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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Flashback: Bird in Indiana, the early days

By Patrick Dorsey

Larry Bird became a big name in Boston, but the now-former Pacers president did well by Indiana.

Larry Bird is done in Indiana, resigning his post as president of the Pacers on Wednesday to take time off for health issues.

Is this it for Bird in his home state, in terms of turning a local team into a winner? It might just be, after he helped guide the NBA franchise back to relevance in the front office not long after a successful stint as head coach.

Bird's first national accomplishment in the Hoosier State came with the Indiana State Sycamores, when the uniquely talented forward guided them to the 1979 NCAA championship game.

So let's take a look back, with these old-school photos from The Hick from French Lick's time in Terre Haute (and beyond).

After a circuitous journey through Indiana University, Bird finally landed at Indiana State.
Larry Bird
It didn't take long for bird to become a star, thanks in part to that special shooting stroke of his.
Larry Bird
The multitalented Bird could pass as well.
Larry Bird
With a mind for the game, no wonder he ended up following in Bill Hodges' path as a coach.
The 1978-79 season ended with the first, and last, trip to the Final Four for the Sycamores after beating Arkansas.
Bill Hodges
Bird got some accolades for his performance. He is seen here in NYC accepting an award with Hodges.
Larry Bird
And here is Bird again in New York City, snazzily dressed while leaving Gallagher's restaurant.
Larry Bird and Magic Johnson
How could we forget this rivalry? It ended here with an Indiana State loss but kept going in the NBA.