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More Pacer Speculation that will Make You Chuckle

Peter Vecsey did a little Pacer speculating right here as he went through a few NBA issues.

Four years ago, when Larry Bird was hired as Pacers president of basketball operations, the agreement was he'd succeed Donnie Walsh as CEO after this season.

"What do you mean, 'What'll I do when I retire?' " Walsh scoffs at those who doubt he'll retire. "I'll do what I've always wanted to do my whole life."

And here we thought Walsh had spent his whole life absorbed doing what he wanted to do - play, coach, manage and scrutinize basketball.

"Donnie will never retire," mocks Mel Daniels. "The first time he's out mowing the lawn the fresh air will kill him."

Now that is funny. After hearing a couple of Walsh interviews lately, there appears to be little doubt that he will be around the Pacers next year even if all of his job titles and duties rest with Larry Joe Legend.

Vecsey added some speculation on the moves the Pacers will make this offseason.

Fortunately for all of us connected to the NBA, not just the team and its fans, Bird wisely has told Walsh he wants him to stay, and owners Melvin and Herb Simon avidly endorse the notion.

The two decision makers, I'm convinced, will fire Rick Carlisle and trade Jermaine O'Neal. Is Carlisle a victim of the Malice at the Palace, management assembling a dreadful mix of players and awful trades?

That's certainly a large part of it, no doubt. But he has to go anyway. I can't name one Pacer who embraces Carlisle's control of every offensive play. What ever happened to John Wooden's style of coaching: prepare in practice and let your instincts take over in games? Last summer's three-year extension should help ease Carlisle's pain.

Vecsey's take seems logical to me. Well, except the part about the Wooden philosophy. It is hard to prepare in practice when half your team including your franchise player aren't available for practice due to injury.