Interesting:When Larry Bird was in high school, his father committed suicide: “My dad gave up on not only himself, but us kids” Read for more..👇

Interesting:When Larry Bird was in high school, his father committed suicide: “My dad gave up on not only himself, but us kids” Read for more..👇

A child experiencing the loss of a parent is undeniably challenging. During his high school years, Larry Bird encountered this tragic reality in a most distressing manner when his father committed suicide.

Reflecting on the touching event, ‘Larry Legend’ acknowledged that he “handled it pretty well”. However, beneath his calm demeanor, the Boston Celtics icon bore a lingering sense of resentment about his father’s fatal decision.

“I sort of always felt my dad gave up on not only himself but us kids. I still had two younger brothers at home and a mom. That’s the way I looked at it then and the way I look at it now,” Bird remarked, per Men’s Health.

The troubled life of Joe Bird

Larry was one of six children born to parents Georgia and Joe. Their relationship was tumultuous, with Joe reportedly engaging in domestic violence.

Bird Sr. had previously served in the Korean War and later became a construction worker but frequently struggled to secure steady employment. Additionally, he suffered from alcoholism.

Before their parents’ divorce, the family resided in French Lick, Indiana, a small town with a population of just 2,000 at the time. Facing severe poverty, Larry’s parents found it challenging to make ends meet, let alone afford a car. This situation led to Joe having to walk from home to watch his son break the high school county record, as reported in-depth.

Struggling with divorce, unemployment, financial difficulties, and addiction likely contributed to Joe feeling hopelessly trapped.

On the day of his passing, the father of the family was reportedly visited by the police regarding child support. Joe requested that they return later and called his ex-wife, expressing his belief that they would be better off without him. This conversation turned out to be their final one.

Despite the tragedy, life had to continue somehow. For Larry, who was probably around 18 years old then, this meant spending even more time playing ball, which became his solace.

Soon after, he enrolled at Indiana University. However, after just one month, the young Bird returned home – partly to care for his family. His mother, Georgia, struggled to feed the children alone, and Larry stepped in to help by working as a garbage man.

Although he had his fun with that, at some point, ‘Larry Legend’ nevertheless realized that life had more in store for him than just scraping by week after week. Instead, he should be doing what he could do best: excelling in basketball.

In order to change not only his own fate but also that of his family, the forward enrolled at Indiana State University and guided the Sycamores to the 1979 NCAA Championship Game, which turned out to be their only loss that season. What followed for Bird, as they say, is history.


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