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Thread: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

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    Default NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...icle-1.1109705

    By Mitch Lawrence

    Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame

    Pacers owner Herb Simon turned down the NBA legend's request to add a scorer, even after the Pacers had problems generating offense against the Miami Heat in their second-round playoff loss.

    The old Celtics players network was buzzing after Larry Bird stepped down as Indiana’s president and not because Bird quit after nine seasons in the team’s front office.

    Bird told some old teammates that he was actually leaning toward staying on and had indicated that in a meeting in late June with owner Herb Simon when they met to assess the Pacers’ needs. During the sit-down, Bird told Simon he liked the team a lot, but “we just need to add another piece.’’

    Nothing doing.

    Simon turned down Bird’s request to add a scorer, even after the Pacers had problems generating offense against the Miami Heat in their second-round playoff loss. Bird was thinking about getting into the Eric Gordon sweepstakes to make a run at the Hornets’ restricted free agent and former Indiana University star.


    Between health concerns about his shoulder and back and the fact that he doesn’t see himself as a lifer like other execs, including his successor Donnie Walsh, Bird likely used Simon’s rejection as an additional reason to hang it up, one old Celtic said.

    Simon, the shopping mall czar, could have easily picked up another big deal, even as the Pacers decided to re-sign point guard George Hill for $40 million over five years, and are expected to match Portland’s bloated $60 million offer sheet to retain starting center Roy Hibbert. According to Forbes, Simon, the chairman and director of the Simon Property Group, the largest publicly traded real estate investment trust in the U.S., had a net worth this past March of $1.8 billion.

    But Simon is also known to oppose paying the NBA luxury tax. After leaving, Bird shed some light on what he had to put up with, when asked about making the Pacers better.

    “Small market,’’ he said. “It’s tough.’’

    The NBA likes its icons, as it has been working behind the scenes with Michael Jordan to try to help get his Bobcats turned around. So it makes sense that the league would want Bird to come back in the future.

    “It’s got to be the right job, the right people,’’ he said about running another franchise. “I’ve got some interest in some jobs out there but whether I do it again, who knows.’’

    Bird has indicated to former teammates that he’s too old to be part of an ownership group, but it’s not as if he’s a geezer. He’ll turn 56 in December.

    We can see a return for Bird down the line, perhaps as a part-owner and the face of a franchise. The NBA will always welcome Larry Legend back, with open arms.

    ..........

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    If this is true, I am very disappointed in Simon.

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    Yikes.

    I worry for our future if Herb wont let us get a scorer.
    Stop quoting people I have on ignore!

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    I hope this isn't all true.. Specifically the conversation between Bird and Simon

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Gotta spend $ to make $ Herb... if this is your spending plan as a franchise, then you better be prepared to sit back and enjoy losing money every year.

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    I was sure that Bird left because Simon really wouldn't let him build a winner...... None of this surprises me. I think Bird will sit out a year and comeback with another team in a large market to build an NBA champion......

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Is this really a surprise to anyone?

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    This isn't a smoking gun, but this is exactly what I was afraid of.

    After all of the years of trying to build & getting rid of bloated rotten contracts Bird was ready to see his new young team make that next step only to be told that he wouldn't have the resources to do it.

    I love what Simon has done for our franchise & I always will appreciate him for that. But if we don't get that extra piece and we don't re-sign Roy and or replace him with equal value then I have to question Simons real commitment to winning it all.

    I have a feeling that playoff games and winning season records might just be enough and the more I think about it the more that sounds like the 90's to me.

    Again, I'm not going to let an interview with un named sources who used to play with Bird make my final impression but honestly this goes into the pile of "hmmmmm...." when I think about this off season and the upcoming one.

    I told Diamond Dave the other night I have a feeling we should have had a parade after this season because I wonder if that is not as good as its going to get.


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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    This sucks
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    Bobcat fans telling us to cheer up = epic fail season
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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    **** you simon

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    If Simon didn't want to spend, Hill would of walked. There are much cheaper options.

