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Thread: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

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    Default It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    http://www.indycornrows.com/2010/7/2...ight-year-plan

    I thought this was a very informative and insightful article

    On the heels of SB Nation's recent NBA GM Rankings, Pacers front office guru Larry Bird was lambasted as the worst GM in the league for his lack of "direction." Tom dove deeper into this being a bit of a questionable decision, though community lines remain torn on the issue.

    There's no denying the lack of moves by an average Pacers team is going to draw questions from everyone, but the situation was very difficult to maneuver when Bird finally took over the reigns completely from Donnie Walsh in 2008. However, personally, I question how Pat Riley deserves to be first for doing what numerous other GMs did, except getting the benefit of receiving the prize thanks to assumed player collusion.

    Regardless, very little was given to the Pacers situation in giving Bird any benefit of the doubt for a grade that still seems very much "incomplete." After all, this is the year where Bird will mark his weight as a GM in this league, not in having very little pull or valuable assets to move the past few.
    Larry Bird has given us his "Three-Year Plan," and though it may lack "direction," it's still a process, but what of the situation former Pacers GM Donnie Walsh walked into? What about his "Eight-Year Plan?"

    Donnie Walsh was named Pacers GM in 1986 after joining the franchise in 1984. The following quote is an excerpt from Steve Mannheimer's book Pacer Power!: The 1994 Wonder Season of the Indiana Pacers, a book Pacers fans should attempt to search out if they can, if only to relive the 1993-94 season:

    "For so long," Donnie explained, "this has been a high-school and college area of fan support for basketball teams. The fans are accustomed to thinking terms of four year intervals. ... they can still misunderstand the pro game, mostly because their time sense of the big picture, so to speak, is working at a different rate.
    "When I took over the Pacers in 1986, I realized we had a long way to go to build this team. The only way you can build a better team is through the draft or by trades.

    "... But in '86, we didn't have the players to trade. Our team wasn't good enough then. So that meant the draft was going to main way to improve. And that would take me four years.

    "And even then, even if you have the talent, it's going to take you three or four years to fine-tune it - and that's only if everything goes perfect. ... So when I took over I realized it was a seven or eight year process."

    Would fans feel better if Bird lined out his "plan" in this sense? When Walsh took over the Pacers in 1986, he figured it would take eight years for them to be a really good team. As the Pacers reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 1994, his "eight year plan" was a success. Does it mean Bird's "plan" or "direction" cannot?

    Before I begin, I unfortunately can not take first hand information on these events, I have to rely on my previous knowledge of the players, their statistics, the internet and writings, and their basketball cards (which were always strangely rosy in player descriptions) to get a full grasp on who these players I didn't see play were, since I was two when Walsh took over and have first memories as a Pacers fan during the 1993-94 season. If there is any more insight as to the reaction to the job Walsh was doing in his early tenure in addition to his acquisitions, those would be much appreciated to help round out the entire picture.

    The "youth movement" was in full swing for the Pacers in 1986, who had nine players on the roster who were 25 or under. Of those, notables included Wayman Tisdale, Vern Fleming, and Steve Stipanovich. Clark Kellogg was only 24, but his career had already taken a massive hit by injuries.

    1986 NBA Draft
    Walsh drafted Auburn star Chuck Person with the fourth overall pick, also selected Greg Dreiling (2, 26). Four more players were selected, none of which signed or played with the Pacers, confirming that the NBA Draft was still at least four rounds too long in 1986.
    1986 Summer
    Hired Jack Ramsey as coach; traded two second rounders to the Bulls for Kyle Macy (28 yrs., 8.6 PTS/2.2 REB/5.4 AST in 27 minutes); released Dwayne McClain (22, 3.5/0.7/1.5 in 10), Bill Garnett (25, 4.3/3.4/1.2 in 15), and Bill Martin (23, 5.0/1.5/0.8 in 11); traded Terrence Stansbury (24, 6.7/1.9/2.8 in 18) and Russ Schoene (hadn't played for Indiana since 1983, played in Europe) to Seattle for John Long (29, 10.0/1.6/1.3) and a second round pick.
    The roster turnover in 1986 improved the Pacers by 15 wins, and put them into the playoffs for the first time since 1981. Person would be named Rookie of the Year, John Long found a career revitalization after falling out of favor in Detroit, and the other young assets (Tisdale, Fleming, and Stipanovich) showed improvement.

