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Larry Joe Legend Doing It All His Way

LJL met with the media Friday and talked about much more than Shawne Williams whereabouts. With camp set to commence on Tuesday, LJL was talking up his underated squad and hopes for the season. After slogging through a few years of dysfunctional locker rooms, LJL knows the importance of chemistry to building a winning team and making a run at the playoffs.

"Chemistry," said the Pacers President. "That's always the key. If everybody comes in the right frame of mind, the coaches put in whatever system they want to put in and the players buy into it and we have a good locker room, that takes care of a lot of the little problems."
Wouldn't it be nice if the Pacers only had to deal with little problems?

LJL cleared up any remaining doubt that Donnie Walsh was still calling the shots in his advisory role.
"I'm getting my style, my type of players in here for the way I like to see the game played," Bird said. "I like ball movement. I like guys that give up open 15-footers for 6-footers. I think these guys will do that. I've been involved in this for four years and I'm not saying I sat back when all this other stuff happened because I was involved in it. But right now, at this time, this is my team and I look forward to watching them perform and I look forward to going out there and trying to do whatever we can to make this franchise better and this team better."
I'm not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for the Legend. While I've contemplated referring to him in regards to Pacer moves as Larry Joe GM so as not to mix his front office moves with his playing/coaching career, I've been patient enough to give him a chance to dig out of the mess that I maintain wasn't all of his doing. No denying, as he admits, he was involved, but you can't lay it all on him.

So, now as the long climb back up the mountain begins, it is all on LJL and out of the gate he doesn't disappoint. I detect some of that legendary swagger in those "my team" comments. A little stay tuned while I shut up my competition and critics. It won't happen over night or over one season, but within a couple of months we'll know how things have changed and if the Pacers are indeed going in the right direction.