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Thread: Bird wants J.O to lead

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    Default Bird wants J.O to lead

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/bird_050524.html

    Bird Eager for OíNeal to Lead


    By Conrad Brunner | May 24, 2005
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The torch has been passed, and its new bearer already is feeling the heat.
    With Reggie Miller's departure, Jermaine O'Neal assumes the mantle of team leader for the Pacers, and President Larry Bird said Tuesday he's anxious to see how the gifted forward grows into the role.

    "Iíve got a lot of confidence in Jermaine and his ability to play ball, to come in next year and grab this team and take them in the direction they need to go," Bird said. "But still itís wait-and-see. I talked to Jermaine a couple of days ago about that. When Reggie walks out the door, thereís no one left. Iím not saying Reggie was the leader where he would come in before every game and talk to the guys and motivate them. But he was here every day. He did the things necessary to keep himself in great shape. He was great in the community. He did everything. And that's a void. Weíre going to miss that.

    "I think Jermaine can do it. In the last two years Iíve seen a lot of maturity (in) Jermaine, and you know heís such a talent. Itís just that this franchise needs him to step up and play a bigger role."

    Addressing the media in an informal question-and-answer session Tuesday morning in Conseco Fieldhouse, Bird reaffirmed the franchise's commitment to embattled forward Ron Artest, while leaving the door open to potentially major changes to the roster.

    "We do have to get better," Bird said. "Even if Ron had played all year I donít know if we would have been a championship team, (but) we would have been a heck of a lot better. I think in the draft we will be able to pick up a player that will help us move forward, but will we make a lot of changes? I donít know.

    "I think it all depends on Jermaine OíNeal. Iíll put the pressure right on him. If he comes back in great shape and heís got Ronnie on his side, and heís got Stephen Jackson, and Jamaal Tinsley and does the things he needs to do in the summer Ö Weíll be all right, but we do need to get better in certain areas."

    Artest was suspended the final 73 games of the regular season and all of the playoffs for his role in the events of Nov. 19. But Coach Rick Carlisle said Friday he believed the team would welcome back the All-Star forward with open arms. Bird took much the same stance.

    "Well, thereís always a concern about what happened last year, but are we sitting on pins and needles? No," Bird said. "We think that the guys matured and learned a lot from last year. You know you take Jermaine, Jamaal, and Ronnie, and Stephen, and theyíre completely different individuals, but we need all of them. Theyíre very talented, they know how to play the game, they know how to play together, they know what needs to be done in practice and during the games. So, like I always say, if those guys can come together and be on the same page weíll be fine.

    "I know Ronnie probably a little bit better than you guys do. I know heís committed to win a championship. Heís committed to get better. He made a horrible mistake this year, and I donít think weíll have to worry about that anymore. We are committed to Ronnie."

    The Pacers hold the 17th pick in the NBA Draft on June 28 and will be over the 2005-06 salary cap, meaning their flexibility in the free-agent market will be limited, though the mid-level exception will be available. If substantive changes are to be made, they'll most likely come through trades.

    "As far as free agents, we canít just go out and pick up a player, but we do have a mid-level, we do have opportunities," Bird said. "We feel that we have a lot of talent on our team and thereís teams out there that want our players. So, if we can do anything to strengthen our team thatís what we need to do."

    Bird said he would pay close attention to the players' commitment to offseason conditioning and rehab, if any. Summer league could also take on renewed importance, if for no other reason than Artest's participation, although Bird hinted some other veterans may also be involved.

    Asked if it would be hard to remain committed to a player that didn't do the requisite offseason work, Bird replied, "very hard."

    "I know who they are, and if they donít commit themselves, we have to move 'em, plain and simple," he said. "Youíre either in or youíre out."

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Here is the whole transcript

    Larry Bird Q&A: May 24, 2005


    Q: How did you assess the season overall?

    A: Well itís been an up and down season, but considering everything thatís happened, I was pretty pleased with the way the guys went out and competed every night. We had a lot of injuries, and the guys played to a lot of injuries this year. I know Austin was banged up at least three-fourths of the year and Jeff Foster had just come off surgery. We had our problems this year, but over all the guys basically did what the coach wanted them to do, and thatís compete every night.

    Q: When you look at this team and the roster are you convinced that Jermaine OíNeal has the mental strength and maturity to become the franchise player?

