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IC Cold Links: Larry Birds Talks About New Players, Hibbert Skips Broad Ripple

In what the Indiana Pacers organization refers to as an "advertorial", the team released a statement from Larry Bird regarding the team's future and the additions to the roster he made this summer. The article titled "Passion. Pride. Pacers." is obviously slanted toward the positive as its intended to boost ticket sales, but if you want to hear it from the horses' mouth then here you go.

Bird hypes up rookie Tyler Hansbrough by comparing him to the Legend himself: "He sort of reminds me of when I came out. There was always this skepticism that we wouldn't be able to play in this league against these players. His future is going to be filled with nothing but accolades." I'll assume that he's guaranteeing at least three MVP trophies and three NBA Championships for the former UNC star. I could live with that.

He also hammers home how each new addition to the team this summer has two characteristics: defense and energy. "I like energy guys. I like guys that play hard and get after it on defense because when they come to practice they raise everybody's intensity. As competitive as we were last season, we should be even more so this year and hopefully we'll come up with some more stops in those clutch situations. In Indiana, young kids grow up and play the game the right way. They leave their hearts on the floor and they have a passion for the game. That's the kind of team we're putting together."

Just reading the advertorial makes me want to pick up the phone, upgrade my season tickets and slip in a DVD of Hoosiers. Kidding aside, it's good for Bird to get his (or whoever wrote it) statement out there in the community reminding people what he's building toward and exactly why the team signed players such as Solomon Jones, Dahntay Jones and Earl Watson. Defense. Defense. Defense. More links after the jump.