Larry Bird more popular than any Pacers player

April 18, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

It’s kind of amazing to consider that the most popular member of the Indiana Pacers doesn’t don a uniform. And he hasn’t since 1992. Heck, he hasn’t even coached since 2000.

In a recent ESPN Sports Poll, Larry Bird ranked No. 30 in a list of fans’ favorite athletes. No other Pacer past or present made the top 30.

The ESPN Sports Poll measures the most popular athletes in America from across all sports by asking the open-ended question, “Who is your favorite athlete?”

Bird is one of six retired athletes to have made the top 30. Michael Jordan, a decade after his retirement, still reigns supreme. He ranked No. 1 in ESPN's poll, which was for the 2013 sports year. Other retired players on the list were Muhammad Ali at No. 12; Joe Montana, No. 14; Brett Favre, No. 26; John Elway, No. 27; and Bird, at No. 30.

Ray Lewis, who is retired now but played in 2013, was No. 20, and Tim Tebow, who is out of football but is hoping for an NFL comeback, ranked No. 11.

So who is the most popular active athlete of 2013? Former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who got 2.8 percent of the vote. Manning, who now plays for the Denver Broncos, was slightly ahead of LeBron James (2.5 percent), but a long way behind Jordan, who scored 4.1 percent of the vote. The only race car driver to make the list was NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr., at No. 15.

Bird, who now serves as the Pacers’ player personnel boss, benefits from having two massive fan bases: one in Indiana, where he grew up and played high school and college basketball, and another in Boston, where he played for the NBA’s Celtics. The fact that Bird guided the Celtics to three NBA titles, was a 12-time all-star, three-time NBA MVP and Olympic gold medalist also made him a national star.

 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Yawn!
    And the grass is green, the sky is blue, and the sun will come up tomorrow. Continue with your day.
  • He's also white
    Bird was a star and a champion in a game where most of the stars are not Caucasian...that accounts for some of his longevity, like it or not...Bird and Magic Johnson have both noted that it was no coincidence that when the NBA was at its' zenith, the rivalry between Bird and Magic was at the forefront...Bird has also opined in the past that, for maximum marketing and commerce opportunities, the NBA needs a white superstar, and Magic agreed with him...there is a non-PC explanation for a part of this as well.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

ADVERTISEMENT