Bird's Boss: "Larry Bird Has Everyone's Confidence Here"

When an NBA team is as bad as this year’s Pacers are, everything comes into question. The players. The coach. The GM. So it’s no surprise that a lot of fans, both of the Pacers and just the NBA in general, have been wondering if Larry Bird might be — or even should be — on his way out.

According to Larry’s boss, Pacers Sports and Entertainment President Jim Morris, Mr. Legend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Reports the Indianapolis Business Journal (via Pacers Digest):

Pacers Sports and Entertainment President Jim Morris gave Bird, Pacers president of basketball operations, a hearty vote of confidence yesterday.

Bird’s contract expires in 2011, and some have speculated that team owner Herb Simon is becoming impatient with Bird. Morris said that’s not the case.

“Larry Bird has everyone’s confidence here,” Morris told IBJ. “He’s working as hard as humanly possible. And we know he will do what it takes to get us a championship caliber team.”

Morris said he and Simon realize the strategy to re-build the Pacers is a multi-year plan. Much of that appears to revolve around clearing player salary cap space to bring in key free agents following the 2010-11 season.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have total confidence in Larry’s ability to turn this thing around, but I certainly don’t think he should be fired before given a legitimate opportunity to succeed. Regardless of how the team is doing right now, and regardless of what errors in judgment may have been made, the owners can’t tell a guy “we’re with you on a three-year turnaround plan” and then go and fire the guy 18 months later.

The time line for righting the ship was set for Summer 2011. Everyone was on board with this. From a salary cap perspective, it was the only real option after the decisions were made to get rid of the troublemakers even if that meant bringing in bad contracts. I’m sure Larry was among those committing to that reality and realizing that it might mean an extended rebuild, but it was an organizational decision, not just a choice made by one man.

The plan was to be back in better shape to contend in the Summer of 2011. Until then, and despite any fun we might like to have at the guy’s expense, Larry deserves to be the captain of this rickety ship.

Topics: Jim Morris, Larry Bird

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  • aaronb

    I just don’t understand where Larry is planning on rebuilding. Are Earl Watson and Danthay Jones re-building blocks? Is using lotto picks on 23 and 24 year old players back to back rebuilding? By the time the magical “Cap room” is here what are we going to have? A 29 year old Danny Granger and spots 6-10 on a good team locked down? If we were indeed going to rebuild all this time. Why hasn’t Bird gotten creative like Morey or Presti and stockpiled some draft picks for 2011 and beyond? Why have we went after dreck like Watson, and the Jones’ instead of some failed prospects like Marcus Williams, Acie Law, Sheldon Williams etc?

    This whole newfound grand rebuilding scheme just reeks of media spin. I wish the local media had the sack to call these guys out on it.

    I just don’t think this current front office is creative enough to build this thing into and 8th seed contender. They just don’t seem good enough at evaluating talent.

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