Larry Bird four times played for USA Basketball. His national team career culminated at the 1992 Olympics with the Dream Team’s spectacular performance and gold medal.
Larry Bird first played with USA Basketball when he was still at Indiana State University. He suited up for the USA team that won gold with an 8-0 record at the 1977 World University Games in Bulgaria. He scored 14 points in the USA’s gold-medal victory over the Soviet Union.
Larry Bird represented USA Basketball in the 1978 World Invitational Tournament, which saw the USA finish 3-0 to earn the gold medal. The USA played against the Soviet Union in Atlanta, Cuba in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Yugoslavia in Lexington, Kentucky, over the span of five days.
Dealing with a back injury, Larry Bird played in two of the USA’s six games as it won the gold medal at the 1992 Tournament of the Americas with a 6-0 record. Starting in one of those two contests, Bird averaged 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assists per game to help the USA qualify for the 1992 Olympics.
As a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, better known as the Dream Team, Larry Bird started in three of the USA’s eight wins and averaged 8.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game to help the USA to a gold medal.
Against Germany in the USA’s third game of the 1992 Olympic Games, Larry Bird led the Americans with 19 points.
In the USA men’s Olympic career record book, Larry Bird is tied for ninth in steals averaged, collecting 1.8 steals per game (14 total) in 1992.
Larry Bird’s final field goal in an official basketball game came in the 1992 Olympics with 1:20 remaining in the USA’s semifinal game versus Lithuania on Aug. 6, 1992. Bird officially retired from the NBA on Aug. 18, 1992.
Photo Vault: Larry Bird
Photo Vault: Mike Krzyzewski