New Book: “People Thought Larry Bird Was Black”

CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis has a new book out about the 1979 NCAA basketball title game between Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans and Larry Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores called “When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball.” I noticed one detail in a story on it in the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL that had me scratching my head. In the book, Davis claims that before Indiana State’s nationally televised home finale against Wichita State, “many people thought Bird was black.”

Larry Bird t-shirt

(I’m pretty sure he’s white.)

You can imagine that I was pretty skeptical of Davis’ claim. Then I read a quote:

“All the next week I got lots of calls from my friends back in Denver who saw the game,” said Bob Heaton, Bird’s roommate and teammate. “They couldn’t believe Larry Bird was a white guy.”

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