August 13. He is considered by several sports journalists to be one of the most underrated players of all time.

Indiana State Sycamores men's basketball

The Indiana State Sycamores basketball is the NCAA Division I men's basketball program of Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. They currently compete in the Missouri Valley Conference. The team last played in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament in 2011.

The Sycamores' first season was 1896, making them the oldest basketball team in the NCAA along with Bucknell, Minnesota and Washington; however, the records from 1896 to 1899 no longer exist. The Sycamores boast 2 College Players of the Year, 14 All-Americans, 39 1,000-point scorers and 1,496 victories. Their victory count places them in the Top 70 of all NCAA Division I programs.In addition, the Sycamores have 26 Post-Season Appearances (7 NCAA, 4 NIT, 1 CBI, 1 CIT, 12 NAIA and the 1936 Olympic Trials) with 5 National Championship Appearances (2 NCAA, 3 NAIA). Seven Sycamores were members of the 1951 Pan-American Games Gold Medal-winning team. The Sycamore's most memorable season was 1978–79, when star Larry Bird led an undefeated team to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance, as well as the UPI National title. However, it lost the national title game versus the Magic Johnson-led Michigan State team; and ended the season with a record of 33–1. This is the deepest run by a first-time participant in the Division I tournament, and one of only three times that a first-time team has advanced as far as the Final Four (UNCC in 1977 and Georgia in 1983). They would not have another postseason appearance until 2000.

The Sycamores were the National Runner-Up in the NCAA College Division (now Div II) in 1968; they won the NAIA National Championship in 1950, had NAIA Finals appearances in 1946 & 1948 and NAIA National Semifinals appearances in 1949 & 1953. The Sycamores were led by All-Americans, Duane Klueh, Dick Atha and Lenny Rzeszewski. As the program transitioned from NAIA to the NCAA, one last NAIA highlight was Ray Goddard leading the Nation in FT percentage (91.2%) during the 1961-62 season. Former Head Coaches include the legendary John Wooden, Purdue All-American Dave Schellhase, Indiana coaching legend Glenn M. Curtis and well-known college coaches such as Bob King, Royce Waltman, Tates Locke and Ron Greene. Former assistants include current collegiate head coaches such as Thad Matta (Butler, Xavier, Ohio State), Rick Ray (Mississippi State, Southeast Missouri), Kareem Richardson (Missouri-Kansas City), Phil Hopkins (Western Carolina), Mel Garland (IUPUI), Stan Gouard (Indianapolis) and NBA Great Mel Daniels.

The Indiana State Sycamores men's basketball team currently play their home games at Hulman Center (10,200) and are coached by Greg Lansing.

List of Boston Celtics accomplishments and records

This is a comprehensive list of the accomplishments and records of the Boston Celtics. The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team currently playing in the National Basketball Association.

List of Indiana Pacers head coaches

The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers play in the Central Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team began playing in 1967 as a charter member of the American Basketball Association (ABA), and joined the NBA as part of the ABA-NBA merger. The team has played their home games at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse since the 1999–2000 NBA season. The Pacers are owned by Herbert and Melvin Simon, and David Morway is their general manager.There have been 14 head coaches for the Pacers franchise. The franchise's first head coach was Larry Staverman, who coached for two seasons. Bobby Leonard is the franchise's all-time leader for the most regular season games coached (985), the most regular season game wins (529), the most playoff games coached (116), and the most playoff game wins (69). Leonard is also the only coach to win an ABA championship with the Pacers, with 3 (1970, 1972, 1973). Larry Bird, who coached three seasons with the Pacers, is the Pacers' all-time leader for the highest winning percentage with .687. Bird is also the only coach to win an NBA Eastern Conference championship with the Pacers, but lost the 2000 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Mel Daniels is the only Pacers coach to have coached less than one season. Jack Ramsay and Larry Brown are the only Pacers' coaches to be elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach. Ramsay was also named one of the top 10 coaches in NBA history. Jack McKinney and Larry Bird have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award, in 1980–81 and 1997–98 respectively, with the Pacers. Dick Versace and Bird have spent their entire NBA coaching careers with the Pacers. Frank Vogel was named interim head coach after Jim O'Brien was fired midway through the 2010–11 season.

Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

The Larry Bird Missouri Valley Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year is an annual basketball award given to the Missouri Valley Conference's most outstanding player. The award was first given following the 1968–69 season. It was renamed to honor Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who played at Indiana State from 1977 to 1979 and led the Sycamores to the 1979 NCAA Championship game. Bird won every major player of the year award (including the Naismith and Wooden awards) in 1979.

Creighton had the most all-time winners with seven, but it left the conference in July 2013 to join the reconfigured Big East Conference. Among schools remaining in the conference beyond 2013, Bradley and Southern Illinois have the most winners, with six apiece. The only current conference member that has never had a winner is Valparaiso, who played its first MVC season in 2017–18. There have never been any ties for the player of the year, but there have been nine repeat winners in the award's history. Of the repeat winners, only Fred VanVleet of Wichita State won in non-consecutive years (2014 and 2016).