    1987 NBA Draft and Summer
    Walsh selected Reggie Miller with the 11th overall pick, also selected Brian Rowsom (2, 34). Four more players were selected, again, none played for the team. The saga with Reggie Miller is well known, with Walsh passing on local legend Steve Alford.
    Traded second rounder to Milwaukee for Scott Skiles (22, 3.8/2.0/3.5 in 13 games); re-signed Steve Stipanovich and Vern Fleming; failed to tender Kyle Macy; signed Clinton Wheeler (1981 7th round pick, no NBA experience), lost Clark Kellogg to retirement.

    1987-88 season
    Waived Brian Rowsom (four games played) and Clint Richardson (31-year old hadn't played a game in the season). The Pacers finished 38-44 and outside of the playoffs. Chuck Person became the focus of opposing teams and failed to adjust coupled with regression from Herb Williams and John Long. Wayman Tisdale and Fleming continued to improve.
    1988 NBA Draft and Summer

    Walsh selected Rik Smits with with the second overall pick. Also drafted Herbert Crook (3, 61) and Michael Anderson (3, 73). Much like Miller, the Smits pick was seen as a miss for a lengthy amount of time, especially as Charles Smith (third overall) exploded for the Clippers.
    Lost Clinton Wheeler to the Hornets in the 1988 Expansion Draft; signed Anthony Frederick (1986 6th rounder), Richard Morton (undrafted free agent), and Stuart Gray (1984 Pacers second rounder); traded Ron Anderson to New York for Everette Stephens (1987 second rounder).
    I can't see an impact pickup made in this summer at all. Looking at the lack of impact, coupled with the career ending injury of Steve Stipanovich prior to season's start...

    1988-89 season
    Jack Ramsey resigns, Mel Daniels interim, George Irvine hired (and replaced by), Dick Versace hired as head coach; traded Wayman Tisdale and second rounder to Sacramento for LaSalle Thompson (27, 15.0/9.1/1.0 through 43 games) and Randy Wittman (29, 3.8/0.8/1.0 through 32 games); traded Herb Williams to Dallas for Detlef Schrempf (26, 9.5/4.5/2.3 through 37 games) and a second rounder; waived John Long.

    The Pacers had a dreadful 88-89 season, finishing 28-54. Schrempf proved to be a valuable addition, as did the growth of Reggie Miller, Chuck Person, and Vern Fleming.

    1989 NBA Draft, summer, and 1989-90 season
    Drafted George McCloud with the seventh overall pick. This pick would be the worst of Walsh's early tenure, making it the third straight year he had drafted a question mark, even though Reggie Miller was budding into a young star. Traded Stuart Gray to Charlotte for second round pick Dyron Nix (2, 29).
    Resigned Detlef Schrempf; lost Scott Skiles to Orlando in 1989 Expansion Draft; signed Mike Sanders (28, 9.3/3.7/1.6 in 26 minutes), Rickey Green (35, 4.6/1.1/3.0 in 63 games), and and Calvin Natt (32, 6.3/3.3/0.8 in 24 games).
    This summer is worth mentioning as a question mark given the way the Pacers laid low again in the offseason, only resigning Schrempf and bunting their way to roster improvements on a 28-win team. The 1988 and 1989 offseasons seems strangely familiar to the Pacers 2009 or even 2010 offseason in regards to impact and action to a below average team that is waiting to see their current assets pan out.
    As for the season, the Pacers finished 42-40 and made the playoffs. Reggie Miller named an All-Star; Chuck Person, Detlef Schrempf improved. Pacers find themselves in need of point guard help.

    1990 NBA Draft, summer, and 1990-91 season
    Drafted Antonio Davis (2, 45) and Kenny Williams (2, 46). Signed Micheal Williams (23, 6.9/1.4/3.5 in 22 games), lost Rickey Green to Philadelphia; signed Kenny Williams.
    Dick Versace was fired after a 9-16 start, replaced by Bob Hill. Pacers finished the season at 41-41 and fell to the Boston Celtics in the most exciting five game series in NBA history. A lot of this series is up on YouTube, so give it a glance if you get a chance (this series featured the Larry Bird heroics in game 5 to prevent the massive upset).

