In October 2005, Eric Torpy asked an Oklahoma County judge to tack on three more years to his 30-year prison sentence for armed robbery and two counts of shooting with intent to kill.
“He said if he was going down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird’s jersey,’’ Oklahoma District Judge Ray Elliott told the Associated Press back then. “He was just as happy as he could be.’’
But after sharing a 10-foot-by-15-foot cell at the Davis Correctional Facility for the last six years, Torpy regrets asking for the extra time.
“Now that I have to do that time, yes I do,’’ says Torpy. “I kind of wished that I had 30 instead of 33. Recently I’ve wisened up.
“That three is a big deal, you know? Three years matters.’’
Torpy will turn 33 this year and is not eligible for parole until 2033.
The 33 imagery doesn’t end there. Put his arms together and the tattoos on his elbows read “33.’’ He also has a small green shamrock tattooed near his eye.
“I’ll always represent Larry Bird,’’ he says. “He’ll always be on me.’’
“Larry Bird is a legend,’’ he says. “To me, he supersedes all basketball legends.’’
Torpy says he was “basically clowning around’’ when he asked for more time.
“I told them, ‘Look, you might as well just give me three more and give me a number I like,’ ’’ he said. “And I’ve always liked Larry Bird. And I’ve always liked the Boston Celtics.’’
Because of all the publicity his case has generated, he thinks Bird knows about him.
“I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m an idiot,’’ says Torpy. “I mean, truthfully, most people do. My own family does, so I’m pretty sure he does, too.’’
Bird, who declined comment for this story, was a legendary NBA trash-talker known for playing mind games. Torpy denies taking a page from Bird’s playbook at his sentencing.
“I wasn’t really playing mind games with them as much as I was just trying to make it out to what I wanted it to be instead of what they wanted it to be,’’ he said.
You know that old saying, “be careful what you ask for, especially when what you’re asking for is to add 3 extra years to a 30 year prison sentence because you really like Larry Bird.” Well apparently Eric Torpy never caught wind of that sage advice. I mean holy shit pal, I love Larry Bird too. Nothing better than watching number 33 stroke a three ball, but I’m not ready for an extra 3 years of getting my ass pounded by some dude making me wear a mop on my head just because the Legend like the number 33. Still, I respect the hell out of this guy. He has proven without a shadow of a doubt, in a federal court mind you, that he is Larry Birds number one fan and nobody is taking that away from him. Sure you can take his freedom, his family, his pride, his dignity, his anal virginity, butt, you will never take his love for Larry Bird. He wasn’t letting that court get the best of him and get it their way with a 30 year sentence. He did it just like Larry Bird and Rowdy Roddy Piper would do. He did it his way, and got the 33 year sentence he always wanted. Ha, take that, Federal Court system. You may be able to shackle my limbs, and you may be able to subject me to living behind your barred windows, and you may be able to take my life from me, but you’ll do it on my terms. I represent Larry Bird Motherfuckers. Respect.