How Many Rings Does Larry Bird Have – The Road to Success

As you will agree, NBA championship rings mean a lot more than just fancy jewelry. They show who’s left a big mark on the game, who’s triumphed, and who’s reached the top.

Larry Bird is one of those legends who’s not just known for his amazing skills and hard work but also for the huge impact he’s had on the Boston Celtics and the whole basketball league. He was a part of the team that is widely considered to be one of the best in the history of the league.

Today, we want to talk about his achievements in greater detail.

Key Takeaways:

  • Larry Bird’s career with the Boston Celtics was marked by three NBA championships in 1981, 1984, and 1986.
  • Bird’s contributions during the playoffs and finals were monumental, with averages of 23.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, six assists, and two steals in NBA Finals games.
  • Bird’s persona off the court and his versatility on it has endeared him to basketball enthusiasts around the world.

Counting the Championships

Larry Bird’s time with the Boston Celtics is a story of relentless drive for perfection, culminating in three NBA championships in 1981, 1984, and 1986. The path to each championship:


Larry Bird 80-81 NBA World Champion with Boston Celtics

Bird’s road to his first championship was nothing short of remarkable, coming just in his second season in the NBA. This early success signaled Bird’s immediate and profound impact on the league.

Season Games Points Points Per Game Minutes Per Game Field Goal % 3-Point % Free Throw % Rebounds Per Game Assists Per Game
1980-81 82 1741 21.2 39.5 47.8% 27.0% 86.3% 10.9 5.5

In the Finals, the Celtics went head-to-head with the Houston Rockets, the team for which Robert Horry, one of the most decorated players in the NBA, later played.

Bird played a pivotal role throughout the series, demonstrating not just his skill but his ability to inspire and lead his team to victory. His performance was a clear message that Bird was here to elevate the Celtics to new heights.


2nd NBA Ring for Larry Bird with Boston Celtics - Season 83-84

The 1984 championship is often remembered as one of the most gratifying moments of Bird’s career, mainly because it came against the Los Angeles Lakers, a team led by Magic Johnson.

Season Games Points Points Per Game Minutes Per Game Field Goal % 3-Point % Free Throw % Rebounds Per Game Assists Per Game
1983-84 79 1908 24.2 38.3 49.2% 24.7% 88.8% 10.1 6.6

Winning the championship against the Lakers was a defining moment for Bird, showcasing his unmatched ability to rise to the occasion and perform at his best when it mattered the most.


By 1986, the Celtics, under Bird’s leadership, had established themselves as the dominant force in the 1980s NBA. The championship win that year over the Houston Rockets, in the Finals was a testament to Bird’s unwavering leadership and the team’s cohesive strength.

This victory solidified the Celtics’ place in basketball history and underscored Bird’s role in creating one of the most successful eras for the franchise.

Season Games Points Points Per Game Minutes Per Game Field Goal % 3-Point % Free Throw % Rebounds Per Game Assists Per Game
1985-86 82 2115 25.8 38.0 49.6% 42.3% 89.6% 9.8 6.8

Key playoff battles:

Throughout these championship runs Bird proved to be an unstoppable force, with averages of 23.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, six assists, and two steals in NBA Finals games.

His ability to consistently achieve double-doubles in 24 NBA Finals games highlighted his versatility and clutch performance under pressure. Bird’s performances in these key playoff battles were not just about showcasing his talent but about leading his team to victory through critical moments.

His contributions went beyond scoring, as he also played a crucial role in rebounds, assists, and steals, demonstrating his all-around game and his importance to the Celtics’ championship successes.

Personal Life

Born in West Baden Springs, Indiana, in 1956, and raised in the neighboring town of French Lick, Larry Bird’s road to basketball immortality began early. He led his high school team to an undefeated season and a state championship in 1974, showcasing a level of talent and determination that would become the hallmark of his career.

Attribute Details
Full Name Larry Joe Bird
Birth Date December 7, 1956
Birth Place West Baden Springs, Indiana, USA
Raised in French Lick, Indiana, USA
High School Championship 1974
College Indiana State University
NCAA Championship Game Appearance 1979
NBA Draft 1978, 6th Overall by Boston Celtics

Bird’s collegiate tenure at Indiana State University was no less remarkable, culminating in a historic NCAA Championship game against Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans in 1979. Although Bird’s team did not win, this matchup ignited one of the greatest rivalries in sports history, setting the stage for Bird’s professional legacy.

Selected sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1978 NBA draft, Bird’s arrival in Boston heralded the beginning of a new era for the franchise.

Bird’s Championship Legacy

Larry Bird number 33 jersey

The championships were pivotal in cementing Larry Bird’s legacy as one of the greatest ever to play the game. Beyond the titles, Bird’s career was adorned with accolades: three NBA MVP awards, 12 All-Star selections, and nine All-NBA First Team honors, among others.

His jersey number, #33, was retired by the Celtics in 1993 as a tribute to his contributions to the franchise and the sport. Bird’s unique distinction of being named MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year further exemplifies his comprehensive understanding and impact on basketball.

His induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998 was a fitting acknowledgment of his legendary career.

Achievement Year(s)
NBA MVP Awards 1984, 1985, 1986
All-Star Selections 12 times (1980-1988, 1990-1992)
All-NBA First Team 9 times (1980-1988)
Jersey Number Retired (#33) 1993
MVP, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year Unique distinction
Hall of Fame Induction 1998
NBA Finals MVP Awards 1984, 1986
Three-Point Contest Wins 1986, 1987, 1988


When did Larry Bird retire?

Larry Bird retired from professional basketball in 1992.

Why did Larry Bird retire?

Larry Bird retired due to chronic back problems that plagued him throughout the latter part of his career.

Is Larry Bird nice to fans?

Yes, Larry Bird is known to be appreciative of his fans, though he is also known for his private nature. He has shown kindness to fans through various interactions and signings over the years.

Did Larry Bird dunk?

Yes, Larry Bird did dunk during his NBA career. While not known primarily for his dunking ability, Bird could dunk and did so on several occasions, showcasing his well-rounded skill set.


Larry Bird’s three NBA championships are an indication of his extraordinary talent, relentless work ethic, and leadership on and off the court.

These victories are not just milestones in Bird’s career but are also chapters in the storied history of the Boston Celtics and the NBA. Bird’s legacy, characterized by his championships, MVP awards, and fierce rivalry with Magic Johnson, continues to inspire future generations.