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Quick Notes From Larry Bird And David Morway Presser

Some high-level notes from the press conference with Larry Bird and David Morway. Don't consider anything here a direct quote:

  • Tinsley: No deal but they are talking with a handful of teams. Pacers are in constant communication with JT's agent, they're fully aware of what the Pacers are doing.
  • Not buying out Tinsley. He'll stay wherever he is until a deal is done. Tinsley knows that and his agent knows it.
  • With 16 players on roster, it will be tough to cut a guy if Tinsley isn't moved. Trying to make 2 for 1 deals to clear up the roster.
  • Team health: Travis Diener still has soreness in his foot. Mike Dunleavy played a lot of ball a couple of weeks ago in LA and has some knee soreness as a result. Nothing serious but he won't start camp going full tilt for both practices. Both Travis and Dun will begin camp playing but won't be going full speed for all workouts.
  • Disturbed most about last year? Defense. Team should be better. More committed, long, athletic.
  • Granger: Talking with his agent about a deal. Like to get a deal done but not concerned. Is a deal close? We're talking.
  • Team leaders: Bird thinks a number of guys will step into a leadership role of varying degrees. Not all on one guy.
  • New players all played in different systems so they'll have to get accustomed to the style and pace Jim O'Brien plays. They were careful to bring in players they think would fit JOB's style.
  • With TJ Ford and Jarrett Jack, defense at the point of attack on the ball should be better (me: can't be much worse). Both tough kids, want to defend.
  • Front court: Looking for consistency. Guard play should help relieve some pressure defensively from last year. Bird believes Troy Murphy is set to have his best year. He's prepared and comfortable in his surroundings. Would like to add another PF, but asking price has been too high. No JO to handle low post scoring but players should get more open shots with TJ and JJ getting the ball in the lane.
  • Roy Hibbert will be a better player at the All-Star break than he is now. We'll bring him along and play to his strengths.
  • Brandon Rush fitting in? He can fit in. He's been her almost all summer and it's going to be hard to keep him off the floor. Best position? He can defend well on the floor so 2 of 3 doesn't matter. With Marquis Daniels, the bench will be a lot stronger this year. Bird is interested in seeing Rush take the next step in his game because he thinks he's close.
  • Camp invitees: Bird mentioned Austin being in camp. My connection stuttered and I'm assuming he meant Austin Croshere. Said he wasn't with another team and he can shoot the 3-ball so Jimmy likes him. Morway said they may bring in one other player for camp but JOB wanted a smaller roster for camp.
  • Was JO's team? Whose team is it now? Jim O'Brien's team. JOB has been talking about a "team ego" this year, no more individual egos.
  • Bird was asked about comments a few years ago that Tinsley would be the next Pacer All-Star. Is he disappointed at the wasted talent? Yes he's disappointed but Tins has had a lot of injuries, too. The kid's got talent, no doubt. If he can get with a team in the right situation he has plenty of game let to play at an All-Star level. Morway interjected: I'll add, he's healthy now. He's been working out this summer and is in great shape and no lingering injuries. Bird replies: That sounds like a sales job.