“You shouldn’t even show your face” – Larry Bird was still upset at his high school point guard for missed free throws even after retirement.

For years after high school, Bird and residents of his hometown harbored animosity for his point guard.For years after high school, Bird and residents of his hometown harbored animosity for his point guard.


Larry Bird developed his skills over time, but even in his high school years, he had a strong ambition to win. It hurt enough that he couldn’t lead his team to victory, but it hurt even more if someone else was to blame. During the Indiana native’s debut as the Indiana Pacers executive on “The Dan Patrick Show,” this sentiment was made clear. In 1974, the three-time MVP was talking about his early basketball experiences when he couldn’t help but chastise his high school point guard for missing crucial free throws.

Recognizing that the three-time NBA champion still harbored animosity for his high school classmate, the host broke out into laughter; Larry even corroborated this belief. “Never!” Bird cried out that he could not let go. “A loss is a loss, and (it was) a big loss.” The point guard would not even be spared by his townmates. You would be mistaken if you believed that Bird’s intense competition was the reason he was unable to forgive his former point guard. That was how many people in French Lick felt.

The 12-time All-Star told a tale about going to a cookout where the host continued to bring up the missed free throws from 1974 even after all these years had passed. “This 70-year-old woman asked my friend, ‘What are you doing here?'” ‘Well, I’m coming to the cookout,’ he says. The bird told the story. “She goes, ‘After missing them free throws back in ’74, you shouldn’t even show your face.'” This narrative, it’s safe to say, highlights just how deeply ingrained basketball was in the hearts and minds of individuals from French Lick, where players took the game very seriously.

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