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Donnie would obviously like Larry to take over more responsibility and it's happening gradually, but it certainly isn't as cut and dried as some people might think. Just because Larry is being quoted about the draft doesn't mean that Donnie has taken a back seat. Last week it was Donnie who squelched the Laker's trade rumor. What does that mean? It just works out that way sometimes. Sometimes a GM from another team will call Donnie, sometimes they call Larry. But Donnie still has two years left on his contract and will be very much involved until then. And I will be quite surprised if he "retires."
I agree with you except where you say Donnie is now taking a backseat, I have to agree with Harmonica there, Donnie's still very much in the picture.
Everyone probably remembers the arguments of the last two years where I've argued that Bird is in charge of the Pacers. Almost everyone else has been saying Donnie was still in charge. Now Peck is coming around, but I think he is going to far.
After Bird was hired Donnie said he was going to finish resigning the free agents. Why would he say he was going to finish doing that? Because it was now Birds job, but he wanted to finish it.
Donnie is the CEO in charge of everything, The Pacer's, the Fever, the Field house, the Pacer's foundation. Bird was hired to run the Pacers, and other than the above exception there is no reason to believe he hasn't been in charge from day one. Bird and Donnie have the same relationship as they did when Bird was first hired. Nothing has changed except some peoples perceptions.
My argument has always been the Pacers are a basketball organization with different people in charge of different things, but all are involved in putting the best product on the floor that they can. Bird, Walsh, Carlisle, etc., all get quoted in the newspapers, because it's not just a team operation on the floor. As part of the Pacer's organization they are are part of and concerned with putting the best product on the floor that they can.
Bird was hired primarily because of his knowledge of basketball. On that he was an expert, but he had to learn the other side of his job also, the paperwork side, for instant knowing contracts well enough to know which players could be traded for. Walsh was his teacher on such matters and probably still is from time to time.
However, Bird never took a backseat as a talent evaluator for the Pacers. Why would he? The Pacers also have scouts, why would they need them if Walsh or Bird were the only one that had any say?
Teams have special rooms where they conduct their drafts. In that room they have draft boards. Carlisle was quoted as saying Granger was the fifth ranked prospect on their board. How did they arrive at those rankings? Did Donnie or Larry draw up a list and say thats it? Or did the scouts and coach's and Donnie and Bird all have a say in it? You know they all had a say. No, nothing has changed except people's perceptions.
So, have we officially passed the torch? Yes, a long time ago.