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Thread: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

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    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Some of you won't like this, but I love it!

    http://www.indystar.com/article/2009.../1088/SPORTS04

    Q & A with Herb Simon
    Pacers co-owner: Good job by Bird, O'Brien


    By Mike Wells
    Posted: April 16, 2009

    Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon said he is "thrilled" with the team's direction, "absolutely" wants president Larry Bird to remain in control and will meet with him about a contract extension "anytime, anywhere."
    Coach Jim O'Brien might have to wait, however.


    Both men are entering the final year of their contracts.
    Bird just completed his first season with complete control of basketball operations, during which he overhauled the roster and drafted two key rotation players while improving the team's salary cap situation.

    "I would talk extension," Simon said this week during a 30-minute discussion about the team, the season and the future. "Larry is a funny guy. He knows what he wants, when he wants it. I would talk about it anytime, anywhere."

    Bird was unavailable for comment. He said he will address the team's future Tuesday.

    Simon said he has not discussed O'Brien's contract.
    "We're very happy with coach O'Brien; he's done a great job," Simon said. "When the time comes to talk, we'll talk. We have no fears about talking."

    Question: How do you feel about the direction of the franchise?

    Simon: I think we've made a lot of progress this year, despite the fact we didn't make the playoffs (for the third consecutive season). We could talk about our bad breaks, but if just one player, (Mike) Dunleavy, didn't get hurt, my guys assure me we would have been in the playoffs.

    Q: This is the first year Larry has had sole control. What do you think of the job he's done?

    Simon: It started with the draft -- and I've been involved in a lot of drafts -- what he and (general manager) David Morway accomplished in this draft with the limited resources that we had was remarkable. Bringing in seven players, hard workers, good characters. Saving us some money as he did it and giving us some flexibility for this year, which is so important with the economic crisis. I'm thrilled with the job Larry has done this year. During the season, they've been working actively. They came close to making other deals. Just as a fan, I appreciate watching this team this year. Like never before, they work together, they always hustle. That's what it's all about. The fans get excited when we win.

    Q: Larry has one more year remaining. Would you like to see him stick around and get this completely turned around?

    Simon: Sure, absolutely. . . . I like my basketball operation. We're going to do everything we can to keep the basketball operation together. . . . I like what we saw, what Larry has done. This has been the best year in basketball in terms of the trading, bringing in new players, changing the atmosphere. When I tell you I'm thrilled, I'm thrilled.

    Q: O'Brien is heading into his final year. What's his situation?

    Simon: That's something he and Larry have to work out. It hasn't been brought to my attention. We're very happy with coach O'Brien; he's done a great job. When the time comes to talk, we'll talk. . . . I really haven't thought one thing about changing coaches or anything like that. We're very happy.

    Q: What do you like about the job O'Brien has done?
    Simon: I think the sense of urgency he has brought to the team. The hard work. A lot of teams quit after they don't make the playoffs. Not this team. He has the players still playing hard. That integrity is part of the coach and giving the players that feeling.

    Q: The Pacers were one of two NBA franchises to increase attendance by at least 10 percent. What led to the surge?

    Simon: There are a number of reasons. We spent money finding out what upset the fans. We had focus groups and everything. We tried to correct what turned the fans off. The style of play the coach has put in is something the fans like. I'd rather have 16,000 people pay a little less than 13,000 paying a lot. It's something we had to give back to our loyal fans. We want them to come as often as they can. We just felt we had to lower prices.

    Q: Was there any thought of just cutting Jamaal Tinsley a check so both parties could move forward?

    Simon: Let's leave that for arbitration, but we've thought of everything. It takes two parties to agree. Right now, let's leave it up to arbitration and not talk about it. The thing is it was good for both parties to sever the relationship. With his talent, we thought someone would have picked him by now. We don't want to hurt the guy, but certainly the franchise has been hurt. Let's put it that way.

    Q: The franchise has made strides to clean up its image, but how long can you handle not making the playoffs?
    Simon: We're bound to not only get in the playoffs, but to win in the playoffs. We have a good nucleus. People say we're pretty close to getting back to (the) playoffs. We would have made the playoffs if we had Dunleavy. We don't know what to expect next year because of his injury. When we started at the beginning of the year, we said we had a three-year plan. This is Year 1. We're on track to stop losing money and start winning games.

