Donnie Walsh has no idea if Larry Bird will return as president of the Indiana Pacers.
Walsh spoke with Bird shortly before the playoffs began and didn't glean anything about his plans.
“I told him he should come back, but he didn't really give me an answer, so I said that's the last time I was going to ask,” Walsh said. “And it was.”
The Sacramento Kings are interested in Bird leading their front office. Should Bird take the job, he would face a rebuilding job even greater than the one he spearheaded with the Pacers.
“It takes a lot of courage to go do it the first time,” Walsh said. “Do you want to do it again and rebuild the team? It won't be fun. It's not fun. And you're going to lose (for awhile).”
Walsh is willing to resume retirement if Bird returns to the Pacers front office.
“The only way I'd come back is if (Bird) would say, 'I need you to help me with this,' or something like that,” Walsh said. “I know I could do that. In that role you can call people in the league and find out a lot of things. You're not the GM or the president.”
Did you forget he played in Boston? He collected a check in Indiana. Grew up in Indiana.....
All I want is a GM who's committed to the Pacers long term. Bird built this team, and he should be the first choice, but taking sabbaticals doesn't really fit in with running an NBA team. Even one bad signing while he was away (like Gerald Green) can really put a crimp on future moves.
Not saying other GMs won't make mistakes, or that Bird wouldn't, but at least they'd be cleaning up their own mess, in a way that supports (or at least doesn't hurt) their long term vision.
You know what, I had forgotten this part of Larry Bird and now that I remember it I am not as in a hurry to make sure he returns. I had forgotten that every year at the end of the year the story was always about Larry.
I don't want Walsh to stay, been there done that and am really wanting something else and honestly after last off season I am not overly optimistic about Pritchard either.
I would prefer Larry just because I know he wants to win and win now, but if it comes with the old (we'll do a handshake year by year thing) I think I would want another steady hand to help guide the team.
does this report have any merit that Bird is even interested in a GM position. if Bird is interested his decsion has most likely already been made.
He would want to sit down with Simon as usual. just a hunch but i think Pacers will know prior to the draft.
Kinda feels like Walsh is babysitting Bird's baby right now waiting for him to come home.
Haven't read the whole thread, but here's my thought: Bird would be attracted to a position where he is rewarded with a percentage of ownership if the franchise grows and improves.
The Pacers, I would imagine, have had a good year financially and will do even better in the future. Bird probably feels like he ought to share in that reward if he ever does it again.
"I like our group of people," Ainge told USA Today. "I'm trying to teach them about basketball, and they're trying to teach me about analytics."
I'd be willing to live with it if he was making quality moves that upgraded the team. Plus I doubt we'd have to worry about it next year. I don't see Bird coming back for just one season.
By being a top 5 all-time great, Bird has clout with the players like practically no one else. I think his presence would be great for Lance's continued development.
This thread from just three years ago is a pretty interesting read......
I sure hope that Simon hasn't forgotten:
It was Bird that traded for Roy Hibbert on Draft night in 2008, a center prospect considered so slow and so heavy that other teams picking just ahead of Toronto -- which took Hibbert with the 17th pick and then sent him to Indiana -- didn't even have Hibbert on their boards.
It was Bird who took a little-regarded forward from Fresno State named Paul George with the 10th pick in 2010, a player that was dismissed by a lot of personnel types because of the relative lack of competition the Bulldogs faced, in part because people thought George was a little soft.
It was Bird that convinced David West to sign in Indiana, and not Boston, as a free agent two years ago ... even though the Celtics were offering more money. It was Bird that used a second-rounder in 2010 on Lance Stephenson, whose troubled past gave most NBA teams the willies. And it was Bird that didn't hesitate to promote a then 37-year-old assistant coach with no prior head coaching experience -- though he was a star point guard for Juniata (Penn.) College -- to be his coach in 2011, replacing Jim O'Brien.
