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View Full Version : Luke Jackson and Larry Bird's mouth



Kegboy
06-22-2004, 12:15 PM
<Note, the current rumor du jour is that we are looking to move up in the draft to select Luke Jackson. This will involve us trading Al and possibly getting more back through Chicago. Luke Jackson, for those who don't know, is arguably the top white non-foreigner in the draft.>

So, here we are. A couple weeks after Larry Bird put his foot in his mouth, and now that mouth could very well come back to bite us in the ***.

Now, look, I'm not saying that Larry is racist. Not by any means. I've never felt what he said actually WAS racist. I just felt it was incredibly stupid. When you're out on the links or are on tv like Barkley, you can say whatever you please. But when you're the head (or nearly so) of a major corporation, you can't go around talking about the pluses and minuses of race in regards to what is essentially your employees.

So, let's say this trade, or something similar that involves us getting Jackson, goes through, we all know what the story's gonna be. Do I even need to spell it out for you? The national media will pounce on this. And only because of what Larry said.

All of this really sucks, IMO, not because of the negative publicity, but personally, I like the move. I've felt for a while that Jackson would be the steal of the draft, long before he started moving up everyone's draft board. If we can move Al for him plus I'm assuming other guys (possibly through getting Chicago's #3 and trading down), as much as I hate this draft, I still think it's a very good move. Plus, it's one that doesn't blow up the team like a TMac or Shaq trade would do.

But now, I'm questioning if it's worth what the story is gonna be if we do this. Normally, I'd say "the hell with the media" and do it. But think about what this does to Luke for a second.

For the record, I don't watch nearly as much cbb as I used to, but I've seen Luke play. Between what I've seen and read, though he's white, his athleticism makes him much more akin to a black player. Like when Wally Sczerbiack came out and was pissed that people were comparing him to Chris Mullin instead of Glen Rice, I'd put Luke closer to a poor-man's Ray Allen than anything. The only white comparison I've heard that fits is "a much more athletic Brent Barry."

So, let's say we get Luke. The story from day one will be "he was only drafted because of his skin color" and "Larry just wants to sell tickets." Even if he does live up to his potential and succeeds Reggie at the two, he'll still be "Larry's attempt to find the next white hope." And that's nothing more than a disservice to the kid and his game.

Granted, maybe I'm making to much of this. You can argue that any white player has to deal with such things in a black-dominated league supported by a white-dominated fan base. But I'd feel a whole lot better about it if Larry had just kept his stupid mouth shut.

Feel free to flame away.

Ragnar
06-22-2004, 12:19 PM
If the Pacers are letting people think that they are trying to get Luke Jackson then we are probably not trying to get him. Remember Kareem Rush anyone? I pretty much thought they were printing the jerseys.

Will Galen
06-22-2004, 12:22 PM
Larry admitted he was wrong. Then he added that it was the last he was going to say about it. We should follow his lead. Why? Because everyone can't discuss race issues without getting heated.

Will Galen
06-22-2004, 12:23 PM
If the Pacers are letting people think that they are trying to get Luke Jackson then we are probably not trying to get him. Remember Kareem Rush anyone? I pretty much thought they were printing the jerseys.

I thought he was one of three we were interested in.

Bball
06-22-2004, 12:26 PM
If the Pacers are letting people think that they are trying to get Luke Jackson then we are probably not trying to get him. Remember Kareem Rush anyone? I pretty much thought they were printing the jerseys.

Larry's whole ESPN interview was a smokescreen! Brilliant! ;)

-Bball

ABADays
06-22-2004, 12:27 PM
For the life of me nothing I read, saw or heard was racist. I guess white about white could be but that would be a stretch. I saw nothing disparaging about minorities at all.

Snickers
06-22-2004, 12:34 PM
I think pretty much everyone outside the Pacers thought we were taking Rush. Pretty smart move, kept Freddie from moving up at all.

Kegboy, great point. That's the first thing everyone [or at least the irrational folks, which unfortunately are in the majority] will think if we trade a black player for a white prospect. Remember how many people thought firing Isiah was a racist move?

Now for another question. Do you think, if this move were to be made, that skin colour will have factored into Larry's decision to make the move?

Kegboy
06-22-2004, 12:43 PM
Now for another question. Do you think, if this move were to be made, that skin colour will have factored into Larry's decision to make the move?

No, I don't think so. At least, I sure hope not.