    Reggie Miller continued to be the leader, as Walsh put it, it was this season he realized they had three of the same player in Miller, Chuck Person, and Detlef Schrempf, who all continued playing well. Rik Smits struggled mightily in his third year, Micheal Williams was emerging as a potential PG prospect.

    Walsh was entering his sixth summer, and despite two straight playoff appearances, the team hadn’t taken form yet. Miller and Person were the go-tos. Schrempf was your sixth man by default. Maybe Micheal Williams is something at the PG spot, and Fleming makes a serviceable backup. But those are your pieces. Smits struggled, McCloud still showed nothing, LaSalle Thompson wasn’t a viable option at PF, Greg Dreiling started 42 games. After five seasons, the Pacers had not improved a game.

    1991 NBA Draft and summer, 1991-92 season
    Dale Davis was drafted with the thirteenth pick. Walsh also selected Sean Green (2, 41). The Pacers stood pat the remainder of the offseason, only waving Mike Sanders shortly after the season began.

    The team finished 40-42 and was swept out of the playoffs. There was very little change from the previous year in terms of production, though Micheal Williams averaged 15/8 as the starting PG. Chuck Person had an altercation with a cameraman, Smits still struggled to keep his starting job over Dreiling, McCloud was not panning out.

    1992 NBA Draft and summer, 1992-93 season
    Malik Sealy was selected 14th overall in the draft. The Pacers traded Chuck Person and Micheal Williams to Minnesota in exchange for Pooh Richardson (25, 16.5/3.7/8.4) and Sam Mitchell (28, 10.1/5.8/1.1) in hopes of answering the Pacers long term issue at PG.

    The Pacers didn’t improve in the win column, finishing 41-41 and suffering a first round exit to the Knicks. Schrempf had moved to the starting lineup, Dale Davis had an impressive second year (averaging 9/9), Smits was being run out of town. Richardson wasn’t as big of a force as he was hoped to be.

    1993 NBA Draft and summer
    Walsh selected Scott Haskin from Oregon State with the 13th pick. Also selected were Thomas Hill (2, 39) and Spencer Dudley (2, 51). Larry Brown as hired as head coach. Walsh had wanted Brown for years, but didn't feel his team was mature enough to win under Brown until 1993. The Pacers signed Antonio Davis (1990 second rounder) and Haywoode Workman (25, 8.0/3.3/4.8); traded Sean Green to Philadelphia for a second rounder. Just before the season began, Walsh traded Detlef Schrempf to Seattle for Derrick McKey (26, 13.4/4.2/2.6) and Gerald Paddio (27, 3.9/1.2/0.8 in 41 games). In early December, the Pacers signed free agent Byron Scott (31, 13.7/2.3/2.7).

    The fruits of this offseason were the culmination of seven years of building. The Detlef Schrempf trade was seen as a big swing in Seattle’s favor, but the Sonics bowed out in the first round with Schrempf as McKey and the Pacers lost in the Eastern Conference Finals. Rik Smits finally emerged as Dale and Antonio Davis had breakout years, all under the guidance of Larry Brown.
    It took eight years for Donnie Walsh to get the Pacers out of the first round and into contention. From this season, the Pacers were guided to six Eastern Conference Finals and an Eastern Conference Championship. It’s impossible to imprint the legacy of a general manager in just three years, since doing so would paint Walsh in an unfavorable light.

    Since taking over the team full time in 2007, Larry Bird has had to perform a difficult undertaking with troublemakers, no cap flexibility for years, and a need to rebuild with youth. We complain about Jim O’Brien, but the reason Walsh didn’t bring Larry Brown in earlier was because his team was too young to make use of his skills. The same can be said of this Pacers team and any number of coaches.

    Walsh needed four years of drafting to get his long term pieces set. He used Chuck Person to gain long term assets, and drafted Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Antonio Davis, and Dale Davis as long term players. Even looking at Bird’s draft history, his worst pick is seen as Brandon Rush, who is nowhere near as big of a bust as George McCloud was.

    Bird has had three years to build through the draft and has appeared to find Roy Hibbert, with verdicts still out on Tyler Hansbrough, A.J. Price, and Brandon Rush (to be fair on Rush’s behalf). He has gotten so much praise with the potential of Paul George and Lance Stephenson that if only one pans out to the level they’re supposed to, this franchise will reap the rewards.
    I would believe Jarrett Jack’s emergence and ridiculous contract were not in the plans as I suspect he was intended to be kept, much as Scott Skiles was. Bird’s signings of Earl Watson and Dahntay Jones are stop-gap signings that don’t upset any long term plans, much like Walsh’s signings of Mike Sanders, Rickey Green, and Calvin Natt in 1989.

