“Most of us big guys don’t seem to last too long,” was Larry Bird’s enduring belief that he would pass away soon.

Larry Bird suffers from atrial fibrillation, a cardiac ailment.

Among the most self-assured basketball players to enter a gym was Larry Bird. Known for being a huge trash talker, Bird would outline his plans for opponents before carrying them out.


Larry Legend had unwavering faith in his basketball skills, but he had disbelief in his physical capabilities. Bird’s NBA career was finally cut short due to back issues that he suffered late in the game. More than that, though, Larry’s irregular heart condition—known as atrial fibrillation—persisted in his memory.


Bird acknowledged in an ESPN interview with Jackie McMullan that he had always believed he would pass away young.


Bird is six feet nine. “I tell my wife all the time, ‘You don’t see many 7-footers walking around at the age of 75,'” he adds. “When I mention it, she detests it. It seems like most of us big guys don’t live too long, but I know there are a few of us who do. I’m not thinking about it while I’m lying in bed at night. It disappears if it does.”

Larry nearly passed out while playing a game.

Bird cited a March 17, 1998, Indiana Pacers vs. Chicago Bulls game as the occasion when his irregular pulse, a sign of a cardiac condition, started. Bird claims that while coaching a game on the basketball floor, he nearly passed out and believed that he would die there

“I was standing on the sideline and hoping for a television timeout because I felt like I was gonna pass out,” Bird stated.


Bird was able to get through that terrifying sequence without anyone realizing what he had just been through when the refs called the TV timeout. After winning that game, he went on to lead the Pacers to the 2000 NBA Finals during his three NBA seasons.




“Big men are in danger,” says Bird.

In 2015, the deaths of famous big players Moses Malone and Darryl Dawkins, who passed away 17 days apart, made Bird more fearful of his heart condition. In addition to Malone and Dawkins, the NBA also lost Jack Haley, Christian Welp, and Anthony Mason during a seven-month period that year



Bird responds, “I have my own philosophies on that.” “I think the guys who ran their asses off and played the hardest in the league are the ones most in danger.” Among such rivals was Moses. When we play, we give our hearts a lot of energy, but after we stop playing well, our hearts just sit there. I’m not as active as I once was. I am unable to. I am unable to flee. All I do is jog and take occasional trips to the sauna. I’m limited by my physical limitations to it.”



After that disappointing NBA season, Larry Legend is still going strong over ten years later. At the age of 67, Bird has successfully controlled his heart problem through medication, exercise, and diet, allowing him to resume his role as a consultant for the Pacers.

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