The question for many sports fans might be: How does a women’s basketball player get to the NBA, especially since it’s a man’s league? The answer is different for players of all skills, first being that all basketball players love the game, so they probably have a passion to play. The next step is to recognize what they are good at and excel at. Larry Bird was clearly an exceptional athlete. He played a game that many men could not excel at. He had an advantage over his opponents due to his God given talent. As far as basketball players go, he was a true pro.

I was looking at the rosters of the two greatest basketball teams of all-time, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. At first I was amazed at the incredible list of names, and I was shocked to see two women on the list: Dave Cowens and Bill Walton. Then I remembered that the Lakers have a famous basketball player named Earvin “Magic” Johnson, so maybe Magic Johnson is related to Larry Bird. And, coincidentally, I found out that the former UCLA women’s basketball star recently married the great Larry Bird, the NBA legend.

Sue Bird is a three-time WNBA MVP, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and a 15-time All-Star. She is also the only woman ever to score more than 10,000 career points.

Sue Bird was one of the most talked-about athletes in the Tokyo Olympics. With baseball player Eddy Alvarez, the American basketball player began the Games as the Team USA flag-bearer. The 18-year WNBA veteran then became the first basketball player to win five Olympic gold medals, with colleague Diana Taurasi.

Despite her on-court accomplishments in college, professional basketball, and the Olympics, one question stands out above all others due of her chosen career and last name: Is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird?

“I don’t even know how to count.” Sue Bird is a writer. Terry Holmes’s question: How many times have you been asked whether Larry Bird is your relative? #usabquestions

30 July 2012 — USA Basketball (@usabasketball)

It’s understandable that many believe Sue and Larry Bird are connected. They’re two of the best basketball players ever, and their ages – Sue Bird is 40 and Larry Bird is 64 – make it possible that they’re father and daughter, uncle and niece, or cousins.

Sue has been asked this question since she first picked up a basketball. Sue revealed with WNBA.com in 2006 how often this topic comes up when she meets new people:

WNBA.com’s Matt Wurst Editor: People constantly assume you’re connected to Larry Bird, even if you’re not.

 Sue Bird says: Totally. People have been asking me whether we’re connected since I was five years old. It’s often the third in a series of inquiries. What’s your name, by the way? Sue Bird is a character in the film Sue Bird. What exactly do you do? I am a basketball player. Do you have a connection to Larry Bird? That’s the way it works. I suppose it might be worse, given his status as a legend.

Larry Bird vs. Sue Bird

Sue seems to recognize Larry Bird for who he is and what he has achieved in the game. She may, however, be tired of answering the same questions for the last 30 years. 

Putting their basketball careers side by side

(L-R) Sue Bird of USA during the Women's Semifinal Basketball game between United States and Serbia on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 6, 2021 in Saitama, Japan; Larry Bird of Team USA, the Dream Team, answers questions from the media after practice for the men's basketball competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

(L-R) Sue Bird of USA during the Women's Semifinal Basketball game between United States and Serbia on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 6, 2021 in Saitama, Japan; Larry Bird of Team USA, the Dream Team, answers questions from the media after practice for the men's basketball competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Sue Bird and Larry Bird (L-R) | Photo courtesy of Jean Catuffe/Getty Images: Icon Sportswire

Sue Bird and Larry Bird, in their own professional basketball leagues, achieved more than virtually anybody else in history. It’s really amazing to look at their list of achievements and statistics.

Larry Bird, a native of French Lick, Indiana, led the Indiana State Sycamores to the NCAA Tournament Finals in 1979 before joining the Boston Celtics. He played with the Boston Red Sox for his entire 13-year career, becoming perhaps the greatest player in the franchise’s history.

Larry Legend won three NBA championships (1981, 1984, and 1986), as well as three NBA MVP awards in a row (1983-1986). He appeared in 12 All-Star Games and was named to the NBA All-NBA team ten times. And, perhaps more importantly, his 1980s rivalry with Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers helped shape the NBA into the worldwide phenomenon it is today.

Sue Bird’s upbringing is nearly diametrically opposed to Larry’s. Sue was raised in Syosset, Long Island, and went to UConn, a powerhouse in women’s basketball. Sue won three NCAA titles in a row under renowned coach Geno Auriemma (2000-2002).

Sue was chosen first overall in the 2002 WNBA Draft by the Seattle Storm. She is a four-time WNBA champion (2004, 2010, 2018, 2020), a 12-time All-Star, and has made eight All-WNBA teams in her professional career. She also has the most minutes (1,7025) and assists (3,003) in the league.

Her five Olympic gold medals also outnumber Larry’s one with the Dream Team in 1992.

Sue Bird is not connected to Larry Bird, although she will marry another famous athlete in the near future.

Sue and Megan Rapinoe, a member of the United States Women’s National Team, were engaged in October 2020. According to Popsugar, the two exceptional athletes began dating in 2016 after meeting at an event building up to the Rio Olympics.

Rapinoe is a four-time Olympic medalist. In soccer, she has won both a gold and a bronze medal in the Olympics. She’s also a two-time FIFA World Cup winner. In 2019, she won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards for top scorer and best player at the World Cup.

Basketball Reference provided all stats.

When Craig Hodges tried to talk trash about the NBA Three-Point Contest, Larry Bird had the perfect retort.

If you’re a basketball fan, you’re familiar with the names Sue Bird and Larry Bird. Bird is the former women’s national team star, but there’s another Bird that might be familiar to you that isn’t named Larry. Born in Oregon in 1957, Sue Bird is one of the most accomplished basketball players to ever grace the court. Bird was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Bird’s story is a remarkable one, as she overcame a difficult childhood, to become one of the most beloved players in the history of women’s basketball.. Read more about how tall is sue bird and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, they are not related.

Does Larry Bird have a daughter in the WNBA?

Yes, his daughter is named Lauren.

Does Larry Birds daughter play basketball?

Yes, Larry Birds daughter plays basketball.

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