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Thirty years ago, the Boston Celtics held a retirement ceremony for the legendary Larry Bird. The Boston Garden was sold out that night as the fans, his teammates, and coaches celebrated his 13 years with the team. Bird was a three-time MVP, a three-time champion, and a 12-time NBA All-Star. Even though he was a 12-time NBA All-Star, he didn’t play in a dozen games.

Larry Bird is one of the top two Boston Celtics players ever

Boston Celtics star Larry Bird in action against the Utah Jazz at Boston Garden on Nov. 16, 1979. | Janet Knott/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

When it comes to the greatest players in Celtics history, two names jump to the top of the list — Bird and Bill Russell. Russell won 11 championships in Boston and helped revolutionize the game with a defense-first mentality. Bird was the more complete player who made everyone around him better.

Bird won Rookie of the Year in 1980 and then led the Celtics to the first of three championships in the 1980s in his second season. The Celtics swung a deal with the Golden State Warriors that netted them Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, forming an impressive Big Three. In their first year together, they defeated the Houston Rockets in the 1981 NBA Finals.

After failing to reach the championship round the next two years, Bird guided the Celtics back to the NBA Finals in 1984. They faced the rival Los Angeles Lakers after Bird won the first of his three straight MVP awards. Boston outlasted the Lakers in seven games for their second title of the decade.

Bird and the Celtics went to the NBA Finals four straight years, facing the Lakers in 1984, 1985, and 1987. They earned their third title in 1986 when they beat the Rockets again after Bird’s third MVP season.

A back injury forced Bird into retirement after the 1991-92 season. He played for 13 years and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988.

Was Bird ever named All-Star MVP?

Although Bird is a 12-time All-Star, he played in just 10 of the games, according to StatMuse. The first of those appearances came in his rookie year. In that first All-Star Game, he played 23 minutes and had seven points, seven assists, and six rebounds.

Bird had his best statistical All-Star Game in 1986 when he had 23 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, and five assists, but he was beaten out by Eastern Conference teammate Isiah Thomas for the game’s MVP. Thomas collected 30 points, 10 assists, and five steals in his team’s 139-132 victory.

Bird, however, did claim All-Star Game MVP honors in the 1982 contest when the East pulled out a 120-118 win over the West. Bird played 28 minutes and had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. Parish, a reserve in the game, scored a team-high 21 points and had seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

In his 10 appearances, Bird averaged 13.4 points and 7.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes.