PDA

View Full Version : Kravitz: Kevin O'Neill wore out his welcome long ago



Unclebuck
06-25-2006, 08:53 AM
Kravitz just sort of slipped this onto the end of his column. He must get inside info from the beat writers and then uses it his own because he always does stuff like this. I know some of you hate KO, but I think it is a cop out to blame him.

Could it be that TPTB will tell Rick he needs to let KO go and will Rick do it or will Rick walk. Perhaps that is what the "delay" is all about.

I agree with Kravitz about the first part though



http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date=20060625&Category=COLUMNISTS01&ArtNo=606250476&SectionCat=SPORTS04&Template=printart

bob kravitz
Give Bird the freedom to go after his dream prospect
June 25, 2006


Larry Bird says he's got his eye on somebody. The Indiana Pacers president says there's one kid out there in Wednesday's NBA draft he absolutely adores, although I'm pretty sure the word "adores'' is not a part of his working vocabulary. Bird said the same thing a couple of years ago, said it about mega-scorer Ben Gordon, which was a good call except for the fact Gordon ended up on somebody else's roster.

So here's a challenge to Bird as the Pacers approach Wednesday's NBA draft:

Go get Mr. Wonderful.

Move up to whatever spot is necessary, trading Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley and whoever else, and grab this special player.

This franchise is no longer in a position where it can merely hope that the apple of Bird's eye falls to them. The Pacers have to make it happen, just the way former Los Angeles Lakers general manager Jerry West positioned himself years ago to grab a Philadelphia-area high school player named Kobe Bryant.

When Bird was asked Friday if his dream draftee would be available at No. 17, he said, "I don't know. . . . Right now, we're not thinking about moving up. There's a lot of conversations going on right now. I'll be happy if my man falls to us. I know he's a talented young man. He could get taken up there pretty high, or he could be at 17."

At this point, Bird and the Pacers need to eliminate all the guess work. If Bird loves this player, team CEO Donnie Walsh and ownership must trust Bird and entrust Bird as he re-makes a franchise that is suddenly mired in mediocrity.

Move up.

Get the guy.

Whoever he is.

"He's well known,'' Bird said of his draft target. "You know him."

Can I get some hints? How about some vowels, Vanna?
Clearly, this is not a top five guy, not Adam Morrison, Brandon Roy, Tyrus Thomas, LaMarcus Aldridge or Andrea Bargnani. Otherwise, Bird wouldn't be hinting this player might fall to the Pacers. (Of course, nobody in their right mind thought Danny Granger might still be there at No. 17 last season. Does lightning strike twice?)

With Bird, it's always popular to assume he has taken a particular fancy to a player who reminds him of himself -- a white player who can shoot the windows out of a gym. The rumor mill had Bird willing to trade Jermaine O'Neal and Monument Circle for a shot at Morrison, a crazy scorer with a bad mustache. Now, as we play the who-does-Larry-covet parlor game, the name J.J. Redick comes to mind. He might go as high as No. 8 or go as low as 19, according to the latest mockery of a mock draft.

I have my doubts. Two drafts ago, Bird would have traded three of his own vertebra for a chance to draft UConn's Gordon. And these past two drafts, the Pacers have walked away with David Harrison and Danny Granger, neither of whom resembles Bird.

So who is it?

Here's the short answer: I dunno. Although I'm rooting for Quincy Douby, for obvious comic reasons -- "Jefferson Lights Up Douby In First Matchup'')

"You're not going to hear (the player's identity) because I haven't told anybody,'' Bird said. "Donnie (Walsh) don't know, the scouts don't know. But what you do, you listen to your scouts, they'll give you their recommendations, we'll talk about it, we'll go from there.

". . . Once I start talking about who I like, at the end, if they're all disagreeing with me, I'll probably forget about it and go with them.''

Really? Is that how it works? I thought they were paying Bird for his nonpareil basketball judgment. It seems to me, if Bird is sold on Player X, it doesn't matter what the scouts think. If this is supposed to be Bird's team, with Walsh moving aside at season's end, let it be Bird's team. And live with the consequences.

As far as filling needs, that's no issue for the Pacers. They have needs everywhere, and may have additional needs at shooting guard and small forward if Fred Jones and Peja Stojakovic leave. At No. 17, the Pacers are in best-player-available territory.



In the meantime, they've got to take care of coach Rick Carlisle, who cannot go into next season as a lame duck. Ultimately, Carlisle is going to have to sacrifice his longtime friend, Kevin O'Neill, an assistant coach who long ago wore out his welcome on the Pacers' bench. Unless, of course, Carlisle is willing to take a bullet, which is unlikely.

"We're going to be talking this summer and see what happens,'' Bird said when asked about Carlisle's contract. "I'm sure he would like his extension. We'll talk about it. It's not that we're not going to give it to him. It's that we have to sit down with our owners and see what direction we want to go.''
Hmmmm.




First, though, there's the business of Wednesday night's draft, and the opportunity to make Bird's dream come true. What's the point of fantasizing when the reality might be quite attainable? Move up. Get the guy. Start making some noise this coming draft day, and don't stop until it's time for training camp.

Kstat
06-25-2006, 09:03 AM
I gotta believe Bird has his eye on Reddick. Not many other well-known guys have a shot of falling into Bird's lap at 17.

Kegboy
06-25-2006, 09:32 AM
Eh, considering he lifted some of Bball's stuff word-for-word, I still doubt :kravitz: has "inside info". I think the "long ago" statement refers to some of us *****ing about O'Neill for a couple seasons.

That said, if we dropped O'Neill and picked up Paul Silas, I'd be pretty damn happy. The problem with that is, you run a high risk of a Mora/Fangio situation, especially considering that Rick and Kevin are a lot closer than those two were.

And for the record, I don't blame anything on Kevin. It's not his fault neither he nor Chuck are Mike Brown.

wintermute
06-25-2006, 09:45 AM
from bird's hints, i would guess the guy he's aiming for is a college senior who is projected to go top-10. and i believe the reason bird thinks he may slip is because of a perceived lack of upside - in other words, another granger.

if i had to guess, my pick would be shelden williams. he's an unexciting prospect, but could certainly be of immediate help to the team. of course, the same could be said of redick, but he just seems too "obvious" from the hints bird has dropped.

SoupIsGood
06-25-2006, 10:16 AM
Eh, considering he lifted some of Bball's stuff word-for-word, I still doubt :kravitz: has "inside info". I think the "long ago" statement refers to some of us *****ing about O'Neill for a couple seasons.

That said, if we dropped O'Neill and picked up Paul Silas, I'd be pretty damn happy. The problem with that is, you run a high risk of a Mora/Fangio situation, especially considering that Rick and Kevin are a lot closer than those two were.

And for the record, I don't blame anything on Kevin. It's not his fault neither he nor Chuck are Mike Brown.

Which parts were word-for-word?

Kegboy
06-25-2006, 10:31 AM
Which parts were word-for-word?

It was a joke, but can't you see what I was referring to?

SoupIsGood
06-25-2006, 10:34 AM
It was a joke, but can't you see what I was referring to?


No.... I guess I'm not up to date with Bball's writings.

Bball
06-25-2006, 11:18 AM
No.... I guess I'm not up to date with Bball's writings.


:buttkick:

-Bball