Hours after an Indiana House vote paved the way for the controversial bill, a prominent former athlete and openly gay man has taken to Twitter to question the bill’s effects. Jason Collins: .@GovPenceIN, is it going to be legal for someone to discriminate against me & others when we come to the #FinalFour? http://news.yahoo.com/indiana-house-passes-controversial-religious-freedom-bill-210228540.html …
Dan Dakich, a former IU player, assistant, and head coach, is a colleague of Stevens’s and a close follower of the Indiana program. He said there are many alumni who would love Stevens to return home. “I get asked all the time, ‘Hey, who would you hire?’ ” said Dakich, a college basketball analyst who hosts a radio show in Indianapolis. “I said before the question even finishes, I’d hire Brad Stevens and [Virginia Commonwealth coach] Shaka Smart. I don’t care if it’s the Celtics. I don’t care if it’s the Lakers. I don’t care if it’s Duke. I don’t care if it’s Indiana. I don’t care if it’s to be my accountant. They’re so smart. They’re so good with people and they just have a way of relating. I can’t imagine that any major [college] job is going to open up and they’re not going to get a call.”
Stevens has never even discussed returning to college coaching, and NBA sources said he is totally invested in the Celtics. He wants to restore the organization to a contender and also has four more years on his contract. The organization made a sizable investment in his talents. “I know he enjoys the hell out of the Celtics,” Dakich said. “I know he enjoys the challenge that is the NBA. I know that. We’ve talked about that. That’s not media [talk]. I’m not going to say that ultimately the Indiana job wouldn’t appeal to him, but I’m saying I honestly don’t think people think, ‘Of course he would come back.’ “I bet you Brad probably thought about it when he was at Butler, but I would venture a guess he hasn’t given that two thoughts since he’s been with the Celtics. I would bet my life on it.”
27 May 14
Former Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum, sitting in the boarding area for a flight to Indianapolis on Friday afternoon at Cleveland Hopkins airport, told The Plain Dealer he had not signed with any other team yet. He politely declined a request to discuss what happened between him and the Cavs and said he had no opinion on what is wrong with the struggling team. “I haven’t been following it,” he said. Bynum has maintained his residence in Westlake since being suspended by the Cavs on Dec. 28 for conduct detrimental. He was eventually traded to the Chicago Bulls as part of the Luol Deng deal and waived.
23 Dec 13
Wolfe asked the crane operator to swivel the statue as it was being positioned onto a concrete base because he wanted Bird’s eyes to line up with an adjacent intersection to ensure that he was in perfect shooting form. “The body, the figure, looked like it was set right, but once we took the cover off of the face, we could see that he (Bird) was looking off to the right too much, so we had to swivel him more to the left,” he told The Tribune-Star.
A 15-foot-tall bronze statue of Larry Bird has been erected at Indiana State University more than three decades after the basketball great led the school to a national championship game. The 1,900-pound statue, tethered to steel cables, was lowered into place with a crane Monday outside the Terre Haute campus’ Hulman Center while sculptor Bill Wolfe and others watched.
Marc Stein: One FA big man likely to benefit from Greg Oden’s expected decision today is Lou Amundson, who has drawn interest from some of same teams. Hearing that Heat, Kings and Mavs (all Oden finalists) as well as Hawks, Knicks and Pacers have registered level of interest in Amundson
The Pacers have had just four sellouts this season; opening night, both Miami games and against Chicago earlier this week. While they have increased attendance by 1,320 fans a game from last season, that’s still not enough. “It’s very disappointing,” Pacers guard and Indianapolis-native George Hill said. “The fans show up when we play the marquee teams, but they show up wearing the marquee team’s clothes. We feed off them. As much as we can get people there, the better off we’re going to be.”
Despite competition from other cities, if Indianapolis throws its hat in the ring, it surely will be able to work its way into the hosting schedule, said David Morton, president of locally based Sunrise Sports Group. He sees Lucas Oil Stadium, which proved its mettle as a basketball venue when it staged the 2010 NCAA men’s Final Four, as the ideal location. The NBA has gone both big and small with past venues. The 2010 game was in Cowboys Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, while this year’s game is at Toyota Center, home of the Houston Rockets. There’s one consideration Pacers officials aren’t likely to address publicly. In recent years, some NBA all-star games have been marred by violence and other mayhem. So the security costs would be considerable. But this seems surmountable for a city that has become known as one of the most creative nationwide for hosting sporting events.
An NBA All-Star Game could deliver $16 million more in direct visitor spending than a Final Four. Visit Indy and CIB officials seem to be at a loss for why this event hasn’t been pursued more aggressively. Pacers President Jim Morris said the Pacers would love to host it, but Bankers Life Fieldhouse’s schedule is simply packed. Really? Too crowded for an event with this type of economic impact? Apparently, it’s not just the Fieldhouse schedule that’s crowded. “Sometimes, even when we might be available, hotel rooms might not be available” because of sporting events or conventions held elsewhere downtown,” said Rick Fuson, the Pacers chief operating officer.
That skepticism appears to be based on the failure of coaches other than Jackson to implement his offense of intricate team play. Jackson’s assistants — Jim Cleamons (with the Mavericks from 1996-98) and Kurt Rambis (with the Timberwolves from 2009-11) — tried and failed to install it elsewhere. “I interviewed Brian four years ago and we talked about that,” Bird said. “He said, ‘I like the triangle, it’s great, but you’ve got to have the right players to run it. I would use part of it, but it’s according to the talent that we have. You’ve got to have the right guys.’ “