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Is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird?

Is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird? Are these basketball legends related?

Short answerSue Bird and Larry Bird are not related. Interestingly, Sue Bird admitted that she used to lie and tell people that Larry Bird was her uncle when she was younger. This probably contributed to the ongoing speculation about their relationship. However, the truth is that they simply share the same last name and are both amazing basketball players.


In American sports, few sports have produced the number of elite basketball performers.

Names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Larry Bird are prominent in the league’s history.

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Female athletes, too, have stars to look up to from their side of the professional game.

Legends like Candace Parker, Cynthia Cooper, Tamika Catchings, and Sue Bird all rank high in the pantheon of female basketball legends.

You might have noticed, though, a similarity there – two birds.

With that in mind, is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird?

Basketball: A sport for all

The top male league in the country, the National Basketball Association (NBA), is backed up by its female counterpart, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

While the NBA has more history and visibility than the WNBA, it would be safe to say that the women’s league has seen massive growth in the last two decades. This has helped the WNBA form its history of legends and special achievers.

While other sports might still have primarily male or female stars to look up to, basketball has consistently created legends and aspirational talents for both boys and girls to look up to.

It is intriguing, then, that arguably two of the best of all time in both the NBA and WNBA are called Bird. But are they anything to do with one another?

Is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird?

Ask on the internet, and you can find all kinds of strange claims.

It does not take long to find claims that Sue Bird is anything from Larry’s wife to his daughter, his cousin, or any other kind of connection you might imagine.

Given Sue is 42 and Larry is 66 (as of February 2023), that daughter idea becomes quite believable to some people – but is that the case?

Is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird? Short answer, no

Is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird


So, the quickest way to answer this question is no, Sue Bird and Larry Bird are NOT relatives.

They might both be elite basketball players at their respective levels, but there is no relation between both parties here.

Both have enjoyed some pretty unique career achievements, but ever since Sue Bird came on the scene, rumors of a biological or familial connection to Larry Legend himself have existed.

While it might be cool to imagine such a lineage, it is not the case. Sue Bird and Larry Bird no doubt respect each other’s games and careers greatly, but there is no connection to speak of.

Sue Bird’s name – is it anything to do with Larry Bird?

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So, one thing to note is that Sue Birds’ original family name is Boorda.

Her family history includes parents Herschel and Nancy, and her long-term family ancestry stretches back to Russia.

While surnames do tend to change and adjust as the years go on, then, the fact that Sue’s family hails from a pretty different part of the world than Larry’s home lineage in West Baden Springs, Indiana, should help to dispel any rumors or ideas that Sue and Larry are related.

Sue Bird’s trailblazing career

While many can point to Larry Legend as arguably the greatest Boston Celtic of all time, Sue also holds a distinctive name in the annals of WNBA history.

Having come through at the University of Connecticut, she was drafted as the first pick in the 2002 draft. Having lifted national titles at UConn, she came into the WNBA earmarked as a game-changer for a growing league.

Sue decided in June 2022 that she would retire at the end of the WNBA season.

Having played into her 40s and become the only WNBA player to have won titles in three different decades, she is an iconic player within the WNBA.

Just as Larry played a key role in reviving the NBA after some flagging years – his decade-plus rivalry with friend Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers helped to popularize the NBA even further – Sue has played a role in inspiring a generation of basketball players.

Younger players entering the league today regularly reference Bird as an inspiring figure and a legend within the game.

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The Sue Bird-Larry Bird rumors

sue bird related to larry bird


There are, of course, numerous ridiculous rumors that both are connected in some way.

For years, rumors have existed that she is either his daughter or is connected to the Larry Bird family in some way or another.

And it makes sense: Bird is a unique surname, so having two elite basketball players share that name around two decades apart is sure to raise some eyebrows.

Add in the fact that so many sports legends have seen their families try and follow in their footsteps, and the connections can make some sense.

Sue, though, has been pretty clear in the past that she is NOT related to Larry.

There is, though, a hilarious story about Bird trying to convince people that Larry was in fact her uncle.

Hey, it makes sense: as Bird tried to make her name as a young basketball star, there was still an unfair illegitimacy about female basketball stars.

To help ensure people took her seriously on the court, having a myth that your uncle was none other than Larry Legend himself would do you a favor!

While shooting a commercial involving both players, Sue told Larry about the fake uncle incident. His response? “I’m honored.”

Given that Sue has won four titles, five Olympic gold medals, and was a 12-time All-Star, she probably does not have to convince anyone any more of her ability.

Who knows?

Perhaps in future generations, a young basketball star sharing the Bird surname will try and convince people that both Larry and Sue are part of their family!

So, to sum up – is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird?


They might share a fantastic basketball talent and appear to get on well off the court, but they are not relatives.

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