    One of Bird’s biggest strikes is that he stands pat, while Walsh stood pat with his young and painfully average (remember all those Indy .500 jokes?) team more than he probably should have. The bottom line is, well, what I’ve been preaching: it takes patience to fix this mess. There is no quick solution.

    Bird is not the worst GM in the league because he doesn’t make moves just to make moves. If there is a long term plan in effect, a direction that seems so laughable, Walsh needs to made guilty of it after three years as well. And for the love of Sunday, if Pat Riley is the best GM in the NBA right now for essentially winning the lottery, maybe this list isn’t so accurate after all.
    Last edited by 90'sNBARocked; 07-26-2010 at 01:03 PM.
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    It was really seven seasons. The eighth season was the ECF team.

    In the first season, they improved by 15 wins from 26 to 41 and were in the playoffs, and even won thier first NBA playoff game against a very good, #2 seed in Atlanta (with Dominique, Doc Rivers, Tree Rollins, Wittman, Spud Webb, etc.)

    Except for the year Stipo was injured and Smits was forced into the lineup as a rookie and we had four different head coaches (including Irvine and Versace... ouch!!) they averaged 40.5 wins per season over this period of time and were in the playoffs five of the seven seasons (and missed the #8 spot of the '88 season on the last day of the season.)

    Walsh's team immediately improved to be a playoff team and then plateued as a first-round-and-out team. Bird's team has gone the other way.

    Which is why I continue to believe that you can't begin to measure progress until next season when they finally have salary flexibility and can make moves to improve the team, not just get out of the salary cap Hell. The three-year plan to build a contender starts next summer. I expect the 2011-12 team to make a 10-15 win improvement and get into the playoffs. But I'd expect the 2010-11 team to be another stinker.

    Bird may deserve more time. But its not because it took Donnie "longer" than three years. Donnie showed immediate results and it still took time to get beyond the first round. Bird hasn't shown "immediate" results but his first real opportunity to do so is next season (again, 2011-12.)
    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: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Walsh didn't have a salary cap or free agency to help him along. Look at how he rebuild in 2000 for a better feel of how good a GM he was.

    Larry Bird is absolutely the most incompetent GM in basketball right now. Not only did he never rebuild. He isn't getting a top Free Agent in here either.

    Even after all the cap room is created, we still need another star and 4-6 more rotation level players before we can contend for anything.

    The Larry Bird vanity project has set this franchise back 10 years. And possibly will lead this franchise to move cities. How anyone can defend it is borderline criminal.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoJ View Post
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    I expect the 2011-12 team to make a 10-15 win improvement and get into the playoffs.

    But I'd expect the 2010-11 team to be another stinker.

    So you you are saying there won't be a lockout in 011-012?

    I agree next season will be another repeat of the last 3 seasons.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Even looking at Birdís draft history, his worst pick is seen as Brandon Rush



    Give me a second.



    Alright, you wanna give Larry 8 years, fine. He was hired as President of Basketball Operations on July 11th, 2003. That means he has 350 more days to prove himself.
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
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    Give me a second.



    Alright, you wanna give Larry 8 years, fine. He was hired as President of Basketball Operations on July 11th, 2003. That means he has 350 more days to prove himself.
    He is not the worst GM, in fact his patience is his best attribute
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    I agree with Kegboy here, the green hick has had 7 years so far and all he has to show for is a downward spiral and JoB as a coach

    his worst draft Rush ?? you serious ?? You really want the whole list of disasters?

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Tyme View Post
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    So you you are saying there won't be a lockout in 011-012?

    I agree next season will be another repeat of the last 3 seasons.
    No opinion on the lockout, but that would obviously make it harder for the team to improve by 15 wins.
    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: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Kegboy View Post
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    Alright, you wanna give Larry 8 years, fine. He was hired as President of Basketball Operations on July 11th, 2003. That means he has 350 more days to prove himself.
    Donnie Walsh was hired by the Knicks in April of 2008. Before that time he was here in Indiana. Nobody knows who was calling the shots before that. People who hate Bird just loooove to assume, but they know nothing. However I have a hard time believing the guy who had ran this team for so long had the keys removed from his hand, and Bird was in charge since 2003 .... all while Donnie stuck around for 5 years to pretend he was doing something. Sounds rather silly, no?