I still feel there is more to Bird leaving. Maybe Bird is waiting on a call from Herb to return to the fold, and won't make a committment to come back until Herb asks him. With no call forthcoming Bird is looking at different options.
Yeah I'm not a big fan of Bird or Walsh, Walsh brought us Murphleavy and he is the clown that decided to stay with Ron Artest for too long because as he said "I felt in love with talent", he also made some horrible decisions, signing Green, DJ, Ian and not doing anything to replace DG was really stupid and I'm always going to believe that he cost us a championship this year.
And Bird is the guy that told us about this great "3 years plan" that became 5/6 years, him crapping on Tinsley all over the place made it impossible for the Pacers to trade him, he did the same thing to TJ Ford, he also gave a broken down Jeff Foster a long term deal for some reason making him another worthless contract, bringing Luther Head and scrubs to make a "playoffs run" was always absurd.
Bird is also the GM that gave us JOB and I'm never going to forget that, I also remember him telling us to wait for the expiring contracts to finally do some things and did nothing, he is also the guy that refused to trade DG unless it was "for another star" how is that working out?
Yes he is "the architect of this team but I can't stop thinking about how lucky the Pacers have been, I mean how many times a team draft an slow footed out of shape center for him to work his way into one of the best centers in the league? and please don't tell me that Bird knew this because as we know he let the clown toy with Roy way too much and not only that but there were also reports of him trying to sign Nene and West to play them together leaving Roy out.
As I was telling Bill Ingram and Peck yesterday I don't expect "the Pacers way" to work for another team because too many things have to go right for them to work, for example if Roy doesn't work out and he becomes Thabeet we would have never had the season we had.
I don't see how you can say that Bird "did nothing" with the expiring contracts. He traded Murphy for Darren Collison, which was an absolutely fantastic move even if Collison didn't ultimately pan out like we all hoped he would. He was still infinitely better than Murphy. Then in 2011, Bird used his cap space to sign David West. I know you're not a huge fan of the guy, but signing a starting PF with your cap space is certainly "doing something". Murphy/Dunleavy/Ford were a collective pile of overpriced crap that teams didn't want a part of. The reasons we wanted them gone are the very reasons that teams weren't eager to take them off of our hands.
I agree that keeping JOB around as coach for as long as we did was unforgivable. Nothing to argue about there.
Every team in the league who goes on a deep playoff run gets "lucky". Who's blueprint do you recommend? The Heat? Good luck gutting your cap space and being rewarded with Lebron James. The Spurs? They are the luckiest franchise I've ever seen. David Robinson just happened to get injured in 96-97, which put them in a lottery in which they were rewarded with freaking Tim Duncan. Parker was drafted with the 28th pick and Manu was drafted with the 57th pick, yet both of these two guys have been huge contributors on teams that have made multiple Finals runs over the last decade. I'm sure the Spurs thought they'd be good, but there's no way they could have dreamed it would work out like this. The Spurs are the epitome of luck.
I don't think Oklahoma City is a good blueprint to follow. Good luck getting the second pick in a draft where Portland makes their second Sam Bowie/Michael Jordan error, which gives you freaking Kevin Durant. Then the next year you happen to get the fourth pick in Westbrook, who also turns into one of the best players in the league. Has a team ever been so lucky in back to back lotteries aside from the Magic when they got Shaq and Penny?
What about the Bulls? They won the lottery with 1.7% odds and got the hometown hero in Rose. If that's not luck, I don't know what is.
I just don't see how you can single out the Pacers for getting "lucky" when virtually every single team who gets far has gigantic strokes of luck along the way. You probably won't make it far if you don't get lucky. That's part of the game.
To me, the Pacers seem to be the easiest blueprint to follow. Draft well with picks like 17 (Hibbert) and 10 (George). Gamble on a second rounder that works well (Lance). Trade your 15th pick in a weak draft for a player who has experience on a great team (Hill). Use your cap space to sign a starter who is a significant upgrade over anyone else on the roster who plays that position (West). That all seems pretty reasonable to me. Gutting your cap in hopes of getting Lebron James isn't reasonable. Hoping that you strike gold in back to back lotteries and come up with a Durant and Westbrook isn't reasonable. Hoping that you win the lottery with 1.7% odds which gives you the hometown hero in Rose isn't reasonable. All of these teams have been absurdly "lucky".
Like Bird or not, getting to Game 7 of the ECF's is a complete validation of his work from 2008-2012. Any GM who does the job long enough is going to have some errors.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 06-08-2013 at 12:35 PM.
Im ready for Bird to come back. I'm just not sure on Pritch.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Sollozo by lucky I mean how Roy Hibbert is working out nobody expected him to be this great, by lucky I mean taking a risk on a guy that just had surgery and him playing all the games, I don't think the Pacers got lucky to be in the ECF I don't know where you got that from.
And nope I don't think that blue print is so easy to follow many teams have tried and failed.
I think Bird made a lot of good decisions. Roy Hibbert, Paul George, George Hill, Darren Collison, David West. He cleaned up the francise etc..
But probably more importantly, he had lucked out on his mistakes. JOB was a mistake. Holding on to players too long was a mistake. Lance was a mistake.
But keeping JOB too long is the sole reason we have Frank. And if that's not luck, I don't know what Luck is.
Holding onto a few players too long...led us to getting Paul George.
Lance Stephenson. No one would have picked him. With the history of players liked that, no one should have picked him. But it clearly worked out well.
When the worst thing your decision led to is Tyler Hansbrough...who is our backup PF. Was projected to be a good backup/solid starter..and ended up being mediocre backup. That's not too bad.
But is any ECF blueprint "easy" to follow? By definition, most teams will fail at become elite. I still think the Pacers' way is far more realistic than hoping that you can gut your cap and land Lebron, or banking on getting a Durant/Westbrook combo in back to back years, or banking on getting a Tim Duncan followed by a Parker and Manu (late first rounder and second rounder), or hoping that you get a D-Rose when you have 1.7% odds at winning the lottery. Many teams have certainly failed by trying the "tank year after year and hope we strike gold in the lottery" approach.
The Pacers did their homework and drafted well with double digit draft picks (George, Hibbert), traded away a pick in a week draft for Hill, gambled on a second rounder with Stephenson, and took a bit of a risk on a guy coming back from surgery (West), which ultimately paid off. Nothing about it seems too unreasonable. Sure a lot of teams will fail, but that's because only a select few can ever become elite.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 06-08-2013 at 12:48 PM.
I agree with most of what you say though....
I agreed with the decision. Because I like loyalty to players like Foster. And once again, even if you consider that a mistake..in the grand scheme of things...really..if all you can complain about is Tyler and Foster..he did a good job.
I think Lance was a mistake considering the circumstances, and the job that had to be done. And it wasn't just drafting him, but sticking by him that first year too. By mistake, I simply mean "logical move." The Spurs for instance, probably would have waived him at some point during that year.
But once again, it worked out quite well for the Pacers. Good for Lance, good for Larry, and good for anyone else that helped out Lance. But honestly, the likelihood of Lance being anything but detrimental to the team was pretty slim. He had a lot of off court and on court issues. Most players under those circumstances end up being a cancer causing teammate who never learns to play in a team concept nor do they accept a role playing role. Lance has done all of the above. I honestly don't know of any other player that has though. And I'm not attacking Lance here. He deserves all the credit in the world for beating the odds. But it's just most successful sports franchises play by the odds and take calculated risks.
And I agree, that the benefits probably outweighed the harm with Lance, if Larry was willing to part with Lance. But like JOB, I just have a feeling if it wasn't working out, it would have been a similar situation.
But I do think Lance has to go under the classification of "Larry Bird got lucky." Because of how small the odds were.
Last edited by Sookie; 06-08-2013 at 12:49 PM.