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billbradley
02-01-2011, 03:37 PM
Haven't seen this anywhere yet. I hope it's true, I would hate for Bird to leave right when we get the financial freedom and young talent he worked for.

Pacers owner to keep Bird as team president
By CLIFF BRUNT
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=AjjRBoBegNjAF7MOO_IXol.8vLYF?slug=ap-pacers-birdsfuture


INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The Indiana Pacers have replaced their coach, but they’ll keep team president Larry Bird at least through the season.

Owner Herb Simon told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he believes Bird has performed well under difficult circumstances, and he could be back next year. On Sunday, the Pacers fired coach Jim O’Brien and replaced him with assistant coach Frank Vogel.

“I still have an incredible amount of confidence in Larry and his basketball acumen, his winning tradition,” Simon said. “The way he deals with the basketball side is the way I believe it should be done. I’m very satisfied.”Some fans have grown restless because the Pacers have missed the playoffs for four straight seasons. Many have been critical of Bird, an Indiana native and former Boston Celtics star.

Bird took full control of basketball decisions after the 2007-08 season, when former CEO Donnie Walsh left to become the New York Knicks’ president. The Pacers went 36-46 in 2008-09 and 32-50 in 2009-10. The Pacers have an 18-27 record this season, 17 games behind the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics.

Bird was hired as team president in 2003 and shared in basketball decisions with Walsh. He arrived before the infamous brawl between Pacers players and Pistons fans in 2004. Later, several players had problems with the law, and the team decided to make talent-depleting trades.

“Even though he’s had some tough years, there’s a lot of reasons that we can explore, why we’ve had such a tough time,” Simon said. “He was left a very difficult situation—no cap room, big contracts, a lot of problems he had no control over.”

This is the final year of Bird’s contract. Simon says he and Bird will meet after the season to discuss the future. He said Bird’s desire to remain in the role will carry significant weight.

“He’s going to evaluate where he is in life, and we will listen and wait for him to tell us what he thinks we should be doing,” Simon said. “Ultimately, I’d like to get his recommendation of what he wants to do. If it’s something I’m comfortable with, I’ll do it.”

The Pacers are building around veteran forward Danny Granger(notes) and young talents such as center Roy Hibbert(notes), forward Tyler Hansbrough(notes) and guard Darren Collison(notes). Bird traded for Collison in the offseason to give the team the point guard it needed, and the Pacers will have salary cap space to get other pieces before next season.

Simon said Bird deserves credit for giving the Pacers a chance to be competitive in the coming years.

“If you look at our roster, you look at our players, you look at the cap room we have, the whole picture, he’s done exactly what he said he would do, and he’s put us now in a pretty good situation for the future. It’s a very, very good job he’s done.”

Simon said he expects Bird to be a Pacer in some capacity next season.

“Larry is someone the franchise will always want to be associated with in some way,” he said. “Larry’s a very independent person, and we’ll await his decision. I think he wants to be involved with the franchise.”

Bird said he doesn’t know which way Simon is leaning.

“When I talked to Mr. Simon, he had some concerns about some things,” Bird said. “I told him I wanted to wait until after the year is up and sit down and talk about it and see where he wants to go. But I know if I’m not here, whoever’s here, they’re sitting in position to turn this thing around.”

PacersPride
02-01-2011, 03:49 PM
Great post, its nice to hear someone appreciates the job LEGEND has done in complete charge of the FO.


Simon said Bird deserves credit for giving the Pacers a chance to be competitive in the coming years.
“If you look at our roster, you look at our players, you look at the cap room we have, the whole picture, he’s done exactly what he said he would do, and he’s put us now in a pretty good situation for the future. It’s a very, very good job he’s done.”

Young
02-01-2011, 03:52 PM
Overall I really like what Larry has done and I think he should be back next season. There have been a couple of bad choices but overall he has done very good.

Larry really has set this team up well for the future. I really think that this team is on track to be a serious contender for a championship but are missing maybe one player.

If Larry is kept it will be interesting to see how he spends all the money/cap room the Pacers will have. This is what gets a lot of teams in trouble.

smj887
02-01-2011, 03:56 PM
I would love to have Bird/Morway stick around for at least 2 more years. He's shown himself to be infinitely patient, and I think that's going to be an asset when the team has a ton of cap space and only a few above-average free agents. I'd hate to bring someone in and have them overpay a bunch of guys just to try and put their stamp on the team.