I've calmed down a bit since I wrote this. Now that I've seen the new version (Al+29=Wagner+Ollie+10), I say do it, regardless of the consequences. :shrug:

Doug in CO
06-22-2004, 01:06 PM
It was not the comments - it was the baggage that came with the comments, none of it Larry's fault

1) He played for Boston - like it or not, a town famous for being racist (talk to Bill Russell)

2) Race was an issue when Rodman said Larry Bird would just be another player if he was white

3) While #2 was not true - there was a fervor like nothing else around the U.S. when it came to Larry - you can't tell me rednecks and racists everwhere didn't root for him and the C's simply because he is white

4) Let's not forget that some think of Indiana as hayseed and backwards

So when you have the baggage Larry has - you think before you talk. Because if you say something like that, people go from whispering about your moves as being racist (drafting Croshere) to putting it on the front page.

SkipperZ
06-22-2004, 01:24 PM
just out of curiosity, didnt larry draft croshere, foster, primoz, and now supposedly luke jackson?

im sorry but luke jackson seems like another coming of austin croshere (i kno they play different positions and have different games, but the larry bird comparisions are gonna come hard and strong, just like they did with croshere)

Bball
06-22-2004, 01:31 PM
just out of curiosity, didnt larry draft croshere, foster, primoz, and now supposedly luke jackson?

im sorry but luke jackson seems like another coming of austin croshere (i kno they play different positions and have different games, but the larry bird comparisions are gonna come hard and strong, just like they did with croshere)

No, Walsh did....
Along with Rik Smits and Scott Haskins and Fred Hoiberg and Damon Bailey...
And Dale Davis and Jon Bender and Al Harrington and Reggie Miller and Chuck Person and Antonio Davis and Freddy Jones and Travis Best and....

-Bball

Kstat
06-22-2004, 02:37 PM
It was not the comments - it was the baggage that came with the comments, none of it Larry's fault

1) He played for Boston - like it or not, a town famous for being racist (talk to Bill Russell)

.

You know I don't think that was mentioned when the big discussion was going on. Very much of what I thought about it was totally colored by his having played in Boston and all that ties in with that.
Maybe some here don't know about Boston's racial history?????

You'd need to live with your head in the sand to not know about boston's racial history.


For example, 13 years ago Dee Brown was arrested by several policemen at GUNPOINT, simply because he was walking out of a bank with cash in his hands. Apparently, they thought he had just robbed it.

Slick Pinkham
06-22-2004, 02:47 PM
Boston has become a mecca of political correctness in the last 10 years. It is NOTHING like it was during the Bull Russell era, the bussing issues in the 70's, or even in the 80's when everyone assumed the Celtics picked the "best white guy available" when possible.

The most beloved sports figures are all non-whites at this point, except for Tom Brady.

"Driving while black" still may happen, though communities here have to PUBLISH the breakdown of arrests and stops by race, and so that has waned too.

I'm no naive enough to dismiss racial issues in Boston, and as the most Irish-Catholic population in America it is pretty darn white around here, percentage-wise. But the tension ain't what it used to be.

BostonConnection
06-22-2004, 05:04 PM
I'm no naive enough to dismiss racial issues in Boston, and as the most Irish-Catholic population in America it is pretty darn white around here, percentage-wise. But the tension ain't what it used to be.

Try telling Barry Bonds that... :rolleyes:

Boston is a very complicated city. It is ethnically and culturally diverse, but there are lots of areas where people tend to live in little enclaves of insular, homogenous populations (i.e. Italians in the North End, Portuguese and Brazilian sections of Cambridge, African-Americans in Roxbury, etc.). It is a staunchly Democratic state that still reveres the Kennedys, but Republicans have held the governor's office in an unbroken string since 1991. As Tom notes, there was always a feeling that the Celts prefered white ballplayers (just ask Spike Lee), and yet they have had several black head coaches in their history (including the first black coach in the NBA, Bill Russell), half of their players whose numbers were retired were black, and were one of the first teams to field an all-black starting lineup in the early '60s.

And so yes, unfortunately, Bird will probably carry his 'race baggage' with him throughout this career. I don't think the comments he made regarding white ball players in that ESPN interview, taken in context, were as big a deal as ESPN was making it out to be. But to Doug in CT's point, I do feel Bird needs to think carefully about what he says in public because there are plenty of people ready to bring up all these other issues, justified or not. :twocents:

wintermute
06-23-2004, 07:03 AM
If the Pacers are letting people think that they are trying to get Luke Jackson then we are probably not trying to get him. Remember Kareem Rush anyone? I pretty much thought they were printing the jerseys.

i've been thinking this too. 2 other "ready" sg's are kirk snyder and kevin martin. they could be the real targets.

as to bird - his comments will probably haunt him (and the pacers) every time they draft or trade for a white player. right or wrong aside, it was stupid to make that comment :mad: