It's been nearly a week since Larry Bird announced he was letting Frank Vogel walk without an offer to return to the Pacers. Since then, it has been radio silence from BLF on prospects to take over the top bench job for the Pacers.
However, there's been plenty of faux outrage over how Bird handled the departure of Vogel in his press conference. Much of the reaction seems based on quotes pulled from the media session, as opposed to any true analysis of what was said. Jeff Van Gundy and David West both took shots at Bird for how he handled Vogel's firing and there is no doubt, Bird botched the press conference, even if his most shocking comments were inadvertent and more a case of not preparing for how to respond.
After a week to consider the context of the comments Bird shared, there are some pretty obvious conclusions which seem lost in the process of breaking down every word at face value.
Let's start with the value of Bird's words at face value. Yes, everyone seems to like calling Bird a straight shooter, but as I've said repeatedly, check out what isn't said when Bird is talking to the media. Let's break down the key comments that have generated the most response.
Bird said it was time for a new voice for the Pacers and dusted off his old straw man argument that players tune out a coach after three years. It is a convienient crutch for Bird in this situation because he used it on himself, to relieve himself of coaching duties he no longer wanted to assume.
Does Bird really believe in the three-year limit? Well, he allowed Jim O'Brien to return for a fourth year and if ever a team had tired of a coach's voice it was JOB's team. He also allowed Vogel to coach for five years. Did anyone ever think that Bird was using this three-year argument to avoid discussing why he was really letting Vogel go? Needing a new "voice" served as as strong euphemism to avoid the details of Bird's decision.
The parting of ways with Vogel has been described as ice cold, yet emotion forced Bird to choke on his words more than once during the press conference. Again, this is something David West and Jeff Van Gundy may have missed by simply hearing Bird's comments relayed to them via a modern telephone game.
The other major blunder by Bird was relaying supposed info from his conversation with Vogel which had Frank begging for his job and a reconsideration by Bird. This was in the context of Bird discussing how much Vogel meant locally and upon further review it appears Bird was trying to express how much Vogel enjoyed coaching the Pacers in Indy and wanted to reamin in the community. Of course, all of that was lost in the way Bird describe Vogel appearing to beg for his job. Honestly, for all we know, Vogel said, OK after Bird told him his plans.
Bird and co. at the Fieldhouse were obviously stung by the reaction to the press conference which is evident by the lack of info emerging on the coaching search. At some point, we'll get a Woj bomb when a coaching candidate or two emerges. But until then, don't think you can determine what is going on at the Fieldhouse by what is said to the media.