During NBA All-Star Weekend, Larry Bird gives a few uncommon speeches in public.

INDIA PARK – NBA star Larry Bird was living a calm and contented life until the NBA All-Star Game in Indianapolis. Only then could he return to the limelight.

 

Although Bird is not a recluse—he goes to Pacers practices and socializes with the team—he has turned down the majority of interview offers since leaving his position as president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers in 2017. Prior to that, Bird had already shown reluctance, turning down an interview invitation from USA TODAY to talk about LeBron James’ fourth MVP award in 2013.

After spending a lifetime in the spotlight as a basketball player, coach, and executive, he would prefer to remain out of it.

 

But because it was his home state (Bird was born in French Lick and attended Indiana State for college basketball) and because it was All-Star Weekend in Indianapolis, Bird consented to two interviews: one at the NBA Tech Summit on Friday with Isaiah Thomas and Reggie Miller, two former NBA players with ties to both the Pacers and Indiana, and one with TNT on Saturday.

 

The off-the-record discussion panels of the NBA’s Tech Summit, one of the most difficult tickets to get during All-Star Weekend, were held there. On social media, the NBA, however, shared snippets of Bob Costas’ interview with Bird. Bird, nearly seven years ago, delivered the Pacers’ All-Star candidacy to NBA headquarters by driving an Indianapolis automobile four blocks across midtown Manhattan.

 

Bird, who is currently 67 years old, has won three NBA championships, been selected to the All-Star team ten times, been MVP three times, become an Olympic gold medalist, and been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is among the best players in basketball.

 

With his intelligent, funny, and thought-provoking stories and one-liners, he held the attention of a room full of C-suite executives.

 

 

The following are excerpts from Bird’s talk with Costas:

 

● Bird was considered a master of insults. Bird took part in the inaugural 3-point competition during the 1986 All-Star Weekend in Dallas. His rivals Dale Ellis, Sleepy Floyd, Craig Hodges, Kyle Macy, Norm Nixon, Trent Tucker, and Leon Wood were waiting for him when he entered the locker room.

 

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