Larry Bird has made quite a frightening comment, regarding tall NBA players. In particular, he believes they do not get to live long – over 70-55 years that is.
“I tell my wife all the time, ‘You don’t see many 7-footers walking around at the age of 75,'” said Bird, according to an ESPN article by Jackie McMullan.
“She hates it when I say that. I know there are a few of us who live a long time, but most of us big guys don’t seem to last too long,” Bird admitted.
It should be reminded that quite a few known former NBA big men have died in 2015, including Roy Tarpley (b. 1964), Anthony Mason (b. 1966), Jack Haley (b. 1964), Darryl Dawkins (b. 1957), Moses Malone (b. 1955) and John Williams (b. 1962).
Bird however, remains laid back and calm regarding himself.
“I’m not lying awake at night thinking about it. If it goes, it goes,” he said.
Bird, as is noted in the ESPN article, has an enlarged heart, and in 1995 he was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heartbeat resulting from electrical signals being generated chaotically throughout the heart’s upper chambers.
With proper medication, exercise and diet, atrial fibrillation can be controlled, but Bird abhorred medication and was prone to skipping his pills. Part of the reason, he admits, was his own fatalistic view of what the future would bring.
Hopefully, Bird’s vision of the future will not end abruptly.
The 6’9 Bird played his entire professional career for Boston, winning three NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP awards. Due to chronic back problems, he retired as a player in 1992.
He was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. He played a total of 897 NBA games (starting 870), averaging 24.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg and 6.3 apg.
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