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Bird Finds The Positive Aspects Of Earlier Entry Draft Deadline That Ends Today

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I wrote the other day that many players and NBA executives were having difficulty embracing the new NCAA rule that is making student-athletes declare for the NBA Draft a month earlier than usual this year. The less time for players to make conclusive decisions (along with the prospect of a lockout next summer) is causing a lot of congestion in the draft database. Some see it as being less time to evaluate more players and, therefore, teams will make less informed decisions in late-June.

But, Bruno found us somebody who is quite happy with the new rule -- Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird.

Bruno spoke to Bird about the topic in his latest NBA FanVoice blog post. The rule, which requires college players to declare their eligibility by 5 p.m. today, has been criticized, but Bird isn't buying it. Bird told Bruno the following:

"Everybody's opinions are different on it. I like it because you find out who's in and who's out right away. Then you can get down to your business. You don't have a lot of time to bring these guys in but at the 10th pick we'll be able to see everybody we want to see. I know people are complaining about it but that's just me. If you bring in 15 guys and 10 of them go back and pull out of the draft, you're wasting your time. I want to know who's in and who's out."

The NBA pre-draft camp will be in Chicago from May 19-21, while the Pacers are expected to win the NBA Lottery on May 18th (go ahead and rub that Reggie Miller bobblehead for good luck).

More links after the jump.