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YouTube Gold: Nolan Richardson On When He First Learned About Larry Bird

Richardson’s a great story teller too

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi at Arkansas
Mar 2, 2019; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Former Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Nolan Richardson prior to the game against the Ole Miss Rebels at Bud Walton Arena. 
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

When Larry Bird started his spectacular Indiana State career, there was no ESPN and even cable TV was in its infancy. Social media? Not a chance.

So when people started seeing stats like 30 ppg and hearing about a guy shoot from where Stephen Curry shoots now, only with no three point line, well, everyone wanted to see him but it wasn’t very easy to do.

It took awhile to even see highlights on CBS or NBC, where most of games were broadcast back in the day - one or two per weekend.

All of which is to say he was a bit of a mystery, even to a rising star in coaching like Nolan Richardson. In his Hall of Fame speech, Richardson describes hearing a game on the radio between New Mexico State and Indiana State and realizing that some guy named Bird was having a huge game - and his surprise when he saw a picture of Bird.

Bird’s reaction is pretty funny too.