NBA Executive of the Year Award

The National Basketball Association's Executive of the Year Award is an annual award given since the 1972–73 NBA season, to the league's best general manager. Before 2009, the Executive of the Year was presented annually by Sporting News, but was officially recognized by the NBA. Since 2009, the award has been awarded by the NBA. Voting is conducted by executives from the league's 30 teams. The person with the most votes wins the award.Since its inception, the award has been given to 28 different general managers. Jerry Colangelo, the first general manager for the Phoenix Suns, is the only person to win the award four times. Bob Bass, R. C. Buford, Wayne Embry, Bob Ferry, Stan Kasten, Jerry Krause, Bob Myers, Geoff Petrie, Jerry West, as well as Jerry Colangelo's son Bryan Colangelo have all won the award twice. All of the award winners were born in the United States until then–Denver Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri, who was born in Nigeria, won the award in 2013. Larry Bird, Frank Layden and Pat Riley join Red Auerbach as the only recipients to have also received NBA Coach of the Year. Bird is also the only winner to receive the NBA Most Valuable Player in addition to either of the Coach or Executive of the Year awards.

NBA Most Valuable Player Award

The National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1955–56 season to the best performing player of the regular season. The winner receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the first commissioner (then president) of the NBA, who served from 1946 until 1963. Until the 1979–80 season, the MVP was selected by a vote of NBA players. Since the 1980–81 season, the award is decided by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

Each member of the voting panel casts a vote for first to fifth place selections. Each first-place vote is worth 10 points; each second-place vote is worth seven; each third-place vote is worth five, fourth-place is worth three and fifth-place is worth one. Starting from 2010, one ballot was cast by fans through online voting. The player with the highest point total wins the award. As of June 2018, the current holder of the award is James Harden of the Houston Rockets.

Every player who has won this award and has been eligible for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has been inducted. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the award a record six times. He is also the only player to win the award despite his team not making the playoffs back in the 1975–76 season. Both Bill Russell and Michael Jordan won the award five times, while Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James won the award four times. Russell and James are the only players to have won the award four times in five seasons. Moses Malone, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson each won the award three times, while Bob Pettit, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash and Stephen Curry have each won it twice. Only two rookies have won the award: Chamberlain in the 1959–60 season and Wes Unseld in the 1968–69 season. Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, Duncan of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Nash of Canada and Dirk Nowitzki of Germany are the only MVP winners considered "international players" by the NBA.Curry in 2015–16 is the only player to have won the award unanimously. Shaquille O'Neal in 1999–2000 and James in 2012–13 are the only two players to have fallen one vote shy of a unanimous selection, both receiving 120 of 121 votes. Since the 1975–76 season, only two players have been named MVP for a season in which their team failed to win at least 50 regular-season games—Moses Malone (twice, 1978–79 and 1981–82) and Russell Westbrook (2016–17).

NBA salary cap

The NBA salary cap is the limit to the total amount of money that National Basketball Association teams are allowed to pay their players. Like many professional sports leagues, the NBA has a salary cap to control costs and benefit parity, defined by the league's collective bargaining agreement (CBA). This limit is subject to a complex system of rules and exceptions and is calculated as a percentage of the league's revenue from the previous season. Under the CBA ratified in December 2011, the cap will continue to vary in future seasons based on league revenues. For the 2015–16 season, the salary cap was $70 million and the luxury tax limit was $84.74 million. For the 2016–17 season, the salary cap was set at $94.14 million and the luxury tax limit was $113.29 million. For the 2017–18 season, the cap is set at $99 million for the salary cap and $119 million for the luxury tax.The majority of leagues (NFL, NHL, MLS) have hard caps while the NBA has a soft salary cap. Hard salary caps forbid teams from going above the salary cap. Soft salary caps allow teams to go above the salary cap but will subject such teams to reduced privileges in free agency. Teams that go above the luxury tax cap are subject to the luxury tax (a tax on every dollar spent over the luxury tax cap).

Three-Point Contest

The Three-Point Contest (officially named the Mtn Dew Three-Point Contest and previously named the Three-Point Shootout) is a National Basketball Association (NBA) contest held on the Saturday before the annual All-Star Game as part of All-Star Weekend.

The 2019 iteration of the contest involved ten participants. From its introduction in 1986 to 2002, and then in 2017 and 2018, eight participants were selected to participate in each season's shootout. Between 2003 and 2016, the contest was open to just six competitors. Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets is the most recent winner of the event which was held at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Indiana 1997–98 82 58 24 .707 2nd in Central 16 10 6 .625 Lost in Conf. Finals
Indiana 1998–99 50 33 17 .660 1st in Central 13 9 4 .692 Lost in Conf. Finals
Indiana 1999–00 82 56 26 .683 1st in Central 23 13 10 .565 Lost in NBA Finals
Career 214 147 67 .687 52 32 20 .615

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