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Larry Bird's High School Coach Jim Jones On Bird's Competitiveness: "I Told Him, 'If You Can Run Suicides In 30 Seconds I'll Take You To Sectionals'... Of Course He Did It... His Will To Win Was Ungodly."

Larry Bird's High School Coach Jim Jones On Bird's Competitiveness: "I Told Him, 'If You Can Run Suicides In 30 Seconds I'll Take You To Sectionals'... Of Course He Did It... His Will To Win Was Ungodly."

Larry Bird is best remembered in the league for his elite mentality, expert shooting ability and his extreme competitive spirit. During his time in the NBA, Bird played at an incredibly high level and was so sure of himself that he had no problem letting other players know about just how much better he was. This was an element of the competitive spirit that drove Bird and helped him lead the Boston Celtics to 3 NBA championships. 

Bird was an absolute beast and it seemingly started quite early. His high school coach Jim Jones spoke to The Athletic about what Larry Legend was like as a child, explaining that his spirit was the same from a young age. On the occasion of Larry being named in the list of Top 75 NBA players ever, Jones shared the amazing story of how Bird made it as a starter in his high school team.

“I told him, ‘Now Larry, if you can run suicides in 30 seconds, I’ll take you to sectionals,'” Jones recalled. “And he worked every night. He worked and worked and worked, not knowing if he was going to go (to sectionals). Of course, he did it in 30 seconds; he limped, but he played. 

“And I’ll be darned, I put him in a game, and he helped us win. Then our second game, I didn’t put him in, we got beat and he told me that was a reason why. That was his competitiveness. His will to win was ungodly.”

Bird played with the B Team during his first year at Springs Valley High, and a broken ankle stopped him from becoming a starter immediately. This story is an excellent example of what he was willing to do to simply just get himself on the basketball court. All the greats of the game have had this competitive fire within them and it's no surprise that this attitude has seen Bird perennially be mentioned in the conversations for the greatest player of all time.