I'll be talking to somebody about players and forget about the player - Larry Bird on the challenges of aging

  • 19.06.2023 17:54:00

When Larry Bird decided to call it a career in 1992, he thought he was done dealing with the exhausting and taxing duties of being an aging NBA player. However, what Larry Legend did not expect was that aging wasn't done with him as he later faced the changes that came with it while in retirement.

"The thing that scares me the most about getting older is, I don't know if you notice it, but you get out of your car sometimes and you go, 'did I just park that there? It's not straight like it used to be.' Things like that. I thought I had it in there straight, but it's not as straight as I thought it was," Bird told NBA.com in 2016.

"I'll be talking to somebody about players and forget about the player," the Boston Celtics legend continued. "Like, you know 'the guy who plays, the point guard from Charlotte.' It's different. Your eyesight (falters) and you get frustrated."

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Still grateful
Nevertheless, Bird is still grateful for the gift of life, as not all older people get to have the perks he has.

"But I'm blessed," he reflected. "I'm here and I get good medical treatment. And I've got access to doctors. That's been great for me. That's been a major plus. Other than that, I can't complain. I've had a good run."



Old Larry hurt himself in a silly game
As most can recall, Bird was limited by a chronic back injury towards the end of his Hall of Fame career. But while he managed to escape the worst of it by retiring, "The Hick from French Lick" wound up incurring a rare injury while playing a silly game with teenagers inside the Indiana Pacers training facility when he was still the team's head coach. It turned out to be one of the last basketball games he ever played.

"Rick [Carlisle] didn't tell you about the time two little kids were out here, and we were leaving the arena and he said, 'Why don't we stop and beat those two little guys? Let's go'," Bird remembered. "They were probably 13 or 14 years old. He threw me the ball and I took off running hard, and I pulled a hamstring. I think it was the year before that 4-on-4 game. I was gonna quit then (laughs). I had never had a pulled hamstring before."


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