What's happened to Larry Legend?

A few years back, he inexplicably gave Ron Artest a second chance to screw the Pacers over. Which Ron did. Then he traded Artest for half a season of Peja Stojakovic. When that didn't work out, he spent an entire summer trying to bring Al Harrington back to Indiana, succeeded, and then almost immediately traded Al away (along with Stephen Jackson and some other garbage) for (primarily) Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Troy Murphy. Oh, he also signed Jamaal Tinsley to a six-year contract extension (which lasts through 2010-11) and failed to pull the trigger on several trades that would have gotten Jermaine "The Drain" O'Neal and his Contract from the Black Lagoon out of Indiana. And all the while he has been slowly transforming into a fat gremlin.

I thought Larry's outofhisdamnmindness had reached its nadir when he recently told Dan Patrick, "When I think about the fact that he (Kobe) has never won an MVP award, it makes me want to give back one of mine." Holy crap, Larry! Why not just give Boston's 1984 NBA title to the Lakers because Kevin McHale clotheslined Kurt Rambis? Or maybe you should just tell the world that, if you were black, you'd be just another good guy? I mean, what's next??

The answer: This is what's next: Bird is suing two people for using his name in vain.

The gist of the story is this: Georgianna Lincoln and Christopher Cooke bought Larry's childhood home and turned it into a resort called Legend of French Lick. The resort's Web site says that "A unique and unforgettable experience awaits you at Legend of French Lick Resort, the former home of basketball great Larry Bird."

And that's pretty much where the Larry Bird connection ends. It's basically a "Larry used to live here" plug. There's even a big disclaimer at the bottom of the ever page that reads as follows: "Legend of French Lick, LLC, an Indiana limited liability company, owns the former home of Larry Bird. Neither Larry Bird, nor the Larry Joe Bird Revocable Living Trust, nor any entity or person affiliated with Mr. Bird, nor any member of Mr. Bird's family has any legal, financial or other interest in Legend of French Lick, LLC or the Legend of French Lick Resort."

So what's the problem? Larry and, of course, his lawyers are claiming that the couple don't have permission to use his name and are profiting off his trademark by stating the home belonged to him. But...but...the home did belong to him.

Of course, there's a bunch of legal wrangling and back-and-forth stuff that goes much further into trademark law than I care to think about. It seems like a lot of superdickery to me. It's not like this mom and pop resort is costing him money or hurting his good name. But what do I know.

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Blogger 80's NBA said...
Fun Fact: I remember reading in the 1987-88 Sporting News NBA Annual Guide that Larry Legend once hit back-to-back full court shots on that court...with a deflated basketball.

One of his brothers talked about the time they were shooting around one summer day and Larry picked up a deflated ball, threw it toward the basket at the far end and it went in. Then he went down and got it, then threw it to the other end and made that shot too. Then he said they were celebrating and jumping around like he just won a game.

I shit you not.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
80's nba -- I've also read that story, in more than one publication. The brother was Eddie Bird, and he said that Larry was jumping around like he'd just won the NBA championship. Eddie also said he thought that was the greatest thing he ever saw Larry do.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Why do I get the feeling clicking on a link is NSFW?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I honestly am having a hard time thinking of a weirder vacation destination than going to lounge by the pool at the boyhood home of Larry Bird. I would be fascinated to know how many annual visitors this place was getting prior to Bird giving them some free PR by slapping a silly lawsuit on them. Can you imagine trying to convince your significant other to take time off from work so you two could jet off for a romantic weekend at Bird's childhood home?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I honestly am having a hard time thinking of a weirder vacation destination than going to..."


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Obviously you haven't been to Indiana so you don't know how beautiful it is. As for going to this resort being a "weird" vacation destination, that's a matter of opinion. It's not too weird for our boys who got a chance to play on Bird's bball court and where a part of a movie was filmed. It will be one of the most memorable times of their lives. It's a great place to visit...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
First of all, this is not his boyhood home. He had it built just after signing with the Celtics. Secondly, if you were a celebrity, you wouldn't want anyone profiting for your name without something in return.

As far as his basketball managerial skills, I suppose the jury is still out. It is not an exact science.