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Vogel, Bird: Pay Attention

Frank Vogel and Larry Bird, really need to pay attention to what Paul George is saying. Not listening is risky, a place that that no Pacers fan wants to go.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

If you haven’t started taken your daily moment of silence for the future of Paul George at the four spot, you better start now. While Paul George has said that he is part of a team and willing to do whatever he needs, his previous statements of concern still loom large. But, should Pacer fans really be worried about the controversy already surrounding PG and his opinions?

After George sat out most of last season, he is ready for redemption, hungry to take the Pacers back to the Eastern Conference Finals and hopefully beyond. This means making sacrifices. In basketball this may mean playing out of position, being uncomfortable with what the coach is doing, but sucking it up when buying into a system. PG is the catalyst for this Pacers team and that is nothing knew, but it is essential that he chooses to buy into what Vogel and Larry Legend are attempting to do with the team. Without George backing, the team is not the same, chemistry is broken down, trust is in question, and poor on court performance are all viable possibilities. If these problems come true, the loses could start to pile up, but let’s take that moment of silence to hope that George sets the foundation for how the team chooses to view these new ideas.

On the flip side, Vogel and Bird need to be valuing what George is saying. If PG says he will suck it up and play the style the Pacers are implementing this season, maybe they test it, maybe they don’t. It sure would be a shame to see the center of chemistry start to doubt the coach. If Vogel and Bird don’t consider moving George away from the four, they jeopardize him playing for the Pacers. George unhappily playing the four lets the thought of low value creep into his mind and suddenly its sayonara suckers. If Vogel and Bird are smart, they take this early warning from PG to heart and really consider the ramifications before choosing to push forward.

As for Georges statements, “I’m part of this team” and “We’re going to still stick with it, and see how it works,” both feel like the sort of fake statements that come from Lebron James in free agency; a bunch of shenanigans. It sure feels like a little birdy whispered in PG’s ear to remind him that he needs to remember the team and his role as a leader. I think all of us know that George is still unhappy and that is the worst part; no one wants to see George fight with Vogel and Bird all season.

Maybe Vogel’s comment, “He knows the big picture, we’re all on the same page, I don’t have a problem with him speaking his mind,” is actually true, maybe Vogel, George, and Bird are all on the same page living happily ever after behind closed doors. I think it is safe to say that is probably not the case. Again this feels like more deflection in hopes of avoiding speculation about this new system. In the end Vogel just needs to proceed with caution and please, for all things Reggie Miller, let George move from the four if he so chooses.