Larry Bird was back on the podium in the interview room at Bankers Life Fieldhouse looking very much like he did sitting in the same position to announce he was leaving the team last year. This time he plans to stick around for awhile.
Bird addressed a host of topics in his re-introductory news conference on Thursday morning, but did so without offering up any startling news. You can watch a replay of the media session here. Among the highlights:
- Bird was asked about and mentioned "finishing the job" with the Pacers, which he intimated meant playing for a championship. As he mentioned, he sets his goals pretty high.
- Bird didn't discuss details of his contract status, but indicated, as Mark Montieth reported, that he signed a multi-year deal with Herb Simon. Does this mean our annual June exercise of will he or won't he return is put on ice for a few years? Bird also dismissed questions about his interest in ownership of the team, saying his interest has passed and he doesn't expect Simon to sell the team anyway.
- Bird also dismissed a question about possibly trading Danny Granger, mentioning his only concern was getting Danny healthy and ready to play again.
- He enjoyed watching the Pacers from a different perspective and obviously loved what he saw from his project, Lance Stephenson.
- Bird mentioned that the bench didn't step up like they needed to last year, obvious need of attention.
- Bird is making David West priority one and also is leaving the draft up to Donnie Walsh and Kevin Pritchard since they did all of the prep work.