    A: Well, you know I think itís still sort of wait and see on that. Iíve got a lot of confidence in Jermaine and his ability to play ball, to come in next year and grab this team and take them in the direction they need to go. But still itís wait-and-see. I talked to Jermaine a couple of days ago about that. When Reggie walks out the door thereís no one left. Iím not saying Reggie was the leader where he would come in before every game and talk to the guys and motivate them. But he was here every day. He did the things necessary to keep himself in great shape. He was great in the community. He did everything. Weíre going to miss that. I think Jermaine can do it. In the last two years Iíve seen a lot of maturity through Jermaine, and you know heís such a talent. Itís just that this franchise needs him to step up and play a bigger role.

    Q: Now that the playoffs are over for this team and Reggie isnít coming back, does it feel like youíre in a mourning period right now?

    A: Well, Reggie might be the happiest guy in the world right now, because Iíve been through that, and I know when youíre supposed to be the lead player on the team and you carry a team for a lot of years, you donít realize that once you call it quits, and when you leave that door, the last time you leave that building, you feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders. And Iím sure Reggie feels like that now. Will he miss it, yeah heíll miss everything about this sport, but itís time to move on. A good player knows when itís time to retire. You know I just think Reggie will do fine. Heíll miss it, but heíll be all right.

    Q: Are there any ways you think the team can improve?

    A: Well you know our team as well as I do. You see our strengths and our weaknesses. Yes, we do have to get better. Even if Ron had played all year I donít know if we would have been a championship team, (but) we would have been a heck of a lot better. I think in the draft we will be able to pick up a player that will help us move forward, but will we make a lot of changes? I donít know. I think it all depends on Jermaine OíNeal. Iíll put the pressure right on him. (If) he comes back in great shape and heís got Ronnie on his side, and heís got Stephen Jackson, and Jamaal Tinsley (and) does the things he needs to do in the summer Ö Weíll be all right, but we do need to get better in certain areas.

    Q: Because of the strong personalities of key players, (Jamaal Tinsley, Stephen Jackson, Ron Artest, and Jermaine OíNeal) do you see all four of these players continuing to play for the Pacers next season?

    A: You never know. Right now itís looking like theyíre all going to be here but you never know whatís going to happen in the summertime. If you can make a deal that you think is going to make your team better, youíve got to make it but Iím not out soliciting my guys at all. We do get calls, and we do talk about different players, but I think it all depends on the lockout, if thereís a lockout, there wonít be much moving at all.

    Q: If there is a lockout does that shut you down, do you talk to other teams if that happens, or do you just kind of cut it off?

    A: Well, you just sort of cut it off and wait and see, because there are a lot of free agents out there that havenít been signed. But you know everything stops. Itís unfortunate, but thatís just the way it is.

    Q: How realistic is it that we will see a lockout?

    A: I just hope we come to an agreement and just keep this thing rolling. I think everyoneís doing pretty good with the current contract. But, I know the league wants to make some changes and hopefully they can get together.

    Q: You kind of had to deal with a lockout the season you were here as coach, did you let the guys know what they should do if that happened?

    A: Well, we had great leadership; we had Mark Jackson and Reggie Miller. They got together and they played all the time, they worked on things. They knew our system and when they went out to practice Reggie and Mark was the coach, and they got the guys doing things, and thatís exactly whatís going to have to happen this time. Some of our guys, Ron Artest, you wonít have to worry about him, and Jermaine is going to have to get these guys together and get them in shape, because if there is an extended period when weíre not playing, theyíve got to be ready when they come back, but hopefully they will get it sorted out.

    Q: When it comes to free agency it seems like you donít have as much flexibility in picking the players you need, do you feel that way?

    A: Yeah, well as far as free agents, no, not really, we canít just go out and pick up a player, but we do have a mid-level (exception), we do have opportunities. We feel that we have a lot of talent on our team and thereís teams out there that want our players. So, if we can do anything to strengthen our team thatís what we need to do.

    Q: Do you think there will be a problem now that Reggie is gone with handling volatile personalities like Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson?

    A: Well, thereís always a concern about what happened last year, but are we sitting on pins and needles? No. We think that the guys matured and learned a lot from last year. You know you take Jermaine, Jamaal, and Ronnie, and Stephen, and theyíre completely different individuals, but we need all of them. Theyíre very talented, they know how to play the game, they know how to play together, they know what needs to be done in practice and during the games. So, like I always say, if those guys can come together and be on the same page weíll be fine.

    Q: What are the needs of the team as you see it?

    A: Well, I donít want to get in to that right now, but we do have weaknesses, and we need to strengthen some areas, but I think we can do that in the summertime.

