Larry Bird officially introduced draft pick Solomon Hill to Indiana during a press conference at the Fieldhouse on Monday morning. Hill remained calm and cool as he shared the stage with "The Legend" as Hill would refer to Bird.
Hill will wear number nine for the Pacers which immediately brings to mind Derrick McKey, another defensive-minded wing player from some fabulous Pacers teams. Maceo Baston was the last Pacers to wear nine, so hopefully Hill has it locked up for many years to come. During his live chat, Hill explained that he chose number nine after wearing 44 in high school and college because he wanted to represent where he is from. His house number back in Los Angeles was 612.
During the press conference, Bird confirmed that the team offered Tyler Hansbrough a qualifying offer. He also mentioned their priority is David West along with a back-up point guard (then later in the day took care of the pg with C.J. Watson) while they were also looking at wing players and a back up four.
Bird emphasized that they won't be going over the luxury tax threshold but that they had to improve their bench. The leads lost by the bench this past year were simply unacceptable, which Bird stated as if he was frustrated watching it from his couch like the rest of us.
The Pacers also officially announced the hiring of Nate McMillan as the team's associate head coach under Frank Vogel.
Here are a few more links of interest from an active first day of free agency at the Fieldhouse: