Blog Entry

Larry Bird's probably done after this year

Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:24 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 11:02 am
Posted by Matt Moore

Larry Bird's decision to return to the Pacers came as a mild surprise. Bird's been signaling his way out of town, out of public life, really, for quite some time. He's never much liked the spotlight and has been talking about not wanting to do his job as president of the Pacers forever. Recent comments have made it clear it's not his intention to stick around.

But when push came to shove, with the coaching situation providing instability and the roster at a pivotal point with money coming off the books headed into a new CBA and with the team wanting to build off its success this season, Bird decided to stay.

Before you get lulled into thinking Bird may be swung into staying a while based off how "enjoyable" he said last year was, though, take a gander at what he told the Boston Globe
“It’s a handshake deal,’’ said Bird, who will be honored tomorrow at TD Garden as part of the Sports Museum’s The Tradition. “I don’t want a [long-term] contract.’’ But they both know a year isn’t a very long time.

“It’s at a point now in my life where I think it might be time to really reconsider and see how long I want to do this,’’ said Bird, now 54. “They asked me to stay another year through the lockout season, the owner did, for a favor. I was leaving, but he asked me to stay, and I will and I’ll get the job done.
via Larry Bird may look to slow the pace - The Boston Globe.

Bird has been in the Pacers' front office for eight years. It's no wonder he's getting burned out. In reality, you can tell part of Bird is frustrated by missing what it was like to step out on the floor and knock down the shot, grab the rebound and make the pass himself.

That's the hardest part for legends turned decision-makers: watching someone else try and execute what they know how to do.

The Pacers have a fast, young point guard and a versatile forward, who at the very least will fetch a hefty price on the market. They've got a center with upside (even if he's frustratingly passive), and a number of talented forwards and wings like Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough, and now George Hill to add to the puzzle.

And with a new core being developed, maybe it is time for some new blood in Indiana. Larry Bird's earned a real retirement.
Category: NBA

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: June 29, 2011 7:17 am

Larry Bird's probably done after this year

Damn that guy could ball.  

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 7:01 pm

Larry Bird's probably done after this year

Given the way drafts and salary caps work, it's not easy to rebuild a mediocre team - it's almost better to have a team collapse completely.  That's how the Spurs became powerhouses, and Orlando before them (for a while).  It also may lead to the Cavs righting their ship more quickly than if they had been watchable this year.  Read the Boston Globe article via the link in this article above.  It gives more detail on the factors that impacted the Pacers rebuilding.

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:57 pm

Larry Bird's probably done after this year

I think Bird has done an excellent job at keeping this franchise afloat after the brawl.  I think that for him, it was easy when he had the veterans that he had.  However, once the fresh faced kids came in, things became tougher.  It wasn't a situation where you knew who would show up everyday.  I think it has been a struggle, and although things are looking up, one rough go and he will bail.  Hey, Bird doesn't need this and the only reason he is still doing it is because he has love for the franchise and wants to see them succeed.  It is going to come down to whether the group he has can mature enough to be competitive.  if not, he bails. 

Since: Aug 12, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 12:29 pm

Larry Bird's probably done after this year

The brawl in Detroit is everyone's favorite excuse.  That, and Reggie retiring.  When it all comes down to it though, the Pacers did themselves in due to Bird's questionable drafts over the years.  His old-school philosophy places a limit on the team's success.

It's about time for a change. 

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: June 28, 2011 11:16 am

Larry Bird's probably done after this year

I have to wonder how different Larry Bird's track record as an executive would look if it were not for the incident in the Palace in Detroit. There ere the main players the Pacers had no choice but to ship out, like Artest and Jackson. Meanwhile, the sanctions taken by the league against the Pacers really hamstrung them for a few years while they tried to rebuild from scratch. When you consider all that, I think where Bird has the Pacers at now is pretty impressive.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:36 am

Larry Bird's just about done here

This is an interesting one here.  On one hand, Bird got them to the finals.  The other hand, they are bottom feeders in the NBA playoffs.  So, which is it?  Are they for real or just there?  I say there.  There does not seem to be any organization to the Pacers.  Sure, the signs are present, but winning is what the fans want.  One playoff win is good, but you have to move forward and win a series.  The talent in Indiana is not as good or even average, but ... I just do not think Bird can get them over the top.

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