Paul Pierce Reveals He Has Never Met Larry Bird

Paul Pierce and Larry Bird have surprisingly never met.

You’d think that Paul Pierce and Larry Bird would have met quite a few times over the years, as they’re both Boston Celtics legends. It turns out, though, they haven’t, with Pierce sharing why that’s the case.

“I saw Larry once, he came to the (TD) Garden when we played Indiana,” Pierce said on Undisputed. “… I was on the Celtics playing Indiana and he came and they gave him (a) standing ovation. That’s the closest I’ve seen him. He never came around Boston, I think he had a lot of issues with the former owners and he just never came really back to Boston.”

“The 75 team anniversary, he didn’t show up to that,” Pierce stated. “I thought we’d have an opportunity there but no haven’t.”

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Pierce said Bird didn’t show up for their championship celebration in 2008 either. When co-host Skip Bayless asked if he’d have loved to pick Bird’s brains on basketball, he stated he certainly would have. Pierce added that he is grateful he did get to speak to Celtics legends like Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn at least.

While some might think that Bird just might not be all that fond of Pierce, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Bird only met Jayson Tatum for the first time at the 2024 All-Star Game. Even that meeting only took place I think because the game was in Indiana. If that game was held elsewhere, Bird and Tatum might have never met either. 

Issues with Celtics ownership might well have played a factor in Bird never showing up to Boston, but I think a big part of that is also the fact that he has been part of the Indiana Pacers organization for so long now. Bird took over as head coach for the Pacers in 1997 and later became president of basketball operations for the franchise in 2003. He held that role for more than 10 years over two separate stints and is now a consultant for the Pacers.

It is rather interesting that Bird’s name has come up when Indiana and Boston are facing off in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Despite all that he accomplished with the Celtics during his playing career, there is no doubt Bird would be rooting for the Pacers. It seemed like they might just win Game 1 too, but ended up losing 133-128 in overtime.

Larry Bird’s Incredible Celtics Career
Bird was selected with the sixth pick of the 1979 NBA Draft by the Celtics, but he only ended up joining the team a year later. To say he was worth the wait, would be an understatement. 

Bird won three titles, two Finals MVPs, and three MVPs during his time with the franchise. He was a 12-time All-Star and made 10 All-NBA teams in total as well. 

Bird would form one of the most iconic rivalries in NBA history with Magic Johnson and the two helped take the league to new heights. Had it not been for these two, the NBA as we know it might not have existed at all. 

Back injuries meant Bird had to walk away from the game sooner than he’d have liked. He finished his NBA career with incredible averages of 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game and went down as an all-time great.

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