HoopsHype Larry Bird rumors

January 24, 2014 Updates
January 21, 2014 Updates

Scola knew that West wasn’t going anywhere. So when he arrived in Indianapolis after a trade sent Miles Plumlee, Gerald Green and the 2014 first-round draft pick to Phoenix, Scola greeted Vogel with two questions – "What on Earth should he say to his childhood idol and new boss, Larry Bird? And secondly, ‘Am I going to play?’ ” Vogel recalled. Indianapolis Star

Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson had one concern when he recently made a video campaigning for his inclusion in this season's NBA All-Star Game. "I was scared," Stephenson said, "about what Larry would say." "Larry" is Larry Bird, Pacers president and Hall of Fame forward. Bird was a 12-time All-Star, and it's safe to say he didn't have to stump for votes for any of his selections. Yahoo! Sports

The video has generated more than 320,000 views, including at least one from Bird, who didn't hesitate to give Stephenson his review. "He said, 'Hey, you did a good job. You should try being in a movie one day,' " Stephenson said. "He sent me a text and I was [relieved]." Yahoo! Sports

January 17, 2014 Updates

Stephenson's development has been fantastic. Pacers President Larry Bird gets credit for taking a chance on him with the 40th overall pick in the 2010 draft, and Pacers coach Frank Vogel deserves credit for helping him become a valuable player. He has turned into a fan favorite in Indiana. "He entertains. He plays solid basketball with a little flair, a little pizazz," Vogel said. "But it's winning basketball. These fans love a winner, but they love to be entertained. It's a special relationship. It's really a bond. They've really embraced him." USA Today Sports

But what’s wrong with ensuring he doesn’t end up in Miami, where the sleeping giant might awaken when presented a chance to compete for a title? Call it a nice side benefit. “That’s all rumor,’’ Larry Bird told The Indianapolis Star’s Candace Buckner when asked about Bynum. “But I’m going to do what I think is going to make us better. I live this. The moves I make might be the wrong moves, but whoever it is, if I think it’s going to make us better, I’ll bring him in. That’s what I get paid to do.’’ Indianapolis Star

This is as strong-minded and as close-knit a group as there is in the NBA, much like the Heat. If Bynum has any interest in resurrecting his career and his reputation, he’ll come in here, happily play behind Roy Hibbert and give the Pacers 12-15 quality minutes at center. “…I don’t think on this team, if we brought somebody in here, they wouldn’t let a guy come in and disrupt us,’’ Bird said. “I don’t think it would happen. But if we ever did bring a guy in here and (he) disrupted (the team), I’d say, ‘Get rid of him.’ But you can always get better.’’ Indianapolis Star

January 15, 2014 Updates
January 14, 2014 Updates

In a lengthy Deadspin excerpt from his forthcoming book on the 1990-91 Boston Celtics, famed sportswriter and Basketball Hall of Famer Jack McCallum detailed the travails of a Celtics team moving uneasily into middle age. The group would go on to win 56 games that season with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish still playing All-Star level ball, but the team was a few years removed from working as a championship contender, as teams from Detroit, Portland and Chicago had eclipsed the C’s, with even their rival Los Angeles Lakers managing to make it to their last Finals appearance of Magic Johnson’s career that spring. Yahoo! Sports

Bird was also dealing with a painful back injury that limited his effectiveness, one that forced him into paying attention to his fighting trim for the first time in his career. In the excerpt, McCallum details the 34-year old Bird’s battle with the bulge, in the wake of missing nearly the entire 1988-89 season with Achilles’ issues. "I think I wanna be active," said Bird. "What I might do, though, is git in shape, git outta shape, then git in shape again. I won't do it like I used to, though. It's gittin' tougher. Three years ago I could lose fifteen pounds like nuthin'. Now? I don't know if I could." He had put on a few pounds when he was out of action, but he wasn't sure how many. "I was so bored, I'd set around the house, drive my wife crazy, and eat and eat. In two and a half weeks I was off I ate ten gallons of ice cream and seven weddin' cakes. Why them? I ate weddin' cakes 'cause you knew they was gonna be good. I mean, who would [eff] up a weddin' cake?" Yahoo! Sports

January 9, 2014 Updates

Local TV ratings are up even more. They've improved 141 percent from last season, the highest percentage jump in the NBA, according to figures supplied by Fox Sports Midwest. The team's ratings in November and December were the best since the 2004 season, and their home game against the Heat in December at a sold-out Bankers Life Fieldhouse drew the team's highest rating in more than a decade. This has not been an overnight success. It took years of patient building by team president Larry Bird, perhaps the one man in Indiana who could absorb the high-volume criticism and insult -- or, perhaps, the one man who could be spared the full force of their impact -- that came with the Pacers' painful process. Considering their market and draft position over the years, the Pacers qualify as a minor basketball miracle. SB Nation

January 4, 2014 Updates

But while he would still side with Bird above Nowitzki among the best of all time, Rivers does have the utmost respect for the Mavericks’ future hall of famer. “He changed the game,” Rivers said. “It’s like Magic ruined the league for 10 years because every 7-footer wanted to be a point guard. Dirk’s right up there.” Dallas Morning News

December 28, 2013 Updates

In the first quarter of the Miami Heat’s Friday game against the Sacramento Kings, LeBron James took over sole possession of 30th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, surpassing Larry Bird with this dunk: Later in the Heat’s 108-103 overtime loss to the Kings, James passed Gary Payton for 29th in NBA history, upping his total to 21,819. Next up for the four-time MVP is Clyde Drexler, who had 22,195. For The Win

December 21, 2013 Updates
December 15, 2013 Updates

Larry Bird on Lance Stephenson: I don't know what's going to happen this summer. We want to keep him and he wants to be here. This is the best environment for him. We will make him a great offer, an offer that I think is very fair. If you look at our books, how does anyone know what's going to happen in the summer. How do they know we're not going to make trades or have more money or less money. We will try to sign Lance, but I don't worry about it. If Lance is not here, we'll get somebody else. NBA.com

David West has been such an obvious influence on this team, in the locker room and on the court. What did you tell him to convince him to come here? Because he could have gone to Boston for more money. Larry Bird: Years ago, Donnie told me you're going to be sitting here one of these days and somebody's going to call, either for a trade or a free agent, and they're going to want to be here. We talked to David's agent, but we didn't spend a lot of time on it because we were looking at other players. One day I was sitting here and got a call from his agent and he said, 'Hey, why aren't you guys going after David a little harder? Because he wants to be there.' I said, 'We're talking about it every day, but I'm very concerned because he's coming off a significant (knee) injury.' He goes, 'We'll do whatever to show you that he's ready to play. He hasn't played a lot of basketball. But we feel he's ready to go.' NBA.com

Larry Bird: Roy was awkward growing up. Paul George wasn't highly recruited until the end of his senior year. It seems like that all works to your advantage now, because there's a lack of ego. It goes to show you that hard work does pay off. I can remember watching Roy as a sophomore in college. I also knew Roy as a junior. If he had come out, he probably would have been a top 12 pick. And then he had a better senior year. Why is he No. 17 all of a sudden? I remember talking to his agent and telling him, if Roy's there at 17 I'm taking him. He goes, I'll get Roy there. If you take him, I'll get him there. How does an agent do that? Just tell other teams not to take him. But he told me the day of the draft, 'OK, he will be there at 17.' I said, 'I'm taking him.' NBA.com

December 13, 2013 Updates

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