Despite being regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Larry Bird admitted he wasn’t that interested in basketball, and going to the NBA wasn’t a big deal for him. That’s what he said during an old interview with Sports Illustrated back in March of 1988.
At the time, Bird said he didn’t believe basketball was going to be relevant for him and he wasn’t going to be relevant in basketball, but time told otherwise.
“I never once worried about college when I was in high school, and I never worried about the pros in college,” he said. “When it was the Celtics drafted me, I could’ve cared less.”
As a matter of fact, he was focused on other things during his college days. Bird had a job working on a garbage truck, an experience that he fully enjoyed.
“I loved that job,” Bird says. “It was outdoors, you were around your friends. Picking up brush, cleaning up. I felt like I was really accomplishing something. How many times are you riding around your town and you say to yourself, Why don’t they fix that? Why don’t they clean the streets up? And here I had the chance to do that. I had the chance to make my community look better.”
Well, we don’t know where he’d be right now if he kept that job as a garbage man and stood away from basketball, but we’re glad he didn’t take that path. Bird is now considered one of the greatest ever and his feats on the court will never be forgotten. This dude brought success for the Celtics once again and was one of the leaders who took the NBA to the next level in the 80s.
Good thing he didn’t like that job on the garbage truck better than being a basketball; imagine the talent we would have missed.