Despite not being able to understand her son’s $15 million contract with the Boston Celtics, Larry Bird’s mother remained identical to him.

After graduating from Indiana State in 1979, Larry Bird received the largest rookie contract in history with the Boston Celtics, earning $650,000 a season for five years. Following a stellar beginning to his 13-year NBA career, Bird re-signed in 1983, this time for a seven-year contract worth $15 million.

The money never deterred or inspired the former Celtics standout. Georgia Bird, his mother, found it hard to believe her son was earning that much money. But in the end, she became just like her son.


Every penny Larry Bird made in the NBA was his own.

Bird didn’t give a damn about his earnings. All he wanted to do was shoot hoops. He never led an opulent life and was content to simply play the game he loved.



Bird once said to Sports Illustrated, “The way I live, I’d be happy making 10 or 12 thousand a year.” This was in 1981.

Bob Woolf, Bird’s representative, was paid to procure the maximum amount of money for his client. He believed Bird deserved to be compensated like the greatest since he was one of the best.

In 1979, Woolf said to Sports Illustrated, “I feel an athlete is entitled to everything he can get, as long as we don’t put anybody out of business.”


With a $24 million career, Bird was an incredible value for the Celtics. He led Boston to three titles and was named MVP three times in a row.

The $15 million contract that her son secured with the Boston Celtics was beyond the reach of Larry Bird’s mother.


Bird led the Celtics to the NBA championship in 1981, therefore the team could not afford to lose him. Boston took no chances and signed him to a $15 million, seven-year contract. That kind of transaction was very uncommon back then. Bird’s mother couldn’t understand it.

After the agreement was reached, she remarked, “That’s a lot of money,” as reported by United Press International. “That much money is beyond my comprehension. But since it’s there, why not acquire it, as Larry points out?


“I believe he is well worth it all. When he was younger, I never gave his receiving money much thought because I was more concerned about where his next meal was going to come from.


Following the tragic death of her husband Joe in 1975, Georgia Bird worked many jobs to maintain the family. She passed away in October 1996 at the age of 66. Since she had never had much money, it was difficult for her to comprehend why her son had so much of it.



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