Larry Bird turned 60 on Wednesday, and several NBA members and fans have taken to Twitter to congratulate the legendary former Celtics forward.

Larry Bird Turns 60, Reveals Secrets From 13-Year NBA Career


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Clearly, there remains no doubt that Bird is still beloved by many basketball fans and organizations.

The iconic former forward–nicknamed “Larry Legend”– and current president of the Indiana Pacers recently spoke with ESPN’s Baxter Holmes about the nuances of his shooting technique, why he never got tired in games, the relief he felt upon retirement, the challenges that come with mentoring new and younger players, and more.

When asked during the interview if he missed the game, Bird said: “It’s funny. When I retired, I thought I’d really miss it. But I really feel like there was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I couldn’t believe it.”

He also added: “I worked out so hard in the summers that once it was over, you just move on. It’s time to move on. I do get excited when we play in the playoffs in a big game.”

Bird was also asked about how he believes the old science and medicine methods to ensure players stay in shape compare to those existing today.

“The one thing I would’ve liked to have had was core strength,” he said. I remember [Robert] Parrish never touched the ball in the summer, but he did yoga. That’s a major part of it — stretching and breathing. But me, I had to run my 3 miles to warm up. I had to ride my bike 12½ miles. I had to sprint. I always felt that I had to do more, more, more. That’s why I broke down. That core strength, I think, would’ve taken care of most of that, other than the conditioning.”

Bird also briefly discussed how running and sprinting were a big part of his conditioning. When asked if he thought he would have played longer if he hadn’t done as much running as he did, Bird said: “Probably. But I couldn’t [not do all that running]. I had that thing in my body that told me to get up and go — that clock. When it’s time to run, you go run. That’s just the way I was.”

Finally, Bird explained his mentality of focusing on one game at a time, rather than looking at the ‘big picture’ like the remainder of a season, the playoffs, or the rest of his career, as some coaches like the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich suggest doing.

“One game. My thoughts were always that that night was the most important game in the world,” he said. “Everybody in the world was watching that one game. And I had to be the best player on the court and win that game that night. That was my mentality, and it stuck with me all the way through my career. But knowing that, I knew that I was going to pay for it in a hard way. That’s probably why, when I retired, after the press conference, I probably felt relief.”

SPRINGFIELD, MA – AUGUST 8: Larry Bird arrives for the 2014 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremonyat Symphony Hall on August 8, 2014 in Springfield, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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