    Q: Because the Pistons are in your division and are such a good team, are you going to start modeling your team after them?

    A: You always like to do what the world champions are doing. Last year, when they picked up Rasheed Wallace that was major. That was a big play for them, and it got them a championship. Theyíre very talented. Youíve seen the last two games that we played against them. When they have to score or defend, they can do that. We can watch them and learn, and get better from just seeing how they come, and they get their minds together and play together. I mean Ben Wallace had the greatest line, he says that, ďWeíre not going to win until we stop complaining to the officials, just play basketball.Ē And thatís what weíve got to do.

    Q: Is Jonathan Bender going to be able to play next year, and has his situation frustrated you?

    A: Well, itís hard to be frustrated with Jonathan because he has some serious knee injuries. Will he come back? Heís doing great right now. He has no pain; heís working out very hard. Heís just as frustrated as anyone. Heís a great talent heís just got to stay healthy to help us out. Thereís not much you can do when a playerís injured. If theyíre hurt, theyíre hurt. Jonathan wants to play as bad as anyone, but right now, since he hasnít played much in the last two years, I really donít count on him. Itís just sort of a wait-and-see thing and hopefully he can get over the hump and next year he can really help us.

    Q: What position do you envision him playing?

    A: I think heís a four. He can play some small forward, and he will at times, but I think his main position is a four position.

    Q: You mentioned heís not feeling any pain right now, do you think he will be ready to play basketball this summer?

    A: Well, heís playing basketball right now. Heís not playing games, heís doing drills. Heís in Boston with Dan Dyrek, working out, and Dan is sort of overseeing everything heís doing. It seems like every week heís getting a little bit better and taking another step forward. Itís just that if something happens he has to back off. But it seems the past five or six weeks he just keeps going up the ladder. Heís very important to this team and we need a player like Jonathan Bender. Heís a mismatch every time you put him in there, with his size and his length and his ability to take people off the dribble. Thatís what we need.

    Q: Is there any one player who pleasantly surprised you this year and exceeded your expectations?

    A: Well, I think two guys. Jeff Foster with his ability in the playoffs and his ability to cause havoc out there, and Jamaal Tinsley when everyone was out, his ability to score. Jamaal carried us a lot of games. I think Jamaal knows in his mind he can score, but there for a stretch before he got hurt he went out and was getting over 20 every game and itís not really a surprise, I knew he could do it. He had to do it and he did.

    Q: Do you have a feel for where the NBA is going to go in regards to continuing to allow players to enter the NBA right out of high school?

    A: I have no idea. I always like to see kids go to school, but hey they got to do what they got to do.

    Q: Does this franchise remain committed to Ron Artest?

    A: Yes, I know Ronnie probably a little bit better than you guys do. I know heís committed to win a championship. Heís committed to get better. He made a horrible mistake this year, and I donít think weíll have to worry about that anymore. We are committed to Ronnie.

    Q: Where do you assess yourself now and how comfortable are you in your position?

    A: Well, you know this is very time consuming. You travel a lot and you watch a lot of players, and you have to keep up with the NBA players, and free agents, and you sort of zero in on a few guys and follow them, and if you think they can help your team you go after them. This has all been new to me. Yeah, I feel comfortable with it now, I feel like I know the players, and itís all about the team. The business side of it is something else, someone else can handle that, but as far as players, I do know talent. I know what we need on this team to make us better, and itís up to me to go do it, and I feel I can do that.

    Q: Do you like it?

    A: Yeah, itís interesting, you learn something new every day, whether itís salary cap or players. I was just like you guys last year on Nov. 19, I was shocked, and I knew from a franchise standpoint that we were in for some very tough times. In terms of our fans carrying our players through, it could have gotten nasty out there, but our fans were very supportive this year, more so than you could ever ask them. They were here, they did everything they possibly could to keep this team going, and thatís why they had the success.

    Q: Jermaine was planning on an MRI a few days ago, did they find out anything more about his shoulder?

    A: Well, I talked to David Craig yesterday, and the doctors say that itís healed up pretty good. Now theyíll send the MRIs to Boston, and other places to have a group of guys look at them. Right now I understand that they look pretty good. You still have to do a lot of rehab on it, but itís still a little weak. I think heís going to come out of this one.

    Q: Will this injury affect him permanently?

    A: If he does his rehab, he should get full range of motion.

    Q: How about Jamaalís health, will he be able to come back 100 percent this season?

