A few days ago, a video from 2014 resurfaced once again, and it went viral. It includes Nolan Richardson, former college head coach who had a remarkable career in NCAA and is now retired. In 2014, he held a speech during the hall of fame induction ceremony talking about the first time he heard about the legendary NBA player Larry Bird.
Richardson remembers the late 70’s when Bird was still in college playing for Indiana State University. At that time, listening to games on the radio was a real thing, and Richardson took an interest in a game that was aired between the Indiana and New Mexico State that featured a young Larry Bird. That was the first time Richardson heard about Bird. After listening to the game’s live broadcast, he immediately recognized the way commentators talked about Larry; he is a special player.
After the game, Richardson was so intrigued by everything he heard Bird did during the game he went to buy a newspaper to see how the man actually looks like. At first, it was a big surprise for Richardson when he realized Bird was white.
I’m listening to the radio, and I have no clue of players on either team. All of a sudden, this name keeps coming..Bird, he goes to the right, Bird makes a swipe, Bird and I’m like god damn it, who is Bird? By the time I got to the end, I said, damn, that brother can play. When I got the newspaper the next morning and saw Larry’s picture, I said damn.Nolan Richardson, via ESPN
Richardson was soon aware of who Bird is and what type of basketball player he is before being drafted in the NBA. Larry made a successful college career despite the fact he never won an NCAA title, but his NBA career was nothing short of legendary. Richardson was surprised a player that good can be white happened quite a few times, and Larry himself said there was a lot of prejudice towards him. Still, soon everyone knew how great of a player he truly was, and soon he cemented his name as one of the best players in NBA history.