Larry Bird addressed the media on Tuesday morning and then spent Tuesday afternoon as a guest on all of the local radio shows. The main thing I took away from all of the talk is that despite the positve progress this year, everyone at the Fieldhouse is on notice because the results this year were not acceptable. Play better, coach better or we'll find someone else to get the job done. All delivered in Bird's classic, matter-of-fact style.
Here's a round up links with all of the available audio and video, along with stories about what Bird had to say.
- Pacers.com has the audio along with video highlights, plus Bruno's recap.
- Cliff Brunt breaks down Bird's indifference to extending Jim O'Brien's contract and how other coaches have fared coaching in after back-to-back losing seasons. Bird was also indifferent about this being his last year under contract, saying he may have a handshake deal with "Herbie" (Simon) but that he's only worried about helping improve the team and not his contract.
- Jeff Rabjohns focuses on Bird's comments about the Pacers need to improve their defense. While JOB is looking for new players to improve the defense, Bird thinks improving the defensive capabilities of some key players currently on the roster would go a long way.
- Bird hit all three local radio shows this afternoon and I have audio from two of the interviews. Bird joined Kravitz and Eddie to go through many of the issues that came up in the press conference.
JMV had Bird talking about the French Lick resort and casino which now has entertainment with musical acts Bird couldn't imagine going to French Lick when he was a kid. But he knows when the place will really go over the top, "Wait 'til they get Ozzy down there!"
- David Stern and his awareness of struggling mid-sized markets was raised in both of these interviews. I was happy to hear Bird's response. In both cases, he was quick to affirm Stern's understanding of the problems and it sounds like the league is fully engaged with the teams to develop a plan to help all teams weather the financial downturn.