    A: Yeah, his MRIs look real good. The thing that Jamaal needs to do is get some treatment in the summertime and play a lot of ball, do a lot of shooting. I talk to every one of these guys and I didnít like what Iíve seen with a lot of players not spending a lot of extra time working on their shot, working on their game, thatís something we addressed after the game the other night and in their individual meetings.

    Q: Is Jermaine going to be able to handle the responsibility of the team?

    A: Well, weíll find out right away whether he can handle it or not. If he canít weíll have to find somebody else, but Iím very confident that JermaineÖevery year, it seems like he matures more and more. Heís a young man, and some players like that pressure and some canít handle it. I really feel that Jermaine can handle it and if he can handle it, weíll be better from it.

    Q: What are you going to do to prevent injuries next season?

    A: Well, I donít know if you can avoid injuries, injuries are just a part of the game. I believe these guys have come in camp in better shape, and we have guys that work out a lot. And we have guys that really donít do much in the summertime; I just believe that if they get their treatments and get in top shape I think the injuries will be minimal. I mean you canít help when Jermaine goes in for a dunk and somebody grabs his arm, stuff like thatís going to happen. Jeff Foster has had a hip problem for the last two or three years and came back and tried to play right away. But the broken hands that Reggie and A.J. had this year, thereís nothing you can do about that. As far as pulled muscles and strains and stuff like that I think those are things you can work on in the summertime with the proper treatment and getting yourself in better shape. I think you can eliminate a lot of that.

    Q: Is it hard to remain committed to players who donít spend a lot of time practicing in the off-season?

    A: Very hard and on my board I know who they are, and if they donít commit themselves, we have to move 'em, plain and simple. Youíre either in or youíre out.

    Q: Do you feel you have players that fall into that category?

    A: Of course, theyíre all over the league and we have some, also.

    Q: Do you think this yearís draft will provide the team with help?

    A: Itís according to how many Europeans and high school players there are. If we can get a couple of Europeans and a high school player, or a couple of high school players, weíre going to get a great player. Weíll get a player that can help us.

    Q: Do any of the players need surgery this summer?

    A: Iím not for sure about Jeff Foster, the MRIs just came in yesterday, Iím sure theyíll be discussing later on whether he needs it or not. I think thatís about it.

    Q: Do you think Ron Artest will play summer league?

    A: Yes, I see a lot of them playing summer league. I think itís very important for Ron to get back out on the court.

    Q: He seems like a guy that would welcome that.

    A: Well, I did it for 13 years; Ronnie can do it for one.

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    http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/bird_...pt_050524.html

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird
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    "Well, thereís always a concern about what happened last year, but are we sitting on pins and needles? No," Bird said. "We think that the guys matured and learned a lot from last year. You know you take Jermaine, Jamaal, and Ronnie, and Stephen, and theyíre completely different individuals, but we need all of them. Theyíre very talented, they know how to play the game, they know how to play together, they know what needs to be done in practice and during the games. So, like I always say, if those guys can come together and be on the same page weíll be fine.

    "I know Ronnie probably a little bit better than you guys do. I know heís committed to win a championship. Heís committed to get better. He made a horrible mistake this year, and I donít think weíll have to worry about that anymore. We are committed to Ronnie."
    This part just made my week, and it's been a HORRIBLE one in just two days.

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    well, I would HOPE Larry would want a guy making $120 million to be the leader of his team.......

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    I'm shocked he actually said that "he doesn't count on [Bender]", at least we're getting some solid truths from the Organization now.

    Very good questions by Brunner.
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    well, I would HOPE Larry would want a guy making $120 million to be the leader of his team.......
    Since when did this assumption come about that a team's best player had to be the leader?

    Hakeem was never the leader of the Rockets - heck, I don't know if his language skills were good enough! That was Elie.

    Oakley was the Knick leader, not Ewing.

    Dunno who's the team leader for the Spurs but I can't see it being Duncan (Ken can tell me if I'm wrong).

    Being the leader takes leadership - that and great basketball ability don't always go hand-in-hand.

    Heck - was Reggie the leader of the Pacers in the 90's? I'd say it was Jackson myself.
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    well, I would HOPE Larry would want a guy making $120 million to be the leader of his team.......

    126 million to be exact.

    Anyone making that much better damn welll become a leader by the third year of a max contract.

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    So what players have been slacking in the summer and not working on their shot as Bird says?

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Spicoli
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    So what players have been slacking in the summer and not working on their shot as Bird says?
    Based on the story out of Detroit it isn't Ron!
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Sounds like there are some changes a comin'.

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Mark Jackson was the team leader in the 90's-2000 IMHO.