    BREAKING DOWN THE ROSTER
    The Indiana Pacers' core is under contract to return next season. The salary cap hasn't been set, but the Pacers are expected to have about $8 million to spend on free agents. Pacers beat reporter Mike Wells analyzes the roster:

    UNDER CONTRACT

    Pos. Name Signed through
    SF Danny Granger 2013-14
    First-time All-Star finished fifth in the league in scoring.

    PF Troy Murphy 2010-11
    Murphy's trade value has never been higher after averaging a double-double and shooting 45 percent on 3-pointers.

    SG Mike Dunleavy 2010-11
    Coach Jim O'Brien said he doesn't expect Dunleavy to return from knee surgery before January.

    PG T.J. Ford 2009-10, with an $8.5 million player option for 2010-11
    Ford, who likes the ball in his hands, struggled grasping O'Brien's pass-oriented offense.

    C Jeff Foster 2010-11
    Averaged 6.9 rebounds, his lowest average since 2002-03.

    SG Brandon Rush 2009-10, with team options through 2012
    Averaged 15.4 points and shot 47 percent as a starter, his expected role next season.

    C Roy Hibbert 2009-10, with team options through 2012
    Finished second on the team in blocks, could be the low-post scoring option the team needs.

    PG Jamaal Tinsley 2010-11
    The Pacers are still waiting to hear from the arbitrator on the grievance filed against them in February.


    FREE AGENTS

    Jarrett Jack, guard
    Only player to appear in all 82 games. The Pacers likely will match any offer to keep him.

    Maceo Baston, power forward
    Played more than 10 minutes in a game just seven times; not expected back.

    Josh McRoberts, power forward
    Shot only 41 percent. A local player the Pacers could re-sign at a relatively low cost.

    Stephen Graham, shooting guard
    Averaged a career-high 13.2 minutes. Given Dunleavy's injury situation, Pacers could re-sign Graham if they don't draft a wing player.

    Rasho Nesterovic, center
    Averaged a career-low 3.4 rebounds. His $8.4 million contract comes off the books, which will help clear some salary cap space. Not expected back.

    PLAYER OPTION
    Travis Diener point guard
    Had a 5.6-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and likely will exercise his $1.7 million option to return rather than test the free agent market.

    TEAM OPTION
    Marquis Daniels shooting guard
    Averaged a career-high 13.6 points, but missed the final month with a sprained right wrist. Team isn't expected to pick up his $7.5 million option but might try to re-sign him to a multiyear deal worth less per season.

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    FREE LANCE MillerTime's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    My prediction is that Bird will get a contract extension (hopefully soon) but JOB wont. The team will hopefully move into a different direction and get a coach that can run some defense. If you think about it, we have some pretty decent defenders. Jack, Rush, Granger, Foster, Graham, and McRoberts can hold their own on defense. By a coaching change, we should be able to lower our opponents PPG.

    Theres quite a few good coaches out there that are unemployed (in regards to coaching). Avery Johnson, Flip (who looks like hes going to the Wiz), Jeff Van Gundy...to name a few

    Does anyone remember how Isiah was as a coach? I know hes terrible as a GM, but didnt he do a decent job as a coach? I probably wouldnt want him in the Pacers organization again, its just a mere question
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    Does anyone remember how Isiah was as a coach? I know hes terrible as a GM, but didnt he do a decent job as a coach?


    IMHO Isiah ranks as one of the worst coaches ever to grace the Pacer bench. I never saw a game as badly managed as Isiah somehow seemed to do game after game... season after season...

    Anyone who thinks O'Brien has some inexplicable rotations and player decisions needs to look at the Thomas era. Isiah made O'Brien look like Carlisle and his egg-timer rotations.

    When it comes to Isiah as coach just listen to Nancy Reagan and "just say no".

    ---

    I'm glad Simon is happy. I do think this past summer was one of the most productive off seasons this franchise has seen in quite some time. The culture of this team was remade in one felled swoop. After seeing lip service paid to the idea for some time, Bird and Morway got it done. Whether that is because Walsh is gone or because the stars simply aligned... the overriding point is: It happened. Finally.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    My prediction is that Bird will get a contract extension (hopefully soon) but JOB wont. The team will hopefully move into a different direction and get a coach that can run some defense. If you think about it, we have some pretty decent defenders. Jack, Rush, Granger, Foster, Graham, and McRoberts can hold their own on defense. By a coaching change, we should be able to lower our opponents PPG.

