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Who Is Sean Patrick Small? About The Actor Playing Larry Bird – Hollywood Life

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Image Credit: Steve C Mitchell/EPA/Shutterstock/HBO

  • Sean Patrick Small plays Larry Bird in Winning Time.
  • Sean replaced Bo Burnham.
  • Sean is married.

Another NBA legend is making his way onto the Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty scene. Boston Celtics icon Larry Bird will face off against Quincy Isaiah’s Magic Johnson in season 2. Sean Patrick Small, 30, is about to have a breakthrough moment playing “Larry Legend.”

Sean Patrick Small
Sean Patrick Small as Larry Bird. (HBO)

Sean is a star on the rise, and he’s going to be a notable name for fans of Winning Time. Sean wasn’t initially cast as Larry Bird, but he was ultimately “born” for the role. With Winning Time season 2 premiering August 6 on HBO, HollywoodLife has gathered 5 key things you need to know about Sean.

Sean was “born” to play Larry Bird.

Sean has a major recurring role as Larry Bird in Winning Time season 2. Larry becomes a major adversary for Magic on the basketball court when the Lakers play the Celtics. Sean totally transforms into the “Hick from French Lick,” who quickly becomes an NBA phenom.

“Sean [Patrick Small] was born to be Larry Bird,” executive producer Salli Richardson-Whitfield told Esquire. “We get to explore that because you can’t just do Magic and not do Larry, right? We explore more of Larry’s past in a way that will be surprising and fun for people to see. Because you humanize Larry. He’s such a kind of stoic, private figure. Knowing a little bit more about where he comes from helps the dynamic between the two of them.”

Sean replaced Bo Burnham in Winning Time.

Actor, filmmaker, and comedian Bo Burnham was initially cast as Larry Bird. However, in August 2021, Variety reported that Bo had to step away from the role due to “scheduling conflicts.” Sean was then cast as the Boston Celtics power forward. “It’s official! So happy to be able to share with you all this amazing opportunity I have been presented with by @hbo and the producing team,” Sean wrote on Instagram when the news was announced. “So incredibly lucky to be a part of an amazing cast and crew, can’t wait to show the world what we’re cooking up!”

Sean is a proud dad.

Sean is happily married to Emily Perkins Small. They started dating in 2013. The couple welcomed their first child, son Everett, in October 2022.

Larry Bird Sean Patrick Small
Sean Patrick Small side by side with Larry Bird. (Steve C Mitchell/EPA/Shutterstock/HBO)

Sean is from California.

Sean hails from Mountain View, California. He started out his college career at UC Davis before transferring to the University of Southern California’s film program. He starred in his first short, Made In California, in 2014. Prior to Winning Time, Sean’s latest role was in a 2020 episode of Similar Odds.

Sean has a past connection to Larry Bird.

Long before Sean was cast as the NBA legend, Sean spent 7 years writing and pitching a miniseries revolving around Larry’s early days. All of that research helped Sean when he stepped into the role of the Bird. “The timeframe worked out perfectly because Winning Time was starting off from [Bird’s] rookie season in the NBA,” Sean told Locale Magazine. “I’d been doing all this work on his backstory, so it was like—oh, I have all of this in my back pocket, I know exactly who this person is, which ended up being incredibly beneficial.”

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