    People forget that so quickly when they want to crucify Bird for a lot of decisions he more than likely, didn't make.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    I agree with Kegboy here, the green hick has had 7 years so far and all he has to show for is a downward spiral and JoB as a coach

    his worst draft Rush ?? you serious ?? You really want the whole list of disasters?

    puhleaase
    Okay, but it goes against what has been made public information.

    Anyway, I think the first time Bird had a big hand in the draft was the Williams and White draft. I'd call them the two worst draft choices he's had...but since then his draft record has been at least decent.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by aaronb View Post
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    Walsh didn't have a salary cap or free agency to help him along. Look at how he rebuild in 2000 for a better feel of how good a GM he was.

    Larry Bird is absolutely the most incompetent GM in basketball right now. Not only did he never rebuild. He isn't getting a top Free Agent in here either.

    Even after all the cap room is created, we still need another star and 4-6 more rotation level players before we can contend for anything.

    The Larry Bird vanity project has set this franchise back 10 years. And possibly will lead this franchise to move cities. How anyone can defend it is borderline criminal.
    Salary cap went into effect during the 1985 season, so yes Donnie did have the salary cap to deal with.

    Amazing that in its first season teams could only spend 3.6 M total for the whole team

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    I agree with Kegboy here, the green hick has had 7 years so far and all he has to show for is a downward spiral and JoB as a coach

    his worst draft Rush ?? you serious ?? You really want the whole list of disasters?

    puhleaase
    So what was Donnie, his cheerleader? Donnie was his BOSS. Donnie made the decisions. Larry most certainly could give his input, but ultamately, Donnie was the one pulling the strings. This will be the 4th year of Larry making decisions.

    We aren't privvy to the discussions between Donnie and Larry. For all we know, Larry toed the company line like a good little soldier and was just the PR mouth for Donnie.

    There's no reason why Donnie even had a job, if Larry made the decisions. Simons would have been paying Donnie while Larry was the one in charge.

    Does that seem business smart, especially for a franchise supposedly losing so much money they need the CIB to help them?

    Your personal bias for the "green hick" is clouding your judgement.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Salary cap went into effect during the 1985 season, so yes Donnie did have the salary cap to deal with.

    Amazing that in its first season teams could only spend 3.6 M total for the whole team

    I meant more so in regards to Free Agency. You didn't see deals like Beasley or Jefferson for cap space deals.

    You had to build one player at a time in the 80's.

    Bird should have unloaded every vet piece he had for future picks and young players. As soon as Artest asked for a trade in 2005.

    Artest
    Jackson
    JO
    Tinsley
    Foster
    Anthony Johnson
    Scott Polard

    All had varying degrees of trade value at that point. Instead of making an honest assessment of the talent on hand. Bird chose to push forward without rebuilding. That decision is the sole reason we are where we are today.

    A perpetual 30 game winner. Without a bona-fide star, or more than 3 NBA level rotation players under contract past this season.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Revisionist History
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    Reggie Miller continued to be the leader, as Walsh put it, it was this season he realized they had three of the same player in Miller, Chuck Person, and Detlef Schrempf, who all continued playing well. Rik Smits struggled mightily in his third year, Micheal Williams was emerging as a potential PG prospect.
    This is one of the most objectively false statements regarding the 1990-91 team I've ever seen. Reggie as a leader? Not back then, folks. That's crazy. That was still Rifleman's team. Yes, Smits struggled, and its certainly true that the first unit played better with Dreiling and Smits played better with the second unit at that point in time. But the real laugher: Micheal Williams emerging as a PG prospect? As a playoff starter, he averaged 20.6PPG and 8.4APG with a pair of 20+-10 double-doubles in the Garden. Prospect? Really? He was the real-deal.
    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: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    So what was Donnie, his cheerleader? Donnie was his BOSS. Donnie made the decisions. Larry most certainly could give his input, but ultamately, Donnie was the one pulling the strings. This will be the 4th year of Larry making decisions.