    Theres quite a few good coaches out there that are unemployed (in regards to coaching). Avery Johnson, Flip (who looks like hes going to the Wiz), Jeff Van Gundy...to name a few

    Does anyone remember how Isiah was as a coach? I know hes terrible as a GM, but didnt he do a decent job as a coach? I probably wouldnt want him in the Pacers organization again, its just a mere question
    Couldn't disagree any stronger.

    JOB is the only reason this team wins 36 games and not the 26 it deserves based on its level of talnet.

    I'll give Bird credit for instilling a discipline of character guys and a mentality hard work to the end (even though it kills us in teh draft lottery every year)
    .....but his skill level as GM is on par with former Celts mates McHale and Ainge ( who still stinks regardless of Garnett falling into his lap).

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Good read. Thanks for passin' it along Will. I have really enjoyed watch in' this team compete. Would've, like everyone else, like to have seen some more Ws. Still there is something about pullin' for your rookies and watching them grow over the season that makes this year more satisfying.

    'freak...out!

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    I still think if JOB was not slow, the Pacers could have won more games, just by doing thinks like letting the rookies play and stop reinventing the roster every time he see another team, just like he did yesterday by having Rasho and foster playing at the same time. He was lucky that Danny and Rush won the game or everybody here could be complaining about his coaching last night.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Plax80 View Post
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    Couldn't disagree any stronger.

    JOB is the only reason this team wins 36 games and not the 26 it deserves based on its level of talnet.

    I'll give Bird credit for instilling a discipline of character guys and a mentality hard work to the end (even though it kills us in teh draft lottery every year)
    .....but his skill level as GM is on par with former Celts mates McHale and Ainge ( who still stinks regardless of Garnett falling into his lap).
    To me it seems that the way JOB's coaching style will only win games and not playoffs series'. If we're going to make that move to returning into an elite team again, I dont see JOB as our headcoach.

    He has no sense of defense and we all know how far offense can get you without no defense (i.e. previous Suns team with D'Antoni). We cant keep trying to run the score and win games by just running up the score and not playing great defense. We have some pretty good defenders (Granger, Jack, Rush, Foster and Quis), but we still manage to let opposing teams run up the score on us.
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Plax80 View Post
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    Couldn't disagree any stronger.

    JOB is the only reason this team wins 36 games and not the 26 it deserves based on its level of talnet.

    I'll give Bird credit for instilling a discipline of character guys and a mentality hard work to the end (even though it kills us in teh draft lottery every year)
    .....but his skill level as GM is on par with former Celts mates McHale and Ainge ( who still stinks regardless of Garnett falling into his lap).
    QFT

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    My prediction is that Bird will get a contract extension (hopefully soon) but JOB wont. The team will hopefully move into a different direction and get a coach that can run some defense. If you think about it, we have some pretty decent defenders. Jack, Rush, Granger, Foster, Graham, and McRoberts can hold their own on defense. By a coaching change, we should be able to lower our opponents PPG.

    Theres quite a few good coaches out there that are unemployed (in regards to coaching). Avery Johnson, Flip (who looks like hes going to the Wiz), Jeff Van Gundy...to name a few

    Does anyone remember how Isiah was as a coach? I know hes terrible as a GM, but didnt he do a decent job as a coach? I probably wouldnt want him in the Pacers organization again, its just a mere question
    It's not easy to find perfect coach who has no flaws.
    There are assistant coaches, specialists there to fill weak spots, like Tom Thibodeau, Chip Engelland.

    So, keep JOB, strenghten staff. Keep adding, drafting good characters.
    We are on good way pals.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by granger View Post
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    It's not easy to find perfect coach who has no flaws.
    There are assistant coaches, specialists there to fill weak spots, like Tom Thibodeau, Chip Engelland.

    So, keep JOB, strenghten staff. Keep adding, drafting good characters.
    We are on good way pals.
    If we could find a defensive specialist coach like Kevin O'neal...I would be happy with JOB. My only knock on him is his lack of defense
    "So, which one of you guys is going to come in second?" - Larry Bird before the 3 point contest. He won.



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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Larry Bird is a solid draft pick and Tinsley trade away from being GM of the year.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    They did a good job. The work's just not done yet.

