31 Years Ago Today, The Celtics Retired Larry Bird’s No. 33 Jersey In Emotional Ceremony
On February 4, 1993, the Boston Celtics honored one of their greatest players ever, Larry Bird, by retiring his No. 33 jersey in a special two-hour ceremony at the sold-out Boston Garden. Bird, who led the Celtics to three NBA championships and won three MVP awards in his 13-year career, was joined by his former teammates, coaches, rivals, and fans, who gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name.
Bird, who was known for his clutch shooting, passing, and trash-talking, was visibly moved by the tribute, which included video highlights of his career, speeches by his former coach Red Auerbach and former teammate Kevin McHale, and a surprise appearance by his longtime nemesis Magic Johnson, who hugged him and even secretly wore a Celtics shirt under his Lakers jacket.
Bird thanked the Celtics organization, his teammates, his family, and the fans for their support, and said he was proud to be a part of the Celtics tradition. He also joked that he was nervous and scared to be the center of attention, and that he wished he could play one more game.
Bird’s No. 33 jersey was then raised to the rafters, joining the other Celtics legends, such as Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, and John Havlicek.