Larry Bird had a short around 20 minute press conference that he didn’t even ask to put together. But he did take some questions and give some insight into plans for next year. I get the feeling after hearing what he had to say today that he will be back, which contradicts reports that he won’t be back. It’s a year to year issue for Bird in his words. This way if he decides to step away, he can after a year, and he’s not locked down for anything.
I’ll just point out some of the statements that Bird had to say and give some insight into them.
- “We’ve got to get better” This was actually said quite a bit during the press conference. Questions were asked about this team and how they can get better, but Bird seemed intent on stating that he knows they have to get better, and he hopes to see how they can get better.
- Lance Stephenson’s name came up a few times. Bird seems so high on this guy that I hope Stephenson does perform. He mentioned how he had matured this season and even improved upon his game a bit. But there’s still work to be done, and he says that Stephenson will be a good player for the Pacers. But will fans have the patience for that?
- Speaking on Danny Granger, Bird said that it scares him when he puts the ball on the floor more than three times. Granger will have to improve upon his dribbling skills and continue to make better shot selections is what Bird was saying. I believe this to be true, and would love for Granger to be here for the next however many years it takes to get the Pacers fully back to where we the fans want them to be.
- Bringing in David West changed the culture of this Pacers franchise. Talk about a great statement to make about a guy. But you could see how West changed the vibe of this team. It was especially evident in the playoffs after that first win in Miami and West was yelling to the guys to not celebrate and get back to the locker room, even though that was a big win for the team.
- Finally, I thought it was interesting how Larry Bird kept referring to the team as his kids. He’s treating this like a family thing, and you can see and hear in his voice how much he wants to get the Pacers back to relevancy in a way. He wants fans to get excited for this team, and he wants to bring that passion back. He truly does seem to love this team and the franchise. He knows how important basketball is here in Indiana, and he’s going to keep doing what he can help that cause.