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Thread: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

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    Default Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    I know this was posted when it first came out a couple months ago but I was wondering how you feel about the final 3 paragraphs in the story now, as they relate to what the Pacers will do over the next couple of days.

    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."

  2. #2
    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    That has to be aimed at Bender more than anybody.

    There's a %5 chance this was aimed at Harrison. He's the only other possible candidate, IMO.

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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    For Bender's sake I hope that Larry wasn't talking about him when mentioning summer league would be important.

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    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kstat
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    That has to be aimed at Bender more than anybody.

    There's a %5 chance this was aimed at Harrison. He's the only other possible candidate, IMO.
    I thought we heard that Harrison had lost a lot of weight and looked great? Didn't Carlisle say he didn't recognize him?
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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    I happen to think that this comment was directly issued towards Jamaal Tinsley more than anyone.

    However, given that we lost a starter from last years team, there will be jousting up and down the depth chart by just about everyone on the team. This comment could also have applied to Johnson, Gill, F Jones, J Jones, Harrison, Pollard, Bender, Croshere, Artest, Edwards and others.

    As we know what has occurred during and since Summer League, it appears that partially the comment probably referred to Harrison. The signing of Saras points to possible dissatisfaction towards Tinsley, Johnson, Gill and/or Freddy or else why would we even target a backcourt Free Agent with most of our exception money?

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    Quote Originally Posted by tseramid
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    why would we even target a backcourt Free Agent with most of our exception money?

    We lost a shooter and aquired another.

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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    I thought we heard that Harrison had lost a lot of weight and looked great? Didn't Carlisle say he didn't recognize him?
    Yeah, I think David passed that test.
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    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    tseramid, you obvioudly have not paid attention to the previous years, JT is known for hard work during the off-season.

    He has the last years come back in great shape.

    The comment was directly aimed at Bender for one, and perhaps some oher candidates, but none of the starters can be accused of anything in that matter, they are all known to come into camp in great shape.
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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    yeah, I think it could mean that Jonathan is in deep doo-doo and could find himself playing in a really cold place....or even for the Clips. He may or may not have had JB in mind when he made that comment (I'm no mind reader) but I'm willing to bet he has JB in mind NOW.
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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    able, I have been paying attention for a very very long time. I also recall Bird all but calling out Tinsley nearly the day he was hired. Of course JB was a target of that comment. My point was that he was not the only one.

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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer
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    yeah, I think it could mean that Jonathan is in deep doo-doo and could find himself playing in a really cold place....or even for the Clips. He may or may not have had JB in mind when he made that comment (I'm no mind reader) but I'm willing to bet he has JB in mind NOW.

    Donald Sterling, owner of the Clips is a lot of things....Sucker is just not one of them. He wouldn't take Bender for free! Thinking about it...have the Clippers ever taken a bad contract, or been over the cap in recent memory?

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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    Well, Bird also talked about the importance of working on shooting. That tells me the following will be examined:

    Foster
    Fred Jones
    Tinsley
    Harrison (free throws)
    Dale (free throws, if he's even around)
    Bender, of course.

    I don't see Jax, JJ, JO, AJ, Gill and Artest getting as much scrutiny in this area, as they already have proved to be pretty good shooters.

    Pollard's trade status, IMO, in unrelated to his shooting status. And if Cro is working hard on his game over the summer, it may tip the scales toward a Bender amnesty instead.

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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    According to Hoops Hype..... http://www.hoopshype.com/salaries/indiana.htm

    Croshere's salary for the next two years is .....
    8,910,000
    9,560,000
    18,470,000 - total

    Bender's slary for the next two years .....
    7,100,000
    7,810,000
    14,910,000 - total

    Thats a difference of 3,560,000 over a two year period, if we were to waive Croshere instead of Bender we would save just over 3.5M in LT payments.

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    Default Re: Do these Bird comments mean anything today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roaming Gnome
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    Donald Sterling, owner of the Clips is a lot of things....Sucker is just not one of them. He wouldn't take Bender for free! Thinking about it...have the Clippers ever taken a bad contract, or been over the cap in recent memory?

    Oh I totally agree with that statement abotu Sterling, perhaps I should have said "like" the Clips.
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