Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

November 8, 2013

The Bird Years Part III: Boston's 'Larry Legend'

TERRE HAUTE – Serving double duty as a baseball infielder for the American League’s Toronto Blue Jays and basketball guard for Brigham Young University, 20-year-old Danny Ainge found time in March 1979 to drive from Provo, Utah, to Salt Lake City to catch an in-person view of the legendary Michigan State vs. Indiana State clash for the NCAA championship.

For those who weren’t born yet and didn’t take College Basketball 101 in school, the final score was Michigan State 75, Indiana State 64.

To Ainge and countless fans across the country, this matchup was intriguing because of each team’s unique best player – Larry Bird for Indiana State and Magic Johnson for Michigan State.

After concluding his BYU basketball career in 1981, Ainge decided to shift his athletic attention to the NBA, specifically to join the Boston Celtics. He did so for one reason – an opportunity to play on the same team with Bird.

“Had I not been drafted to play with Larry Bird or Magic Johnson, I probably would have stayed in baseball,” Ainge told the Tribune-Star in a recent phone interview. “The opportunity to play with someone of that magnitude, it was too good to pass up.”

Retired as an NBA player in 1995, Ainge remains active in the league as president of basketball operations for the Celtics, so he’s unable to attend Terre Haute’s tribute to Bird this weekend.

But as busy as he is, he couldn’t pass on a chance to talk up one of his favorite former teammates leading up to the dedication of the Larry Bird statue.

“I can’t think of anybody from Terre Haute more deserving of a statue,” he said with a chuckle. “He put Indiana State on the map. It was incredible what he did.”

For this story, Ainge and others close to Bird during his 13-year NBA playing career were asked to describe Larry Legend’s most iconic moment or moments with the Celtics.

Text Only
News
  • No confirmation of Philly papal visit PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Whether Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia during a major gathering of the world’s Roman Catholics remained a matter of speculation Friday after the archdiocese said a report he would attend should not be considered confirmation

    July 26, 2014

  • Islamic State destroys Jonah's Tomb in Mosul BAGHDAD (AP) — As Iraq selected a new president, Islamic militants blew up a revered Muslim shrine in Mosul traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, several residents of the city told The Associated Press.The militants first or

    July 26, 2014

  • Police search Gary for tiger on the loose GARY, Ind. (AP) — Gary police searched the northwest Indiana city for a tiger after receiving several reports of a big cat on the loose.The reports began shortly before midnight Thursday and alleged sightings continued into Friday morning. Officers i

    July 26, 2014

  • Indy pulls support for Amtrak line INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis city officials have decided not to provide any additional money to subsidize an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago, casting its future into question.Last year, city leaders signed onto a one-year f

    July 26, 2014

  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at news@greensburgdailynews.com or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. All July – International Crafts

    July 26, 2014

  • nws-gb072614-gecom internship 1 photo Internship connects Greensburg students with Gecom jobs GREENSBURG — When Greensburg resident Zachary Couch, 20, was growing up, he enjoyed tinkering with machines, especially cars, and hoped to turn his interest into a career. Now, just a couple of months out of high school, he is working full-time, maki

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072614-ymca 100 birthday pic Decatur County YMCA celebrating 100 years tonight GREENSBURG — By 7 p.m. tonight, the “mocktails” will be flowing.That’s when the Decatur County Family YMCA will hold Celebration 100, the third of its summer-long festivities to celebrate the 100th Birthday of this venerable Tree City institution.In

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Educators offer paths to student success GREENSBURG — What started as an internship program between the local high school and auto parts maker Gecom has evolved into a harbinger of closer cooperation among leaders in education and business.Started last August as as a pilot project with six

    July 26, 2014

  • Visa, Amazon pull stock market lower NEW YORK (AP) — Disappointing news on the American consumer, reflected in the results of retail giant Amazon and credit card processor Visa, dragged down the stock market Friday, putting two major indexes on course for a weekly loss.KEEPING SCORE: Th

    July 26, 2014

  • Thinking about health Tracy Hume, a freelance writer who lives in Greeley, Co., and a reader of Thinking About Health columns, recently sent along this provocative question. “Do ER-affiliated urgent care providers ever try to escalate patients to the ER when it is not med

    July 26, 2014