By: Dawson Barnett
Bird was selected by the Boston Celtics with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. General manager Red Auerbach made the selection without consulting Bird first, making the pick a surprise to Larry. Bird did not sign with the Celtics immediately; instead, he played out his final season at Indiana State and then inked a five year, $3.25 million contract with the team, making him the highest paid rookie in league history at the time. Shortly afterwards, NBA draft eligibility rules were changed to prevent teams from drafting players before they were ready to sign, a rule known as the Bird Collegiate Rule.
When he was born and other stuff
Larry Bird was born on December 7, 1956, in West Baden Springs, Indiana, and raised in the nearby town of French Lick, where he excelled at basketball at an early age. Bird attended Springs Valley High School in French Lick and was a key component of the school's basketball team, becoming its leading all-time scorer by the time he graduated in 1974. Bird's high school basketball stats earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Indiana, where he was to play for legendary coach Bob Knight. But Bird felt some trepidation at the size of the Hoosier campus and withdrew from school, enrolling at Indiana State the next year.