Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Article about Bird has me fired up enough to play

  1. #1
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default Article about Bird has me fired up enough to play

    There are sveral very good article up on preview section and now several more up on Here is one

    Bird’s Impact Subtle, yet Profound

    By Conrad Brunner
    Indianapolis, April 16, 2004
    The tone for the best regular season in Pacers franchise history was set the night before training camp, when new Coach Rick Carlisle asked new President Larry Bird to address what was very much a new team.
    “He got up there for about 3½ minutes,” Carlisle said. “It was very short and to the point.”

    That’s Bird’s style. He treats words like money, spending them wisely. Perhaps it’s because he knows their value.

    “Basically, he said, ‘You guys have a lot of talent in this room,’ ’’ Carlisle said, recalling the talk. “ ‘It’s not the same group that was here last year but I’m telling you if you commit to each other, play hard and play together you have an opportunity to have a very special kind of year. The only other thing that’s got to happen is this cannot be an excuse team. We’ve got to be a team that’s accountable. When we lose, take our losses like men and work on getting better. I just don’t believe in excuses. You either win or you get your *** beat.’

    “He basically put it in those words. And the seriousness, the matter-of-factness of his tone really was an important message sent early to our team that I think carried us through some tough times early and onto what has been a very successful season to this point.”

    Bird’s first season as President of Basketball Operations was an unprecedented success. The team won a franchise-record 61 games, the most in the NBA, and earned homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs, which begin Saturday at 1 p.m. against Bird’s former Boston team in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    Though Bird spent most of his time in the background, his presence in the front office had a profound influence on the players, Carlisle said.

    “He really has been a major force here, but in a very understated way,” Carlisle said. “There’s things he wouldn’t want me to talk about. He’s talked to a lot of our players privately from time-to-time about a whole host of different issues, whether it’ s how to approach a big game, how to deal with officials, how to do a better job of making your teammates better, he’s given the right doses of direction and information and guidance. And yet he’s done it in such a way that he’s stayed out of the limelight and behind the scenes. To have that type of presence in your front office, that type of resource, is one of the great things we have here.”

    As a head coach from 1997-2000 – with Carlisle as his offensive coordinator -- Bird guided the team to the Eastern Conference Finals three times and the NBA Finals in his final season. Now, his first year atop the front office has been an overwhelming success to this point.

    There’s no magic to his approach. He stresses accountability, demands responsibility, tolerates no less than a strict work ethic and accepts no excuses. It’s a formula that has worked wonders for a young team that has eliminated the erratic tendencies that doomed last season.

    “They had a lot of things that went on here the past few years I didn’t agree with, and it was time to start playing basketball,” Bird said. “You get paid to play. You get paid to put on a show for your fans. It’s all about winning in this league.

    “It’s a no-nonsense approach. It’s about playing basketball, playing together and winning, and they’ve done a good job. They’ve done a lot more than I thought they could do the first year, but I know they’ve got a lot of talent. … We have a lot of players on this team who are very young and they’re going to do things, at times, that we don’t agree with. But overall, I think our coaching staff and the leaders of this team have come together and come to grips that we’re going to have problems and we’ve got to eliminate them just as soon as they happen.

    “Ronnie (Artest)’s maturing. He’s done great on and off the court. Jermaine (O’Neal)’s matured a lot. At the start of the season, we didn’t know which way he was going to go because he was disappointed in the changing of the coaches. But right now everything’s good and we’ll see what happens.”

    Though the Pacers lack successful playoff experience, Bird is confident they have the makeup to make a run this postseason.

    “I think they can, because we have two All-Stars,” he said. “I think we have the best defensive player in the league and we’ve got a good bench. We’re deep. I think we can make a good run.”

    The key, he said, will be avoiding the emotional mood swings that can doom a playoff team.

    “The playoffs are a roller-coaster ride,” he said. “You have a lot of ups and a lot of downs. Winning one game means nothing. It’s the first one to four and that’s all that matters. If they stay focused and stay together, don’t worry about the past game and move forward, they’ve got a good chance.”

    Bird doesn’t like to compare this team to the group that reached the NBA Finals because they are so different. The 2000 team was a veteran group that had been the conference finals five times in seven years, constantly knocking on the door. These Pacers have yet to make it past the first round.

    “I think this team has more raw talent than the team that went to the Finals but the team that went to the Finals had a lot more playoff experience,” he said. “They’d been to the Eastern Conference Finals a number of times and they finally got over the hump. This team is young and can be aggressive. They know how to play the game. If they stick together, they’re going to go far.”

    What about comparing the coaching of those two teams?

    “(Carlisle)’s better than I am,” Bird said with a smile. “He knows what he’s doing.”

