Larry Bird Rumors
Me: Were you surprised that Larry was so pointed in his assessment of the season and your role going forward — which was to say, a much smaller role? Roy Hibbert: Larry says what’s on his mind. He doesn’t hold his tongue. Things happen. Like I said, I enjoyed my time there in Indy. You just have gotta move on, get ready for the next chapter…Larry was very up front with me. He said before the press conference that I can’t promise you minutes next year, and they wanted to go in a different direction. So it wasn’t like what happened came out of nowhere, what he said. I’ll always say that Larry changed my life. I was on the phone with my agent in the office during the (2009) Draft process and Larry said ‘If Roy’s there at 17, we’ll take him.’ That meant a lot to me. I know that things change and the NBA is “What have you done for me lately?”, but I could never say a bad thing about Larry or the Pacers’ organization.
Me: What did it mean to you to have David West have your back so publicly? RH: It meant a lot. We talked all the time throughout the year. I kind of took a step back and didn’t read the media. After the year I took the usual month off. And obviously seeing what he said, we talked. I won’t go into great detail about what we talked about, but it felt good. We’ve talked a lot about the business side of the NBA. I know why he said it, and I know why Larry said what he had to say.
Finally, Patrick concluded the interview by asking Bird if he could take his old friend and current Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one. Bird joked that he’d wear a Hickory uniform for the contest before revealing who he thought would come out on top. “Boy, that’d be a good game,” Bird said. “God, I hate to admit this, but he’d kill me.”
“I felt all along it was important to re-sign Rodney,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He proved to us last year how much he could help. He’s a pro and a good teammate. We’re really happy to have him back. He added a lot to our team, on and off the court.”
George said Saturday that Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird supports his aspirations. “Larry, of all people, knows how important it is to play and represent your country. So he’s got my back on that one, and it’s a personal goal,” George said. “Coach [Mike] Krzyzewski knows I’m on board.”
Larry Bird on On Paul George and how he’ll be used… Well, he’ll play a lot of the power forward and small forward. He might defend some twos at times. But Paul is going to play a lot of different positions for us this year. I’m the one that thinks he can play the four position. I think the mismatches on the offensive end is far greater than the defensive liabilities sometimes he’ll have against the strength. I think he can handle it. Paul is very versatile. He’ll do anything that we ask him to do to try win basketball games, and he wants to play up-tempo. He likes to handle and pass and run with us. Hopefully it’ll work out and we’ll have the type of year that we expect.