Larry Bird is a legend among basketball players.
He came into his career at exactly the time when the NBA needed him the most.
Coming out of a drug scandal, Bird offered a fresh dose of excitement for fans and a chance for the organization to start over.
Bird signed with the Boston Celtics, a team who had been struggling to win for many years, and quickly turned them around.
In a single season, he increased their wins and put them back in the number one spot in their division.
In so doing, he won a few championships with the team as well.
Here’s what you need to know about Bird’s career and the rings he won.
How Many Rings Does Larry Bird Have?
Larry Bird has three NBA championship rings.
He won them all while he was part of the Boston Celtics.
Despite only winning three times, Bird made sure that the Celtics made it to the playoffs every season he was part of the team.
The years in which he won his rings include:
There’s no question that it was Bird’s skill and passion on the court that led to the return of one of the sport’s greatest teams.
Does Larry Bird Have The Most NBA Rings?
No, Larry Bird does not have the most NBA rings.
He has three rings against Bill Russell’s 11.
Both Bird and Russell played with the Boston Celtics.
However, Russell played with the Celtics in the 1960s during a dominating reign.
After the reign was over, the Boston Celtics suffered losses for many of their seasons.
It wasn’t until Bird joined in the 1980s that the team returned to its number one status in the division.
Despite his skills and abilities, Larry Bird has three rings.
He doesn’t even make the top ten list of players with the most rings.
Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant are ahead of Bird with six, four, and five rings, respectively.
Could Larry Bird Have Earned More Rings?
Some fans wonder if Larry Bird could have earned more rings with the Boston Celtics.
A greater look at the sport as a whole as well as Larry’s health can give insight into whether that could have been possible or not.
At the time Bird joined the Celtics, three other teams were dominating the league.
They were the Lakers, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Detroit Pistons.
In particular, Bird’s greatest rival was Magic Johnson of the Lakers.
With Bird carrying most (although not all) of the weight of the team, they often found themselves unable to overcome the other great teams.
Another consideration is Bird’s health.
He injured his back and had other health issues that impacted his performance.
When he retired, one of the main reasons he did so was his back was making his performance unreliable.
It’s possible that the combination of challenging teams and health problems would have kept Bird from earning more rings even if he had stayed in the game a few years longer.
If he had, he would have faced Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
Regardless, Bird is still a celebrated athlete.
He has his three championship rings, several MVP titles, and is a Hall of Famer.
He also has a number of other accolades and even fared well as a coach.
What Do Larry Bird’s NBA Championship Rings Look Like?
The Boston Celtics have their fair share of championship rings, and the ones given to the team during Bird’s career are just as beautiful.
Here’s what you need to know about the rings Bird earned and what they look like.
1. The 1980–1981 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring
There was a lot of concern over the Celtics when the 1981 season began.
A bit of lucky drafting and unlucky retirement deals put them in a precarious position.
However, they had put together as strong of a team as they could manage.
Bird was one of their top picks.
His career before that season had helped the Celtics improve their reputation.
They were finally seeing consistent wins again.
Once the regular season began, their primary rival was the Philadelphia 76ers.
They were toe-to-toe with them every game.
Ultimately, the Boston Celtics would win out with a season record of 62-20.
They met Philadelphia again during the finals.
It didn’t look good for the Celtics at first.
Philadelphia had won four games, but Bird helped them win two back-to-back games.
He would also go on to make a jump shot late in the game.
The Celtics would move on in the finals with a final score of 91-90 against Philadelphia.
Their final team was the Houston Rockets who were making their first appearance in the NBA Finals in that team’s history.
The Rockets were gunning for the championship.
Despite having a poor regular season, they had somehow managed to make it to the final series.
The Boston Celtics managed to overcome them and win the championship.
It was Bird’s first win.
The 1981 championship ring is a beautiful ring featuring an emerald front and center on the face of the ring.
The emerald is a nod to the team’s colors.
