Notable Quotes
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I knew I was as good as anybody. That's not really bragging; it's just that I'd put the time in.

LARRY BIRD, GQ, Jan. 2004

The key to being a good shooter is balance. Everything follows balance.

LARRY BIRD, Esquire, Sep. 2008

I hate to lose more than I like to win.

LARRY BIRD, Christian Science Monitor, May 22, 1998

Obviously losing is very difficult, but when you're rebuilding you know you're going through stages, it's going to be tough, but as long as you draft the players and you see a bright future, I think it's going to be lights at the end of the tunnel, it's going to be very good, not only for me, but for the franchise and that's what's most important.

LARRY BIRD, Slam Online interview, Jan. 22, 2010

A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.

LARRY BIRD, attributed, The Best Book of Basketball Facts and Stats

It's unbelievable. But I've never been to a pro football game. I've never been to a pro hockey game, either. I guess I'm not much of a sports fan.

LARRY BIRD, Boston Globe, Sep. 7, 1997

I wasn't real quick, and I wasn't real strong. Some guys will just take off and it's like, whoa. So I beat them with my mind and my fundamentals.

LARRY BIRD, Esquire, Sep. 2008

Well the kids are so young now. I mean, there's a lot of kids that come out that have great talent, but they're so young you don’t know how they're going to mature of the years and I think it's really just a guess. You know they have the talent, you know they have the fundamentals, it's just about whether they're going to get better and better. That's probably been the hardest thing. We like to take guys that have had a lot of college experience and that had good coaching, and been good kids along the way, but you just never know until you've had then for a couple years because you never know how they're going to turn out.

LARRY BIRD, Slam Online interview, Jan. 22, 2010

A wristband should not be worn on your biceps. It should be on your wrist. A headband should be on your forehead, not on top of your head, cocked back. That bothers me. It's a professional league. The baggy shorts hanging down, I have a problem with that. But that's the way I am. I always had my shirttail tucked in. I always tried to look professional. When I coached, our guys used to do a big dance routine during warm-ups. I used to turn my back on them. I couldn't stand watching them. I went to them and asked if they'd put a stop to it. They asked me why, and I said I thought it was embarrassing—not just to me but to our fans. And they quit doing it. We went to the NBA Finals that year. Did it have anything to do with it? I think it did.

LARRY BIRD, GQ, Jan. 2004

Leadership is getting players to believe in you. If you tell a teammate you're ready to play as tough as you're able to, you'd better go out there and do it. Players will see right through a phony. And they can tell when you're not giving it all you've got. Leadership is diving for a loose ball, getting the crowd involved, getting other players involved. It's being able to take it as well as dish it out. That's the only way you're going to get respect from the players.

LARRY BIRD, attributed, Winning Words

I was always making decisions and they were easier decisions because I had control of the game, I had control of the ball. As a coach you sort of put the ball in other player's hands and let them make decisions for you. But I still get a kick out of winning basketball games and that's what I'm in this for.

LARRY BIRD, Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 29, 1998

The best basketball announcer is one who allows you to close your eyes.

LARRY BIRD, Esquire, Sep. 2008

You can make all the excuses you want, but if you're not mentally tough and you're not prepared to play every night, you're not going to win.

LARRY BIRD, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 17, 1998

First master the fundamentals. When I was young, I never wanted to leave the court until I got things exactly correct. My dream was to become a pro. I don't know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody--somewhere--was practicing more than me.

LARRY BIRD, attributed, Winning Words

I'm a firm believer in that you play the way you practice.

LARRY BIRD, The Journal Gazette, May 24, 2000

I don't think it's changed that much. A lot of people talk about the change, but to me, everything changes, teams change, one year it's the Celtics, next year it's Philadelphia. It changes all the time.... [But] it's still basketball. The games are played different ways. Coaches influence a lot of it. But overall I think it's a great game and I still love it.

LARRY BIRD, Inside Hoops interview, May 31, 2007

I never learned anything by losing.

LARRY BIRD, The Evansville Courier, Oct. 18, 1997

You know, over 30 years, I've seen a lot of things happen. I've seen the League go from power players to pound it down inside, to really incorporating the three-point shot in the last eight to 10 years. So it's really been interesting to watch the game as it's progressed throughout the years.

LARRY BIRD, Slam Online interview, Jan. 22, 2010

You can’t take anything away from a champion.

LARRY BIRD, Empty the Bench interview, Nov. 2, 2009


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