Dinah Mattingly is the wife of Larry Bird, one of the best NBA players of all time. Unlike the basketball legend, little is known about her. Before the late 1980s, most people that know Dinah today did not know her. However, she became a basketball sensation, especially because she was present in Larry's sunset years in the NBA and later coaching.
Unlike most wives of NBA stars, she has a unique approach to life. Millions of people who often see her in basketball games and other related events do not know much about her due to her preserved personality.
Top facts about Dinah Mattingly
Even though most people know her through her union with Larry Bird, she has a life of her own. Here are some interesting facts about the superstar's wife:
1. She is originally from Vigo County, Indiana
Dinah was born in Vigo County, Indiana, in 1954. Although her parents and siblings are unknown, she spent most of her life in Terre Haute, an administrative city in Vigo County. Like other children, she attended the local schools and later Indiana State University.
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Unlike her husband, she was not interested in playing basketball at the pro level. However, her love for basketball drove her close to a man who later became one of the greatest NBA players. Dinah’s love for the game is still visible today as she is often spotted in different league games.
Is Dinah Mattingly related to Don Mattingly? No. Besides the two being from Indiana and sharing the last name, they are not related. Larry Bird’s wife is passionate about basketball, while Don Mattingly is a former professional baseball player. Besides having different interests, Don’s sisters, cousins and extended family are well known.
2. Dinah Mattingly and Larry Bird met in college
Dinah and Larry met at Indiana State University. Although they became friends, they were dating different people. For example, the basketballer was in a serious relationship with Janet Condra. Besides dating other people, their two-year age difference was another reason they did not consider themselves compatible.
Due to their relationship status at the time and age difference, they were just friends. However, they were involved in each other’s lives. For example, Dinah supported him during his transition from college basketball to the NBA.
When Larry and Janet divorced in 1976, they became closer. During this time, the basketball legend and Janet tried to work on their relationship. However, they were unlucky for the second time. Janet and Larry have ruled out the chances of Dinah’s closeness with the basketball as the reason for their divorce.
3. The Indiana native is two years older than Larry Bird
Besides meeting in college and having many similar interests, they have a two years age difference. The NBA star was born in 1956, while Dinah was born two years earlier. While some media outlets tried to focus on their age difference in the early 1990s, the couple seemed unbothered by the stories.
Besides being older than her husband, Dinah has been with her husband for more than three decades. Even though their marriage has had its share of negative media coverage, she has faithfully stayed with Larry.
4. She is Larry’s second wife
The basketball star married Dinah 13 years after separating from Janet Condra, his first wife. Unlike Larry’s first relationship, which only lasted one year, she has been with him for more than three decades.
According to ESPN classic, the two had a small wedding outside a friend’s house. Unlike his first wedding with Janet, the NBA star wanted a smaller intimate wedding. He and Dinah wore stonewashed jeans, and they exchanged vows in the presence of only five friends.
During this time, Larry was transitioning from the NBA to coaching. Although transitioning from professional league to coaching is often hard to most NBA players’ marriages, Dinah and Larry were the few lucky ones to pull it through the transition.
5. Dinah has stuck with Larry Bird even after cheating allegations
Dinah’s relationship with the basketball legend has had its share of challenges. For example, many tabloids have constantly accused her husband of cheating. However, in 2014, Busted Coverage, one of the tabloids that covered the cheating story, corrected their earlier reports. The site confirmed that the alleged Larry Bird’s mistress was his adopted daughter.
Is Dinah Mattingly still with Larry Bird? Yes. Despite the cheating allegations in the past decade, the couple is still together. Although the basketball legend does not post on his Instagram account often, he has been seen with Dinah on several occasions.
Does Larry Bird have children? Yes. The ex-basketball star has three children. One is from his previous marriage, and the two are adopted. Although the NBA legend married Dinah in her mid-30s, they chose to adopt instead of having children of their own.
6. Larry Bird’s wife is not on social media
In an age where almost every famous person is on social media, Dinah Mattingly is surprisingly absent on any of the platforms. Unlike her husband, who has social media accounts on all major platforms, Dinah’s opinions and pictures are hard to get on social media. Due to her decision to avoid the platforms and being an open book to the public, Dinah is often misunderstood.
When the cheating allegations on her husband were trending in the sports media, for example, she was at the centre of attention. There are probable reasons why she avoids social media. When Dinah started dating the basketballer, she did not get the best coverage, especially from media outlets interested in the NBA.
The cold reception made her avoid the media in Larry’s last days in the NBA. Second, Dinah was often compared to Larry’s first wife by the media. The biased comparisons were hurtful to the newlywed couple to the point they started avoiding the press.
Dinah Mattingly may not be the most popular spouse to a basketball legend, but she has been instrumental to Larry Bird’s career. She was also part of Larry’s transition from NBA to coaching. However, less is known about the Indiana native, especially because she is not on social media and rarely speaks with the press.
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