Before he became an NBA legend, Larry Bird was running things over at Indiana State. Bird dominated with at 30.3 points per game career average with a .533 average. That combined with his impact with the NBA is definitely good enough for a statue in his honor. The 1979 Naismith Player of the Year got just that when his own statue unveiled today at his alma mater.
This 17-foot statue is taller than the 12-foot statue longtime rival Magic Johnson has in Michigan State. This can be a reference to how Johnson's Michigan State blocked Indiana State from winning what would've been its only national championship in 1979. Indiana State President Daniel Bradley went out of his way to point out the size difference to the Indy Star. “From the top of the basketball to the sidewalk is 17 feet, one and one-eighth inch,” he says. “That is enough to dwarf the 12-foot statue at Michigan State.”
It may be petty to some since it doesn't give them back that 1979 championship they lost, and Johnson can always brag about the two more NBA championships he won if Bird ever brings up the statue in conversation. Regardless of the context, it's still a well-deserved honor for a man who helped bring interest back into the league. But if you were expecting an emotional speech from Bird here, think again: “I don’t really have a lot of words other than the b.s. I’m going to give you." Classic Bird.
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[via For The Win]