    Next year they will have continued to do a good job if the team is in the playoffs and they are still on coarse to improve over that summer.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    I think many are blaming JO'B for some of his decisions he make regarding personel & line-ups that I think were "presured" on him, either by suggestion or out uncertainty. What I mean is, I think the Simons were dead-set on making the play-offs t/y. I have heard that even a 3-&-out 8th seed team brings in about $1 mil by making the playoffs, & I'm sure the Simons wanted that $, & wanted to "recognition" from the fans for doing so. IMO it was not untill the season shut-down of Mike & the Daniels injury helped seal that fait & have JO'B the opportunity to play the rook's (even if he too was not sold at first). For 3/4 of the yr. I think JO'B was playing to win for "Today" on for n/y. Playing the vets (Daniels, Dun, Rasho,...) was what he (& I'm sure others in the organization) thought were our "Best Team". Heck, as many of the thoughts indicated here wanting JO'B gone show, JO'B is not & was not assured of having a "next year". Coaches have to win now. Coaches are easy to replace, players are not (see Tinsley). Also, lets get real, we were not going to fire JO'B t/y, & likely won't n/y, as there is no way we are going to pay 2 coaches. JO'B is signed thru n/y, so he is ours till then (barring the unexpected & unforseen).
    What I do like about JO'B is the fight & energy & the never-quit mentality we played w/ from game 1 to game 82. Down to the last 8 min's down 17, w/ nothing to play for, this team gave their all & were excited for eachother when they won. That has a lot to do w/ the job L.Bird did putting this cast together, but maybe even more so for JO'B for selling his beliefs to this team. There was no grumbles, no complaints, no film-room altercations, nothing! Even when losing, we played hard. I can probably count the games we were not competative in on one hand. That speaks volumes to me. While I agree 110% on the defense concerns, I have to give JO'B far more credit then blame.
    Lastly, on the defense, I see everyone blaming JO'B & stating that we need a defensive specialist (like Kevin O'Neil) on out bench - But can I ask : Where is the critisism & blame for Dick Harter? Is that not Dick's main job but to coach our defense? I know JO'B is ultimately responsible for all, but IMO if there is a weak link or under-performer on the staff, it is likely D.Harter far more then JO'B. If this were the Colts of yrs past, we'd all be asking for the head of Ron Meeks, not Tony Dungy! (Now don't say I'm comparing JO'B to Dungy - I'm not! I am merely comparing the circumstances & preceptions of the coaching staff responsibilities, nothing more!)
    "Larry Bird: You are Officially On the Clock! (3/24/08)"
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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Simon: We're bound to not only get in the playoffs, but to win in the playoffs. We have a good nucleus. People say we're pretty close to getting back to (the) playoffs. We would have made the playoffs if we had Dunleavy. We don't know what to expect next year because of his injury. When we started at the beginning of the year, we said we had a three-year plan. This is Year 1. We're on track to stop losing money and start winning games.
    This is bull****. This is the first you've said, "three-year plan" publicly. The only reason you are close to being a playoff team right now is because Hibbert and Rush improved a lot over the course of the season. Although this team overachieved, IMO, I would like to have seen Rush and Hibbert pushed a bit harder into game action in November and December and perhaps they could have been a playoff team anyway.

    If you would have been talking about a three-year plan last fall, I would have been a lot more interested in watching the games this past season. But you didn't. You guys had everyone fooled into thinking this was a playoff team - look at the prediction thread again. The early-season and even mid-season rotations suggested the same thing - desperation to make the playoffs this season because the vision was 100% short-term and not a three-year plan.

    A three-year rebuilding plan makes a helluva lot more sense to me. I think Bird and O'Brien actually did a good job for Year #1 of a three-year plan, and that's not easy to type because I really want Bird run out of town as soon as possible.

    This just irritates me that as the season ends he talks about Year #1 of a three-year for the first time but pretends it was the message all long. It SHOULD have been the message all along.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    But how can we say for sure that Rush and Hibbert would have progressed differently by being pressed into action? It could have possibly done more harm than good.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    MAJOR KUDOS to Herb Simon as well.

    There have been quite few times when owners decide they want to become proactive
    and get involved only to end up being meddlesome and doing more harm than good.

    Herb has done a great job though assembling a strong front office dedicated to
    getting things back on the track to respectability.

