Apr 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird with his wife Dinah Mattingly watches the game against the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Detroit 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Bird Back in the Pacers' Nest

I was driving around today, and happened to catch Larry Bird speaking to 1070 the Fan here in Indy, and I got the feeling how excited he is to be back, and how ready he is for this.  Probably the most telling part about the conversation was when he was asked about what else could happen this off season, and he mentioned how there’s one move they would like to make, but wouldn’t go into any more details than that.  The feeling around here is that it would probably involve Gerald Green as he’s someone who just didn’t live up to anything expected.  I will say that he did play well here and there, but it was way too inconsistent to become that valuable piece to the puzzle here.

Now I don’t think anything gets done with Green, so hopefully he will be able to get his head right, and become a productive member of the bench. I am sure they would love to have his services, especially if he could get back to that double figure scoring he was doing before signing with the Pacers.  I think he would fit in with the bench at shooting guard since that’s the weakness there.  He could come in and make those highlight reels like he’s done before. But it’s all about doing that on a nightly basis.  He got the call to start a few games, and really came alive. But then other times, it looked like he had never been out on a basketball court before.  That can’t happen again this year, or else he’ll find himself sitting at the end of the bench.

Larry Bird is an integral part of this team as well in his ability to bring in those guys that he sees fit for the team.  He spoke of how Miles Plumlee looked in the summer league, and seemed to think that Plumlee could contribute. He talked about how he did take that chance on Lance Stephenson, and he was very vocal about how Stephenson would come around.  I would imagine how good it felt last season seeing the strides Stephenson did make.  But I’m all about how Bird sounded. He didn’t sound worn out like the season before he took off for a year.  He did sound upbeat, and really eager to be back in the saddle.  That’s an important sign of what Bird means to this franchise.  There was even some genuine laughter coming across the airwaves, so it really felt like he was even having a good time in the conversation.  To me, that’s such a big detail to remember.  I know athletes get tired of answering the same questions over and over, but Bird didn’t sound like that at all.  I think taking off last season was best for him, and now he’s ready to finish this job that he started years ago, and really get the Pacers back to where they should be.

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