Larry Bird is one of the greatest players in NBA history. During his 13-year career, the Hall of Famer won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics, won two NBA Finals MVPs, and earned league MVP honors three times. After his playing days, Bird was successful as an NBA coach and NBA executive. With such a sustained period of success, Bird has built a considerable amount of wealth. How much is Larry Bird’s net worth?
The hick from French Lick
Larry Bird grew up poor in French Lick, Indiana. His mother, Georgia, worked two jobs to support Larry and his five siblings. In those early years, basketball served as a distraction as he turned to the game to escape from the challenging conditions he faced on a daily basis.
As he got older, Bird realized he excelled at basketball. He moved quicker and shot better than everyone else. He was taller. All those factors combined, Bird began to envision a future in basketball.
In high school, he became a star at Springs Valley High School. His senior year, he averaged 31 points, 21 rebounds, and four assists en route to becoming the school’s all-time scoring leader.
With all his talent, Bird received a scholarship offer in 1974 to play for Bob Knight at Indiana University, a team which had reached the Final Four the season before. Unfortunately, Bird didn’t last long in Bloomington. Overwhelmed by the number of students on campus, he returned to his small hometown of French Lick after just a month.
Bird sat out a year and then attended Indiana State University, where, in 1979, he led the Sycamores to a 33-0 record, the first NCAA tournament appearance in school history, and a berth in the national title game against Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Michigan State. Indiana State lost 75–64.
The Boston Celtics drafted Bird with the 6th overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft, a year before his senior season at Indiana State. After protracted negotiations, Bird signed a record rookie contract and took the floor in October 1979.
Bird’s rookie season, he quickly ascended to be one of the NBA’s top talents averaging 21.3 points per game and helped the Celtics reach the Eastern Conference Finals. He was named Rookie of the Year.
Over the course of the next six seasons, Bird and the Celtics were crowned NBA champions in 1981, 1984, and 1986. In one three-season stretch from 1984-86, Bird cemented his legacy as Larry Legend guiding Boston to a pair of NBA titles and earning the NBA MVP award all three seasons.
His best season statistically came in 1987-88, when he averaged 29.9 points per game. In the final years of Bird’s career, his production dwindled as injuries began to mount. In August 1992, just days after winning the gold medal in the Olympics with The Dream Team, Bird retired.
A move to the front office
After five seasons serving as a special assistant for the Celtics from 1992-1997, Bird returned to his roots and became head coach of the Indiana Pacers, a job he said when hired that he would work for three seasons.
In his first season, and with no previous coaching experience, Bird directed the Pacers to a 58–24 record—the franchise’s best as an NBA team at the time—where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. He was named the NBA Coach of the Year.
Bird and the Pacers won consecutive Central Division titles in 1999 and 2000 and a berth in the 2000 NBA Finals, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. As promised, Bird resigned after the 2000 season.
Several years later, in 2003, the Pacers hired Bird as the president of basketball operations where he remained until the 2011-2012 season, when the NBA named him executive of the year. He became the only man in NBA history to win the NBA MVP, coach of the year, and executive of the year.
After leaving his position in 2012 due to health reasons, Bird returned in 2013 in his same role and stayed until 2017. He serves in an advisory role today.
What is Larry Bird’s net worth?
Larry Bird’s net worth is $55 million. He began amassing his wealth early in his playing days with the Celtics. Bird set multiple NBA salary records throughout his career, including his record rookie contract in 1979, which he signed for $3.25 million over five seasons, an average of $650,000 per year.
In 1985, right in the middle of Bird’s run winning three consecutive NBA MVPs and two NBA titles, the Celtics rewarded their superstar with a new contract worth $1.8 million per season.
In 1989, Bird received a huge pay increase when he signed a new contract for the 1991-92 season that paid him a record $7 million a year. It was more than double the amount of other NBA stars like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and David Robinson.
Over his 13-year playing career, Bird earned just more than $24 million.
Bird and his endorsements
Outside of his playing and coaching career, Bird has earned a sizable amount of his net worth through endorsement deals. He was one of the most recognizable faces of advertising during the 1980s, often teaming up with other big-name stars to promote products.
Among those he partnered with were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for Lay’s Potato Chips and Magic Johnson for Converse Shoes. But the most entertaining and most memorable ad featuring Bird appeared in 1993 when he matched up against Michael Jordan in a McDonald’s commercial for a game of H-O-R-S-E.
Nothing but net.