  2. #2

    Default Re: Article about Bird has me fired up enough to play

    I like what Bird had to say...great speaker.
    Staff and management will make a big difference in this years playoffs compared to last.

  3. #3
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default Re: Article about Bird has me fired up enough to play

    I'd say this speech was enough to make me want to get up & do a war cry!!!!!

    Obviousley however, nothing is enough to make you wanna spill blue & gold blood with your brothers.

    Wadda ya say, why not come on in for the big win & join the rest of us in a war cry.

    If not I'm gonna pout :

    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  4. #4
    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    The Coliseum

    Default Re: Article about Bird has me fired up enough to play

    When you were about to face Bird - you knew you had better be ready to play.

    When you play for Bird - you know you better be ready to play.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

  5. #5
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Default Re: Article about Bird has me fired up enough to play

    Don't discount Bird's influence on these Pacers

    April 17, 2004

    It's pretty well known by now that Larry Bird isn't one for long speeches. So it should have come as no surprise that when Bird met with his new team for a pre-training camp talk, he didn't take up much time.

    "Maybe three-and-a-half minutes," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle recalled.

    But as is often the case with Bird, those 31/2 minutes packed a punch and helped set the tone for a record-breaking season that defied every reasonable expectation. Now he's got a team that heads into today's first playoff game with the NBA's best record and, by Bird's analysis, more raw talent than the 2000 team that reached the Finals.

    "I can remember the first meeting we had with the players," Bird said Friday during a rare meeting with the media. "I told them, we have a lot of talent in this room, and if we stay together as a team and stop all the nonsense and get better as the season goes along, we'll win a lot of games.

    "I thought we'd win 55 games. We won 61, and I think that's incredible."

    Said Carlisle: "The other thing he said is, 'What's got to happen is, this can't be an excuse team. This team's got to be accountable. When we lose, we take it like men, because I don't believe in excuses. Win or get your *** beat.'

    "The seriousness and matter-of-factness of his tone really sent an important message."

    It's a funny thing with Bird. When he was coach, the sense was that he was something of a figurehead who did little more than delegate responsibility to his talented assistants. Now, as a chief executive, it's assumed he's been little more than Donnie Walsh's apprentice, simply traveling, scouting and learning the ropes.

    And yet, wherever he shows up -- first as a player, then as a coach and now as an executive -- his teams have a way of competing for and winning championships.

    The Bird style -- which is to say, no style -- conveys the wrong impression. But it's the way Bird seems to prefer it. Go ahead. Underestimate him. Then check the scoreboard.

    As a coach, Bird was a Sphinx-like presence. No manic arm waving, no running around the sidelines like a loon.

    Same way as an executive. He's been a low-key figure, at most, spending most of the season on the road. When Bird spoke with the media after the Pacers' practice Friday, it was only the second time all year he has met with us en masse.

    "There are things he's done that he wouldn't want me to talk about," Carlisle said. "But he's talked to a lot of players privately about a host of issues . . . He's given the right doses of direction, information and guidance and yet he's done it in a way where he's been out of the limelight and behind the scenes."

    Of course, there was nothing understated about the way his tenure began this summer. Within weeks, he concluded the marriage with Isiah Thomas wasn't going to work. And while the timing was awkward, there's no denying he was absolutely right. Better to dump Thomas immediately than wait until the first losing streak.

    Since then, though, he has blended in with the furniture, lurking in the background, standing behind his coach and beside his players.

    There are a lot of reasons for the lack of nonsense this year, the primary one being the maturation of these players. But Carlisle's presence has represented a marked contrast from the past. And everybody knows Bird will not put up with the foolishness, and will back his coach every time.

    When Ron Artest had an early -- and, it turned out, rare -- bad moment, Bird quickly and publicly threw his support behind Carlisle.

    "We had a lot of things go on the last few years that I didn't agree with," Bird said. "We've had guys who've been late off and on during the year and it's something we don't like, but things happen, so you address the problem and move forward."

    It's not coincidence that before Bird came, this was a disparate group of individual talents. With Bird here, this has become a team that has made a mark with its mental toughness and commitment to one another.

    The best example of all might be Jamaal Tinsley, who could have gone into the tank after starting the season on the bench.

    "I was a little concerned (when Tinsley was on the bench)," Bird said. "I've always liked the way he played, but I'm like Rick, I had concerns about the way he turned the ball over. But I knew if he got a chance and understood the structure of our offense, if he knew every possession counted and learned to play within that structure, I look at him as the next All-Star on this team."

    It's only been one season under Bird, and he has not yet made his first trade or conducted his first draft. But already, this has become a Bird team.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts