Each player and their family would have their own table” – Larry Bird negotiated his endorsement deal to benefit his teammates

Each player and their family would have their own table” – Larry Bird negotiated his endorsement deal to benefit his teammates

Despite being a generational talent and one of the NBA’s prominent faces in the ’80s, Larry Bird never sought the attention or spotlight that often came with such stature.

Unlike modern-day players who readily engage in any promotion or endorsement for financial gain, the three-time MVP had a different approach. A notable example was when he agreed to endorse a restaurant but only under the condition that all his Boston Celtics teammates could eat there for free.

Bird refused to do an advertisement for a restaurant 

Within the pages of his book – ‘Back From the Dead,’ Bill Walton detailed an intriguing story involving Bird, the biggest sports icon in Boston, and a restaurant owner named Harry. Walton described how Harry was adamant about signing the 12-time All-Star for an advertisement to promote his restaurant; however, Bird kept denying it.

After much reluctance, Larry eventually agreed to an advertisement for Harry. Interestingly, he declined any financial compensation; instead, he requested the restaurant owner to provide free meals for all the Celtics players and their families whenever they visited.

Larry said that the only thing that he wanted was for each of his teammates, there were eleven of us, to be able to come into the Scotch’ n Sirloin anytime, bring their families, and eat for free but that we would all leave a cash tip,” Walton wrote. “And if the tip wasn’t big enough, to be sure and tell Larry, and he would take care of it.”

It wasn’t just Rick Carlisle who dined there for every meal throughout the season. Even the other Celtics players took full advantage of Bird’s arrangement, as Walton revealed that after every game, they would head to Harry’s restaurant for meals. However, the Indiana native ensured that his teammates honored his agreement.

“Each player and their family would have their own table,” Walton continued. “And at the end of the night, Larry would quietly check to make sure that the plates were clean and the tip was the right size.”

Larry never gave much attention to the fame

Even during his early years at Indiana State, Bird gained nationwide recognition and was the kind of player that every aspiring kid wanted to become. Yet, according to his high school coach, Jim Jones, he was never too interested in conducting interviews with newspapers.

“He gets embarrassed when people make a fuss over him,” Jones said“You have to understand him.”

Bird was soft-spoken and let hisu game do the talking, so he shied away from the camera flashes and focused on his craft; that approach made him a basketball immortal and earned him one of the best monikers ever ‘Larry Legend.’

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*