Trophy
02-01-2011, 03:59 PM
http://pacersdigest.com/showthread.php?t=61018

Maybe this can be merged.

purdue101
02-01-2011, 04:01 PM
aaronb needs to print this out and recite daily. hopefully it can put an end to all the nonlogical gibberish & hatred he has towards the man.

good article. clearly states what we have all said along - bird inherited a nightmare and has done well to dig us out of the hole. we finally have young talent and tradeable assets (expirings), as opposed to aging headcases (JO, Harrington, etc) and untradeable players.

when bird took over 3-4 years ago, we really had no choice but to ride out the contracts he inherited (Murphy, Dun, Tins, etc). i believe he's done a great job being patient and capitalizing where necessary (hibbert & dc trades). he's drafted fairly well too. i would much rather be in our position today then give away picks and our young players only to be a perrenial 5-8 playoff seed that would be forced to rebuild down the road anyway.

aaronb
02-02-2011, 11:15 AM
aaronb needs to print this out and recite daily. hopefully it can put an end to all the nonlogical gibberish & hatred he has towards the man.

good article. clearly states what we have all said along - bird inherited a nightmare and has done well to dig us out of the hole. we finally have young talent and tradeable assets (expirings), as opposed to aging headcases (JO, Harrington, etc) and untradeable players.

when bird took over 3-4 years ago, we really had no choice but to ride out the contracts he inherited (Murphy, Dun, Tins, etc). i believe he's done a great job being patient and capitalizing where necessary (hibbert & dc trades). he's drafted fairly well too. i would much rather be in our position today then give away picks and our young players only to be a perrenial 5-8 playoff seed that would be forced to rebuild down the road anyway.

I have no personal ill will towards Larry Bird as a person. I'm sure he is a great guy to sit and have a beer with.

I just don't think he's very good as a Front office executive. It's a totally different skill set than being a player or even a coach.

Let's let him get us within half a dozen games of .500 before we bronze him a statue.

Hicks
02-02-2011, 11:58 AM
I have no personal ill will towards Larry Bird as a person. I'm sure he is a great guy to sit and have a beer with.

I just don't think he's very good as a Front office executive. It's a totally different skill set than being a player or even a coach.

Let's let him get us within half a dozen games of .500 before we bronze him a statue.

Prepare the furnaces! Fetch the molds! We won 36 games in in 2009; 41-6 = 35. :D

purdue101
02-02-2011, 12:39 PM
I have no personal ill will towards Larry Bird as a person. I'm sure he is a great guy to sit and have a beer with.

I just don't think he's very good as a Front office executive. It's a totally different skill set than being a player or even a coach.

Let's let him get us within half a dozen games of .500 before we bronze him a statue.

I think you'll see a good product within a few years of contention come September. Now that his hands are finally untied and he has tradeable assets, cap space, picks, etc., he should be able to add some significant pieces between now and August. Hopefully a legit big man and a wing to pair with Danny/PG. Pair that with the development of Roy, PG, Hibbert, DC, Lance, etc., good things COULD happen.

If this team is in the gutter come next season, you have my word, I will call for Larry's job.

I've always said I believe Larry has done well with what he's had, but we cannot fully praise him or throw him under the bus until we see what he can do when he is not tied with awful contracts.

aaronb
02-02-2011, 12:50 PM
I think you'll see a good product within a few years of contention come September. Now that his hands are finally untied and he has tradeable assets, cap space, picks, etc., he should be able to add some significant pieces between now and August. Hopefully a legit big man and a wing to pair with Danny/PG. Pair that with the development of Roy, PG, Hibbert, DC, Lance, etc., good things COULD happen.

If this team is in the gutter come next season, you have my word, I will call for Larry's job.

I've always said I believe Larry has done well with what he's had, but we cannot fully praise him or throw him under the bus until we see what he can do when he is not tied with awful contracts.


Being 100% truthful I can understand, and even respect that point of view. My complaint has mainly been that some people get so over the top defensive at the mere suggestion that Bird has failed.

To me, everyone's job should be under the microscope. And those seats need to remain hot so long as this is a non-contending franchise.