    I wonder what players Bird thinks isn't working hard enough...

    Did AJ's name get mentioned at all? Freddie? Austin?

    I wish Conrad would've asked directly about Harrison and what Bird saw for him.

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan
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    I must say I was surprised by a lot of things.

    and I did find it interesting that he didnt mention James JOnes when he was asked about guys wiht surprising performances this past season.
    Ahhh yes... another name missing. Hmmmm
    Trying to downplay his value for negotiations or already acknowledging we can't afford him... or don't feel we need to keep him?

    Hmmmmm

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Q: Do you think this yearís draft will provide the team with help?

    A: Itís according to how many Europeans and high school players there are. If we can get a couple of Europeans and a high school player, or a couple of high school players, weíre going to get a great player. Weíll get a player that can help us.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++

    I trust Bird's ability to judge talent. After seeking Ben Gordon last year that
    re-inforces my trust. With the above comments I believe he is looking at
    a college player with some years of experience. He is hoping the HS'ers and
    Euro's push down some other players.



    owl

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by owl
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    He is hoping the HS'ers and
    Euro's push down some other players.



    owl
    His hope's been granted. This draft doesn't have that much star power at the top but it's very deep - and it keeps getting deeper. I see guys projected in the 40's who I consider pretty safe bets to have solid pro careers.
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    "I know Ronnie probably a little bit better than you guys do. I know heís committed to win a championship. Heís committed to get better. He made a horrible mistake this year, and I donít think weíll have to worry about that anymore. We are committed to Ronnie."

    Ron is staying a Pacers. YAY

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan
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    I wouldnt read to much into that........................
    What would you read into it ???

    I would rather be the hammer than the nail

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by vapacersfan
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    I see it as Bird saying he really likes him and he thinks he has changed.

    but he did state he would make any changes to make the team better (im not going ver betin(sp?) ) and so I have heard a couple of times that DW has gotten more then tired of RA.

    So I would never pretend to know what is going to happen, but IMO its just silly to take that quote and say "nope, X player is safe this off season"
    Sounded like to me that the big four, Ron, JO, Tins, and Jax weren't going to be used as their trading bait, but if another team comes to them then they'll give it consideration.

    It just seemed like they(the Pacers) weren't going to try and initiate any trades with thouse particular guys.

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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Did anyone expect Bird to say:
    "We've got to get rid of Artest. He's one of them players that's just not getting it. He's a timebomb. Gimme a call at 555-5555 if you are interested. I'm listening to all offers. We do not want to start the season with him here. We're going to put him in the summer league games to showcase him. Hopefully he doesn't lose his head there and make matters worse. Our lawyers told us it would be hard to void his contract and even if we did we'd create bad blood with the players' union. So our only hope is to trade him for the best... or first.... deal that comes our way. I'll just be glad to get rid of him"

    Seriously... even if Bird felt exactly the way my fictituous quote implies wouldn't he still praise Artest and try and pump up his value and say we plan to keep him? Not only for keeping his trade value as high as possible but also would you want to demean your own player at this point?

    I can't read too much into the Artest comments one way or the other.

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  19. #19
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    If Bird was trying to trade Ron at all cost he would not say the types of things he's saying. He'd be a little less specific.

    Besides even if he wanted to trade Ron isn't his trade value at the lowest point it'll ever be.


    As far as Ron playing summer league, remember last year he was not on the summer league team but he participated in the practices that led up to the league games

    Bird likes Tinsley I think more than Carlisle does.

    Bird is also a workout guy. Any player who really works on his game Bird is going to lile

  20. #20
    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    I like Spicoli wonder who are the ones not doing their off-season work, or work the wrong way.
    We can be 110% sure that aint Ron
    JO neither, it is known that he is a hard worker in the off-season.
    Tinsley obviously seeing the shape he was in the beginning of the season worked hard, if it was the right way I do not know, it seems LB wants to see him put more practise in especially shooting.
    Jax2, we can not really judge, but by the soundof it he works hard.
    Jeff, hip, so not really under the spotlight. (Maybe more surgery?????)
    DD, never a question
    Cro; no idea
    Fred; who knows
    AJ; who knows
    JB; let's not go there

    The reason he did not mention JJ is because he most likely wants to re-sign the kid, talking him up would up the ante.

    Bird is an outspoken Tinsley fan, while I think he is everything but Rick's favortie pointguard (remember Kenny Anderson) and that is where the "difference" between the two exists, friends or not, LB will choose for the future of the frnachise before he gives his coach what he wants, what I read between the line is that Larry is now 100% in charge of player movements.
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    My first guess is Tinsley is one of the non-workers. Surely he works on his body, that much is obvious. But perhaps he doesn't spend enough time working on his game?

