Countrified, commonsensical, pragmatic, average, “basketball-crazed”—Indiana is one of only a handful of states with its own distinct brand, one that may not be sexy, but has proven powerful and dynamic enough to endure for two centuries. Too bad it barely captures the state’s true complexity.
The record shows that four decades ago, a wayward boy quit basketball at IU, then at another school. But that’s only part of the story. Larry Bird’s decision to walk away from the game didn’t just become the stuff of legend—it set him on the path to become one.