Real Talk: Larry Bird's Dad's Death in 'Winning Time' is Mostly Accurate - footballivenews
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Real Talk: Larry Bird’s Dad’s Death in ‘Winning Time’ is Mostly Accurate



Larry Bird’s appearance in the new Allstate commercial during the Oscars broadcast garnered attention, reminding viewers of his acting talents. While Winning Time: The Rise of The Lakers Dynasty primarily centers on the Lakers, it acknowledges the crucial role the Boston Celtics played in shaping the Showtime Lakers’ ’80s dynasty. Particularly notable are the scenes featuring the verbal sparring between Celtics coach Red Auerbach and Lakers owner Jerry Buss. However, in the latest episode, Winning Time shifts its focus to delve into the life of Celtics star Larry Bird, shedding light on a traumatic event that profoundly impacted him.

Throughout 1 1/2 seasons of Winning Time, Bird’s character has been relatively reserved, except for his on-court taunts aimed at Magic Johnson. However, the latest episode provides a deeper exploration of Bird’s backstory, revealing the significant influence of his father, Joe Bird. Born into poverty in West Baden Springs, Indiana, Larry was motivated to pursue basketball as a means to change his family’s circumstances. While Larry’s mother has yet to appear in the show, his father, Joe, makes his debut, becoming a central figure in a poignant storyline.

Joe Bird, a construction worker and Korean War veteran, had a complex relationship with his son. Despite his pride in Larry’s basketball success, Joe was not heavily involved in his early career and struggled with alcoholism and maintaining employment. Larry’s childhood was further marred by his parents’ divorce and his father’s abusive behavior towards his mother. Tragically, Joe’s life ended in a devastating manner when he died by suicide in 1975.

The show portrays Larry’s relationship with his father with sensitivity, depicting key moments such as Joe’s struggles with child support payments and his strained relationship with Larry’s mother. While certain aspects of Joe’s death in the show differ from public knowledge, such as the circumstances surrounding how Larry learned of his father’s death, Winning Time effectively captures the emotional impact of this traumatic event. The episode’s portrayal of Larry’s grief and his complex feelings towards his father resonates with viewers, hinting at the show’s future direction.

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