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"I’ll wear pretty much anything if I get it for free" -- Larry Bird explains why he never liked throwing money around

"I can’t see putting $50,000 or $60,000 into a car when our house growing up was worth $10,000."

Larry Bird was never a flashy person in the media, and that translated to his spending habits. Bird rarely used his newfound wealth to purchase lavish items. It may seem odd, but that’s just who the Celtics legend is.

How Bird spent his money

But when Bird did spend his money, he made sure it counted. Bird split time during his post-playing career in Florida and Indiana, owning multi-million mansions in both states. He would end up selling his home in Indiana for $2.3 million, and his Florida home has a valuation of close to $5 million.

Although he is far from an avid car collector, Bird owns a unique Pacers-themed Indy race car, which he would occasionally drive on his way to Pacers games as a coach and executive.

Bird's philanthropic ventures

Everyone loves discussing the big buys for these athletes, but Bird has also given back a good portion of his money and time throughout his life. 

He is an honorary Director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and has spent a lot of time working with CharitaBulls, which is a foundation that seeks to enhance the lives of the youth in Chicago by providing several different programs to help keep them active in the community.

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As is commonplace with Bird, he will not flaunt his donations or the amount of money he’s handing to these organizations. But it’s clear that under Bird’s tough, competitive demeanor is a guy who understands how fortunate he is to have a platform to do good in the world. We may not see it happening, but Bird always does what he can to give back.

That's just who Larry is

Larry Bird never sought to be the flashiest player on the court throughout his career. He wanted to show up, play basketball, and, most importantly, win. All the other stuff that came along with it was nice but didn’t mean a ton to him.

"I really don’t need anyone to build my ego," Bird said to the Boston Globe. "When I’m home in Boston, I want to go out and eat, pay my bill, and get the hell out. Back in French Lick, I don’t have those problems, and that’s why I go back there. It’s the same with nice cars, Mercedes and all that. I can’t see putting $50,000 or $60,000 into a car when our house growing up was worth $10,000. I just can’t buy that. And clothes never did catch my eye. I never really enjoyed ‘em. I always wore what I felt comfortable in. I’ll wear pretty much anything if I get it for free."

That mentality followed Bird off the court. Sure, the money was nice, but Bird wasn’t going to change who he was just because he had millions of dollars overnight. He made some smart business moves throughout his career, and while he almost certainly could have made himself more money if he wanted to, it didn’t matter to him.

And that is what makes Bird so great; he truly loves the game of basketball. His net worth won’t rival that of guys like Magic Johnson, but his career accomplishments do, and that’s what matters. 

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