Also in the middle of the ring is a large round-cut diamond.
This symbolizes the basketball in the championship trophy.
Gold lettering encircles the diamond.
The lettering reads, “NBA” and “World Champions.”
On the side of the ring is a shamrock, the Celtics’ logo, made out of an emerald.
It also reads XIV in gold on the shamrock with the team’s name on it.
The XIV symbolizes the Celtics’ 14th win.
Above the shamrock is the player’s name.
Below it is the word, “Pride.”
This was one of the mottos that the Celtics held themselves to during the season.
On the other side of the ring is the NBA logo.
It also has a background made from an emerald.
In large lettering on either side of the NBA logo is the year in which they won the final.
Below the NBA logo is the word, “Teamwork.”
This was the other motto that the team held themselves to throughout the season.
In particular, Bird always placed emphasis on passing the ball rather than scoring.
He found that passing the ball was more enjoyable because it allowed him to see the other players light up when they scored.
The Celtics can attribute their 1981 win to great teamwork.
2. The 1983–1984 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring
The 1984 NBA playoff season was one of the most memorable.
It pitted the Boston Celtics against the LA Lakers.
At the time, the LA Lakers had a bit of a nasty reputation, so many fans were eager for the Celtics to take them down.
It also put together Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on the same court.
The Lakers and Celtics had a long-standing rivalry thanks to these two players.
The series was fraught with tension.
The Lakers came away with the first game.
However, after the second game, they were tied.
The game went into overtime, and the Celtics managed to score a few more points to win.
In the third game, the Lakers would take victory once more.
They were also on track to win the fourth game, but the Celtics stole it away from them at the very end.
They were tied again in terms of wins for the series.
Both games five and seven featured extremely hot temperatures in an arena with no air conditioning.
Despite the terrible conditions, the Celtics managed to win both games to become the 1984 NBA Champions.
Bird averaged 27 points in the game and also averaged 14 rebounds per game.
He’d go on to win the MVP title for that season.
The franchise chose Balfour, who had designed and produced their previous ring, to also design this one.
The 1984 ring showcases the pride the Celtics felt in overcoming their rivals during the finals.
It proudly showcases an enameled shamrock at the center of its face.
A large 0.5-carat diamond sits in the middle of the shamrock.
It’s encircled by other, smaller diamonds.
It uses 14-karat gold to make up the rest of the band, including the lettering.
On the top of the bezel of the ring is the name of the team.
Beneath that are the words, “World Champions.”
On one side of the ring is the Boston Celtics’ mascot, a leprechaun, smoking a pipe and pointing to the championship trophy.
On the basketball part of the trophy is XV.
This indicates the 15th championship win of the franchise.
This side of the ring also has Bird’s name.
Below the mascot is the word, “Pride.”
This is a nod to their team motto.
It’s mirrored on the other side of the ring.
On the bottom of this side is the word, “Teamwork.”
Together, the ring pays homage to their motto and mantra.
Also on this side is the NBA logo.
The year of the championship sits on either side of the logo.
Considering the hard work put into earning this ring, it’s no surprise that the 1984 ring holds a special place in Bird’s heart.
3. The 1985–1986 Boston Celtics NBA Championship Ring
The 1985 season was a heartbreaker for the Celtics.
The team had several injuries that prevented them from playing their best.
Even Bird had an elbow injury that affected his performance.
They were up against the Lakers again, and this time, the Lakers won.
To prepare for the 1986 season, the owner of the team traded out a few players to bring in new ones.
As a result, the team became one of the best in the league for the season.
They ended up with a 67-15 record for their season.
That was a league-best at the time.
Only recently, in the 2015–2016 season, the San Antonio Spurs were able to tie that record.
No one has surpassed the record as of yet.
It also meant that the Celtics had a record 40 home wins under their belt.
Getting to the finals was no question.
Their first match was against the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan.
