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"I'll be back and be the boss of you guys" — When Larry Bird talked trash to his garbage truck colleagues

Before Larry Bird was talking smack to the likes of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, the Boston Celtics legend's targets were his garbage truck buddies.
Indiana State Sycamores forward Larry Bird

Larry Bird

Larry Bird is one of the nastiest trash-talkers in NBA history. Even before he stepped foot in the NBA, Bird was already fond of talking smack to his colleagues. The funny thing is Larry Legend did not choose who he’ll mess with. You’re on Bird’s hit list whether you are a basketball player or a garbage man.

Garbage collector

For his stellar high school basketball career at Springs Valley High School, Bird earned a scholarship to Indiana University. From a town with a humble 2,000 population, Bird moved to the massive campus with 33,000 students. Shocked by the radical change, Bird went back home.

People naturally think it was trouble between (Bobby) Knight and me, but it wasn’t. The school was just too big. I was a homesick kid who was lost and broke,” Bird said, per ESPN.

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Once home, Bird worked different jobs to make ends meet. He cut grass, painted beaches, and drove a garbage truck. Before he packed his bags to continue his education at the smaller Indiana State at Terre Haute, Bird told his garbage truck colleagues he’d be back.

I told them, ‘I’ll be going up there to get a little education. Then I’ll be back and be boss of you guys,” Bird said.

Never came back

Bird never did return — at least not immediately. There’s no information if Bird bought the garbage truck company and became the boss of his former colleagues. What’s etched in history is that Bird forged a remarkable three-year basketball college career. After a 33-0 season, he led the Sycamores to the 1979 NCAA Championship game against Magic Johnson’s Michigan State.

Then, he entered the NBA as the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. Bird snagged three NBA Championships, three league MVPs, 12 All-Star appearances, three NBA 3-point contest trophies, and many more. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players ever.

After his professional basketball career, Kodak returned to Indiana, this time as an executive and as a coach. In just three years as head coach of the Pacers, Bird led the team to two Conference Finals and one NBA Finals. He was crowned Coach of the Year in the 1997-98 season.

Fast forward to the 2011-12 season, Bird was named Executive of the Year, making him the only person in league history to win the NBA MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year. This is a pretty good resume for a garbage truck driver. 

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