Larry Bird Rumors
Russell Westbrook might hear about this one from his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates. While appearing on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the host challenged the reigning MVP to a game of NBA Jam. Fallon chose a Boston Celtics duo of Larry Bird and Kevin Garnett, while Westbrook countered with himself … and the Thunder mascot.
“Larry was a different situation,” Granik said. “He was ailing already at the time. And there really was a question of ‘should he be on the team because he was Larry Bird? And eventually the committee felt, yes. The fact that Magic said he was in, it worked that way with Larry and the others. Rod obviously had a strong relationship with Michael because he drafted him. Rod always told me, Michael says he’s in. He just didn’t want it public. But trust me, he’s in.”
Thorn has a slightly different recollection. “Early on he told Russ he would play,” Thorn texted on Saturday. “Then later, there was a report from a golf tournament he was playing in, I think it was an amateur tournament in the Midwest, that he had changed his mind. I called him at the Tournament and he confirmed that he was going to play. After that, we always thought he was a go, regardless of various reports otherwise.”
Adam Simon: “I’ve been in cars traveling around Europe with Jerry West. I’ve sat and scouted games next to Larry Bird. Michael Jordan, I’ve sat with him. And, of course, the first time I met Pat in 1995, I was in awe. My colleagues, my peers, the people that I work with, it blows my mind that I’m in this position. I don’t take it for granted, but I feel comfortable in my ability to work with those gentlemen because of the time and the work I put in.”
The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that Larry Bird is stepping down as President of Basketball Operations with current Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Kevin Pritchard assuming Bird’s position. Bird will remain with the team in an advisory role.
“I felt it was time to step away in a full-time capacity,” said Bird. “This has nothing to do with my health or our team. I’m 60 years old and I want to do other things away from basketball. I will do some scouting for the Pacers, NBA, college, international, do some appearances and stay in a capacity to advise senior basketball management. I love the Pacers, I grew up with the Pacers and admired them from a very young age. I want to thank the fans for their support throughout my career. I also want to thank (owner) Herb Simon for the many years of loyalty and for allowing me to stay with the team in a different role.”