Many fans see this particular series as a test between the NBA’s best player and the NBA’s best team.
Michael Jordan scored 63 points alone in Game 2.
However, despite his best efforts, the Celtics beat the Bulls in three games.
They then went up against the Atlanta Hawks, who
provided some competition at first.
Then, in Game 5, the Hawks finally lost their edge.
The Celtics took Game 5 with a final score of 36-6.
That led them to the final team, the Houston Rockets.
Many fans considered this game a rematch of the 1981 NBA final.
Only two players from that original 1981 Rockets team remained, but it was thrilling nonetheless.
This was also only the second finals in the 1980s in which the Lakers did not participate.
As the series progressed, the Celtics had little problem with the Rockets.
Despite having a few star players, the Rockets lost to the Celtics with four games to two.
It would be the Celtics’ final win until 2008.
The Balfour company designed this ring as well.
Using 10-karat gold, they made an enameled version of a shamrock and placed it on the face of the ring.
On top of the shamrock is the NBA championship trophy.
It’s set with 16 diamonds to indicate the 16 championship wins of the franchise.
There’s a large cut diamond that forms the ball of the trophy.
The words, “Boston Celtics,” run along the top of the ring whereas the words “World Champions,” run along the bottom of the ring.
The sides of the ring are similar to some of the previous versions that Balfour made for them.
On one side is the NBA logo with a green background as a nod to the team’s colors.
The championship year sits on either side of the logo.
Below the logo is the word, “Teamwork.”
The other side of the ring is slightly different from past designs.
Bird’s name rests at the top of the ring.
Below that is an image of the Celtics’ mascot.
He’s spinning a golden basketball on his finger and half-embracing the number 16 next to him.
The number is another nod to the 16 wins the franchise has earned.
Below the mascot is a banner that reads, “World Champions.”
Below that is the word, “Pride.”
Both teamwork and pride are the team’s motto.
This is the last ring that Bird would win with the Boston Celtics.
The championship also earned him the MVP title.
Although a few other players have earned more rings than Bird, he wears his three NBA championship rings with Celtic pride.
Did Larry Bird Win Any Rings As A Coach?
Although Larry Bird retired in 1992 as a player, he came back to the game as a coach in 1997.
He ended up coaching the Indiana Pacers.
At the start of his coaching career, Bird made a promise that he’d only coach for three years.
He stayed true to that promise.
Despite only coaching for three years, he earned a few accolades.
He won the NBA All-Star Game Head Coach award in 1998.
He also won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 1998.
Despite his ability to coach, Bird did not get a championship ring out of the Pacers.
He did coach them to the playoffs, however.
Many believe that Bird was an effective coach despite not being as flamboyant or loud as some of the other coaches.
He wasn’t afraid to trash-talk, but he preferred to let the top players do what they needed to do.
He only spoke when he needed to say something, and they listened to him as a result.
His experience as a player taught him that raving at players wouldn’t help anyone.
The Pacers performed well under his coaching, and if he had chosen to remain a coach for a while longer, it’s possible that they could have won the NBA finals in the future.
In so doing, he’d have earned himself a few more rings.
What Are Larry Bird’s Rings Worth?
Since Bird hasn’t put his rings up for auction yet, it’s difficult to name a price.
However, other rings from the same game have been offered for sale in the past.
They earned anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000.
Considering that the Boston Celtics have more gold than diamonds, based on their gem value, they’re not the most expensive rings in the league.
However, the sentimental value behind Bird’s rings, in particular, could make them extremely expensive.
That’s because Bird was a legendary basketball player.
He has a great story attached to his rings.
If they were ever put up for sale, one could expect them to cost $100,000 or more.
Larry Bird was a legendary player for the Boston Celtics.
During his career, he earned three NBA championship rings.
He also earned several MVP titles and a few other accolades and awards.
He even went on to have a successful coaching career.
Had Bird’s health problems not become a concern, then he might have earned even more championship rings.