    We aren't privvy to the discussions between Donnie and Larry. For all we know, Larry toed the company line like a good little soldier and was just the PR mouth for Donnie.

    There's no reason why Donnie even had a job, if Larry made the decisions. Simons would have been paying Donnie while Larry was the one in charge.

    Does that seem business smart, especially for a franchise supposedly losing so much money they need the CIB to help them?

    Your personal bias for the "green hick" is clouding your judgement.

    Do we honestly think that Bird would take the job as the GM, then sit back while Donnie Walsh ran this thing into the ground?

    Bird made the roster decisions. Walsh helped mentor Bird with the financial negotiations, salary cap management, and relations with other GM's.

    How we can compare the track record of Walsh (who built a mini-dynasty here) and Bird (who hasn't done anything of note) is laughable.

    This mess has been 100% Bird's doing. Yet he is from Indiana so he gets a pass from the yokels.

    Will we still love Larry unconditionally if his buffoonery leads the franchise out of town?

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by able View Post
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    I agree with Kegboy here, the green hick has had 7 years so far and all he has to show for is a downward spiral and JoB as a coach

    his worst draft Rush ?? you serious ?? You really want the whole list of disasters?

    puhleaase

    Did Bird bring in Artest?

    Was it Bird's fault that JO became a hobbled diva?

    Was it Bird's fault that Tinsley was Tinsley?

    Walsh still had the final call from 03-07. I honestly don't see how anyone can say otherwise. When Bird took full control last year the franchise was a complete and utter mess from the mismanagement that took place for the 8 years prior. Pretty much all the problem players were guys that were brought in before Bird arrived. How exactly was he supposed to fix all of that in 2 years?

    What moves could Bird have made that he didn't? The only true asset he's ever had up to this point was JO and I'd say turning him into Hibbert was a damn good move. Since then, he has had ZERO ASSETS. We were hobbled by the contracts of Murphy, Dunleavy and Ford. Only now does he some have pieces to work with as those albatrosses have turned into assets. We'll see what Bird is made of as a GM by the way he plays those pieces.

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  22. #17
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    I think its safe to say that the two-headed monster would have been ranked at about #398 on this list, so having Bird at #30 is certainly an improvement over that.
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  23. #18
    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Yes, the Pacers were pretty loaded with talent by 1990.

    AND we had a ROY in year 3, and not the #1 pick either.

    AND they had 2 MAJOR injuries to promising players - Stipo and Kellogg


    Even looking at Bird’s draft history, his worst pick is seen as Brandon Rush
    WHAT?!?!

    Hmm, personally attending a Memphis game early in their season and falling in love with Shawne Williams seems just a bit worse than drafting one of the better perimeter defenders in the league. Add in going all out for James White which looks remarkably similar to going for Lance this year (Cincy, super talented, troublesome attitude concerns) makes me strongly doubt that he had the call on Shawne but not White. Even more so when this was the era of his Saras signing.

    Using Walsh as his cover story for that era is total BS. I'll give on the GSW deal from a "we just don't know" angle tied in with lip service in the press, but Williams/White/Saras were 100% Larry Bird IMO.

  24. #19
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Using Walsh as his cover story for that era is total BS. I'll give on the GSW deal from a "we just don't know" angle tied in with lip service in the press, but Williams/White/Saras were 100% Larry Bird IMO.
    So you truly believe Walsh after building a team that was a contender for years, just sat back and let Bird make the decisions? That seems like an awfully large pill to swallow from a logical standpoint, presented by someone who likes to believe they generally are on the side of logic.

    Secondly, Walsh has said repeatedly after his hiring by the Knicks that his downfall in Indiana towards the end was "falling in love with talent alone", and not paying more attention to other things with players. If White and Williams don't fall into that category, I don't know who does.

    I have absolutely no idea why people think they can decipher who made what calls, and who didn't anytime before the summer of 2008.

    This isn't actually directed at Seth as much as a thing in general, but the "IMO" is the silliest thing I see on message boards. Guess what people, the text came from YOUR keyboard, so even without being prompted, I'm obviously going to understand that by the power of deduction, that yes, it probably is your opinion. I don't need the "IMO" to figure it out.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    My only contribution to this whole discussion is:

    There is a reason that Larry Bird never made it up the ladder in the Celtics organization. As I understand it, in the late 90's he certainly aspired to but he was placed in the scouting department. Red Auerbach didn't deem him management material. And living myself in the shadow of Boston, Larry is still Legend in these parts.... so it wasn't for a lack of respect within the community.