    GREAT JOB HERB & THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    One question: what is the consensus of Jeff Van Gundy as a coach? Do you think he would be a good hire after JOB? Heck, he might not even look our direction, more so out of a sense of loyalty to Mark Jackson, whom JVG pegged as the right pick for this job before JOB was hired.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by MillerTime View Post
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    If we could find a defensive specialist coach like Kevin O'neal...I would be happy with JOB. My only knock on him is his lack of defense
    Weren't we supposed to have the guru of defense in Harter? Problem was, he wasn't used in that capacity.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by ABADays View Post
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    Weren't we supposed to have the guru of defense in Harter? Problem was, he wasn't used in that capacity.
    That's what I thought too.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Given the state of things when Larry took over full time, and what he had to accomplish, a 3 year plan isn't a large leap in thinking in terms of turning this thing around.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    This just irritates me that as the season ends he talks about Year #1 of a three-year for the first time but pretends it was the message all long. It SHOULD have been the message all along.
    What you're saying here is that the Pacers should have said to fans, "Our attendance sucked last year, but you should come watch this year because we're in the first year of a 3 year rebuilding plan. We'll make the games cheaper, so that should make up for us not trying to field a winning team."

    I think it was obvious that the team was rebuilding. I don't think, however, that you can go into a season telling players and fans that you don't expect the team to win unless you're obviously doing a Memphis/OKC-style rebuild plan, which the Pacers are not doing.

    I'd expect the 3 year plan is more about making the Pacers a profitable business operation than about making the team into a true championship contender. Getting more fans into the building was a huge part of this, and I don't think it could have been done if Simon and Bird were trying to sell a rebuilding plan.
    "A man with no belly has no appetite for life."

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Bird is slowly proving me wrong, so I'm okay with giving him an extension at this point.

    JOB, however, has not even come close to earning an extension. I know it's rarely good to have a lame-duck coach, but Jim has not done enough right now to get extended or fired, so I think he's the perfect candidate for such a position going into next season.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by RamBo_Lamar View Post
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    MAJOR KUDOS to Herb Simon as well.

    There have been quite few times when owners decide they want to become proactive
    and get involved only to end up being meddlesome and doing more harm than good.

    Herb has done a great job though assembling a strong front office dedicated to
    getting things back on the track to respectability.

    GREAT JOB HERB & THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I do agree with this. I think Herb's done an outstanding job so far.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    Bird is slowly proving me wrong, so I'm okay with giving him an extension at this point.

    JOB, however, has not even come close to earning an extension. I know it's rarely good to have a lame-duck coach, but Jim has not done enough right now to get extended or fired, so I think he's the perfect candidate for such a position going into next season.
    The Pacers have an option to pick up O'Brien for the year after next. My expectation is that they will make the call one way or another around New Year's Day.

    I do expect Bird to get an extension, but I do not believe an extension will come for O'Brien. As I said, at most, they'll pick up that last year, but I don't expect it to be this summer.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by QuickRelease View Post
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    One question: what is the consensus of Jeff Van Gundy as a coach? Do you think he would be a good hire after JOB? Heck, he might not even look our direction, more so out of a sense of loyalty to Mark Jackson, whom JVG pegged as the right pick for this job before JOB was hired.
    Of those available, hire JVG and keep OB as offensive coordinator / assistant coach. Unfortunately, JVG is the brother of SVG who was ready enough to become our coach that he actually came to town to finalize his contract and backed out at the last second and looked genuinely upset when WTHR interviewed him while he was sitting in his car getting ready to drive away. Looked like he felt that he had been misled. If he felt that Walsh misled him, JVG might consider us. If SVG felt that Bird misled him, no chance. Since Bird initiated discussions with SVG and even went to Florida to talk to him, I suspect that Bird basically told him that the Pacers wanted him and when the actual dollars were plunked on the table, SVG felt insulted and left. Fortunately for him, the Orlando job came back open and he quickly jumped at the chance.

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    Default Re: Good News, Herb Simon thinks Bird and O'B did good job!

    If I were in charge I would give O'Brien a 1 year extenstion befoe the season starts. I don't believe in having a lame duck coach. If the season starts to go bad - it is easy for the players to think he won't be around next season - with a contract it makes it a little less obvious. Of course a coach can be fired at anytime, and this is easy for me to say because it isn't my $$

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