Larry Bird’s career timeline: A look back at his Celtics playing career, Pacers coaching, and executive stint.

Larry Bird stands out among the franchise’s all-time greats. Bird would almost probably be considered one of the best athletes to have ever played in Massachusetts’ capital and the center of New England by the Boston sports community. He was the face of one of the Celtics’ dynasties and may rank second only to Bill Russell among all-time great Celtics.

However, Bird has a strong connection to another franchise: the Indiana Pacers. Only two coaches have led Indiana to the final round: Slick Leonard and Bird. Leonard led the Pacers to three ABA championships before the organization joined the NBA, therefore Bird is the only coach to lead Indiana to the NBA Finals. Aside from that, Bird’s three years as Pacers head coach were all punctuated by at least one Eastern Conference Finals appearance — the Pacers’ most successful three-year span since entering the NBA. He then spent 13 years as a Pacers executive, rising to president of basketball operations and leading the team to several postseason appearances and an overall winning record.

Bird’s two organizations will face off in the Eastern Conference Finals for only the seventh time in playoff history. This will also be the first time the two teams have not met in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Here’s a look back at Bird’s career with both clubs as they prepare to play battle.

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