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    I tend to believe this article after what has happened so far in the off season. (I know it's not over, but still...)

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    If you don't want to spend the money to build a winner, the SELL THE TEAM!! I don't blame him for not wanting to pay the luxury tax, but anything up to that should be used to build the team!

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Quote Originally Posted by Coupe View Post
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    **** you simon
    Settle down and show some respect. He deserves it. And he sure as hell deserves better than any Pacer fan having the nerve to say '**** you' to him. Absolutely ridiculous.

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Quote Originally Posted by Coupe View Post
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    **** you simon
    Beyond what the Simon family has done for us as Pacer fans, you should educated yourself on what they have done for this city, state, and humanity in general.

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    And It could be bent out of context a bit. It maybe just the fact that Simon don't want to bid on RFA's or Max type RFA's, like Eric Gordon. This would make Larry's hands be tied just as well. Larry can't get the big named FA's here and Larry wasn't allowed to bid on big name RFA's. Only very few trades will equate to a for sure big name player either, because if that big name player is walking the walk they just don't get traded for the heck of it.
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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Quote Originally Posted by billbradley View Post
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    If Simon didn't want to spend, Hill would of walked. There are much cheaper options.
    I don't see a binary choice here. It's not a matter of 'Simon doesn't to spend'. Clearly we can see that he's willing to. It's just that that has limits, and unfortunately for those of us who still care deeply about winning a championship... it may be just shy of what we need to really try to make it all the way. 'One piece short.'

    Simon has even allowed us to be a tax team in the past, but I think he's been hit hard by the losses over the past 7-ish years, and my hunch is he's a little more reluctant than he used to be. I don't think we'll ever be a tax team again while he's the owner. I think the best we can hope for is spending up to just below the tax.

    We may still match Roy, but we're not going to look to add any big names. Our best hope is to replace one or some of our current guys with ones who fit together better to make up for it.

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    I was so excited for this team after the heat series but this offseason Is slowing killing it. Match hibbert, sign brand and mayo, and hope we can find a trade mid season I guess.
    Long time lurker. Fan since 98. Don't Trade Danny

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacer Fan View Post
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    And It could be bent out of context a bit. It maybe just the fact that Simon don't want to bid on RFA's or Max type RFA's, like Eric Gordon. This would make Larry's hands be tied just as well. Larry can't get the big named FA's here and Larry wasn't allowed to bid on big name RFA's. Only very few trades will equate to a for sure big name player either, because if that big name player is walking the walk they just don't get traded for the heck of it.
    I've wondered about that. Yet we still at least met with Gordon before he agreed to terms with Phoenix. I don't see why we met with him at all if Simon would never condone making an offer. Maybe Herb doesn't feel he's worth max money, and his reluctance to pursue free agents is partially because he feels they usually get overpaid (by teams wanting to try to force other franchises to let players leave, like Portland is attempting to do to us right now with Roy Hibbert).

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    If this turns out true, I will be so disappointed in Simon.
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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    Is this really a surprise to anyone?
    Not a surprise, but it's concerning as I still cling to the dream of winning a title someday. My hope is all but gone, though.

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    If he said no to Gordon why'd we meet with him?

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Because he didn't want to take 14m+/yr gamble on Gordon (and that's all i'm seeing in this article), does not mean he won't spend.

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Right now it seems like the OJ Mayo deal is falling apart because Pacers won't offer enough. What Herb is doing absolutely sucks for this franchise

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    Default Re: NY Daily News: 'Larry Bird flew the coop in Indiana and the Pacers' billionaire owner is partly to blame'

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacersalltheway10 View Post
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    Right now it seems like the OJ Mayo deal is falling apart because Pacers won't offer enough. What Herb is doing absolutely sucks for this franchise
    It sucks, but ironically, there probably wouldn't be an Indiana Pacers if not for him and his brother.

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