    My point is, I think Larry was given opportunities with the Pacers initially in circumstances where he couldn't fail. The team he coached in the late 90's after Larry Brown might not even really have needed a coach. Then working under Donnie's wing, we don't know really who was in charge. But it certainly did boost up ticket sales didn't it?

    I think now as the clock continues to tick, we might just be seeing was Red Auerbach saw - not a lot of anything.
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    What moves could Bird have made that he didn't? The only true asset he's ever had up to this point was JO and I'd say turning him into Hibbert was a damn good move. Since then, he has had ZERO ASSETS. We were hobbled by the contracts of Murphy, Dunleavy and Ford. Only now does he some have pieces to work with as those albatrosses have turned into assets. We'll see what Bird is made of as a GM by the way he plays those pieces.[/QUOTE]

    Ford was part of the trade that brought Hibbert, which ironically at that time was merley an afterthought as the 17th pick in the draft


    The trade was built around TJ, and also Raho (expiring)
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam1987 View Post
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    Did Bird bring in Artest?

    Was it Bird's fault that JO became a hobbled diva?

    Was it Bird's fault that Tinsley was Tinsley?

    Walsh still had the final call from 03-07. I honestly don't see how anyone can say otherwise. When Bird took full control last year the franchise was a complete and utter mess from the mismanagement that took place for the 8 years prior. Pretty much all the problem players were guys that were brought in before Bird arrived. How exactly was he supposed to fix all of that in 2 years?
    I think it is pretty obvious that Bird had a good amount of control. The is no way to say for sure how much, but to completely dismiss that he had any control is beyond idiotic. I seriously doubt Walsh went from being one of the best GM's in the league to one of the worst just a season or two after Bird joined the team. Afterall in the hierarchy of business Bird was the second man in charge after the Simons, so EVERYTHING had to go through Bird before it was approved. I'm sure the first season Bird sat back and let Walsh do his thing, maybe even in his second season, but no later than the third season Bird started making decisions.

    As far as Walsh's first eight years I can't help but notice that the team really took off the year that Smits and D^2 really broke out. Basketball has always and will always be a game that requires two excellent big men in order to be a successful team. They don't need to be the best players on the team, but until you have two good low post players it doesn't matter how good your PG and wings are you aren't going to get beyond the first round.

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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaufman View Post
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    My point is, I think Larry was given opportunities with the Pacers initially in circumstances where he couldn't fail. The team he coached in the late 90's after Larry Brown might not even really have needed a coach. Then working under Donnie's wing, we don't know really who was in charge. But it certainly did boost up ticket sales didn't it?
    From my understanding it was actually Carlisle that did most of the coaching with Bird doing more of the player management.

  30. #24
    How are you here? Kegboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86 View Post
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    So what was Donnie, his cheerleader? Donnie was his BOSS. Donnie made the decisions. Larry most certainly could give his input, but ultamately, Donnie was the one pulling the strings. This will be the 4th year of Larry making decisions.

    We aren't privvy to the discussions between Donnie and Larry. For all we know, Larry toed the company line like a good little soldier and was just the PR mouth for Donnie.

    There's no reason why Donnie even had a job, if Larry made the decisions. Simons would have been paying Donnie while Larry was the one in charge.

    Does that seem business smart, especially for a franchise supposedly losing so much money they need the CIB to help them?

    Your personal bias for the "green hick" is clouding your judgement.
    Bull****. When Donnie left, he was replaced by 3 people. Larry continued as president of basketball operations, Jim Morris was brought in to be president of business operations, Rick Fuson was promoted to COO, and Herb was named CEO in Donnie's place.

    Does Donnie deserve blame? Absolutely. But this pollyanna notion that Larry deserves none is ridiculous. If you really believe he was a "yes man" or even better, "Boomer for Adults", who's to say he isn't doing the same thing still, with Morway replacing Donnie as the brains and Herb as the decision maker.
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    Default Re: It took Walsh 8 years, so just maybe Bird deserves a little more time

    I'd like to point out that if you're going to hold Bird responsible for decisions during the Bird/ Walsh era that you should hold Morway responsible for all the decisions in the Morway/Bird era.
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