  22. #22
    foretaz
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    "Iíve got a lot of confidence in Jermaine and his ability to play ball, to come in next year and grab this team and take them in the direction they need to go," Bird said. "But still itís wait-and-see. I talked to Jermaine a couple of days ago about that. When Reggie walks out the door, thereís no one left. Iím not saying Reggie was the leader where he would come in before every game and talk to the guys and motivate them. But he was here every day. He did the things necessary to keep himself in great shape. He was great in the community. He did everything. And that's a void. Weíre going to miss that.

    "I think Jermaine can do it. In the last two years Iíve seen a lot of maturity (in) Jermaine, and you know heís such a talent. Itís just that this franchise needs him to step up and play a bigger role."

    "We do have to get better," Bird said. "Even if Ron had played all year I donít know if we would have been a championship team, (but) we would have been a heck of a lot better. I think in the draft we will be able to pick up a player that will help us move forward, but will we make a lot of changes? I donít know.

    "I think it all depends on Jermaine OíNeal. Iíll put the pressure right on him. If he comes back in great shape and heís got Ronnie on his side, and heís got Stephen Jackson, and Jamaal Tinsley and does the things he needs to do in the summer Ö Weíll be all right, but we do need to get better in certain areas."
    since these words came from bird, theyve kinda gnawed at me....because it was very obvious there were many things said between the lines....as well as things that were not said...

    what was it that bird thinks jo needs to do?? but more importantly what are things that hes not sure whether jo can do?? jo has done everything that the coaches and management has asked him to do...he works out very hard in the offseason....he says all the right things...so what is it?? i mean it really seems like there is something significant....and u almost got the feeling that bird kind of sent jo off with something to think about....a task that he must do.... a task that evidently is not as simple as losing 10 lbs...or bulking up...or learn to box out...it seems deeper than that....something thats not physical...

    and ive thought and thought about this...and granted this is speculation...combined with rationalization as well...but then thats what this forum is for...

    and here is where i kinda ended up with it...i think it comes down to jo's relationship with ron....while we dont know for certain all the details....we do have strong reason to believe there's a fair amount of friction there....and while jo has publicly said the right things regarding ron, u cant help but think behind the scenes hes singing a different tune....he wanted reggie to get that ring...he feels ron's role in the brawl caused him to be unable to fulfill that promise...and something along the lines of 'one of us have to go, i cant play with him' wouldnt be out of the question...

    reggie isnt here to be the leader and peacemaker....reggie isnt here to call jo out anymore...noone is...its all on jo now....i think dale is a great leader but i m not sure hes been around the team long enuff to where he can call jo out...

    i think its simple...i think bird has decided that ron is gonna be a part of this team....for a lot of reasons....his play for what it costs the team is simply irreplaceable....noone brings to the floor what ron does-at any cost...so jo is gonna have to not only realize this and accept it-hes gonna have to embrace it....and that requires immense maturity...its one thing to act the way jo has til now....its a whole nother level to not only bring ron back into the fold but embrace him with the type of interaction that championship teams have to have....and considering where that relationship is right now-it appears thats the real challenge before jo....and that would be one that i think that would fit the description that bird was giving....

    can jo do it??? i thinks that is what bird was asking...and he was saying that he thinks he can...hes shown a lot of maturity since hes been here....and this will definitely require him continuing that to even greater heights....

    i think bird has outlined his plan to bring a championship to jo...and what all that plan is gonna require from jo as far as being a leader....his acting a bit differently on the court...him harnessing his emotions and being able to refocus them in a way that is not detrimental to the team, but that in ways that are exemplary as a team....so that hes not encouraging the antics of jack but discouraging them both by words and example....and most of all i think its gonna fall squarely on jo's shoulders to make sure that he and ron go to war every nite with each others back and a comradery that has to exist for any championship team....

  23. #23
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    My first guess is Tinsley is one of the non-workers. Surely he works on his body, that much is obvious. But perhaps he doesn't spend enough time working on his game?
    What is there you want him to work on in his game besides his body and his shot? He got both in great shape by the end of the summer, although obviously his body broke down as the season went on, leading to his shot breaking down as well.

    Tinsley's been working hard every summer.
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  24. #24
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    Foretaz, that's absolutely unreadable.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Bird wants J.O to lead

    I know please stop writing with that color

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