Larry Bird Rumors
All defending NBA champions have become vulnerable toward complacency. That partly explains why Warriors coach Steve Kerr agreed with former Pacers president Larry Bird said most head coaches lose their influence after their third year. Kerr then deadpanned, “I’m in year four, aren’t I? I’m on the clock.” “I was really lucky coming into this organization at the right time when players were really entering their primes,” Kerr said. “The thing I try to do is keep it light and fresh and let the assistants do the talking and hopefully my voice doesn’t get too old on them too quickly.”
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.”