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.
- The Southeast Missourian writes about Hansbrough's recent trip to Poplar Bluff where he was presented with a key to the city. Story includes quotes from Tyler, Pacers coach Jim O'Brien and UNC coach Roy Williams.
- Apparently the report that Roy Hibbert would attend and play in the Broad Ripple Summer League series Friday night didn't come true. IndyStar reporter Mike Wells tweeted from the game and noted that Eddie Gill and George Hill showed up, but no Hungry Hungry Hibbert. If any of you went to the game, please provide your thoughts and insights.
- Eight Points, Nine Seconds looks at the Pacers cap situation, giving us the information on exactly how much money is left in the bank and which exceptions have been used this summer.
- Bill Benner of the Indianapolis Buisness Journal writes about Lucas Oil Stadium and the effect it's had on the Pacers and the rest of the city.
- And in other NBA free agent news, the Nuggest have resigned Anthony Carter, Joe Smith signed with the Pacers season-opening opponent Atlanta for the veteran's minimun, and Jason Williams was a "shadow of his former self" in a tryout for Memphis.