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Larry Bird is absolutely miserable watching the Pacers

Apr 25, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT



That’s Larry Bird on the left, watching the No. 1-seeded Pacers lose to the No. 8-seeded Hawks.

To his left is Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard. Is Pritchard stressing Indiana’s play or his possibly premature tweet?

By the way, the line of play-by-play I clicked to find the screenshot: “Hibbert Out of Bounds Lost Ball Turnover (P1.T7).”

  1. chargerdillon - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    He should be, he ruined this teams chemistry when he made that idiotic mid season trade.

    Evan Turner was the dumbest move they could have made when things were going so well. For as great of a player as he was, he’s 100% responsible for meddling with a winning product.

    This round isn’t over yet, but there is ZERO possibility they will beat a real team like the Heat.

    • spursareold - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Turner wasn’t the solution, but I’m not sure he’s the real problem, either. They were losing Granger anyway, and took the opportunity to audition someone. It didnt work out.

      The Pacers seem to lack locker room leadership to rein in a hot head like Lance, or goad a player like Hibbert into more effort and effectiveness.

      • stayhigh_247 - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        I want to see more leadership from Paul George. The best player on the team should take it on himself to get his big man’s head back in the game and to make ATL send doubles his way. George needs to beast out, big man, just be big, rebound and be a presence. Doc has Deandre looking like a totally different player and Roy has a better skill set than him. Vogels a good coach, they just need to figure it out, these are the playoffs right?

    • lowercasejay - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:15 PM

      Exactly. Around the time of the Granger-Turner trade he called his team soft. They were #1 in the East for a reason and he had to mess with that? And Turner isn’t even an elite talent to take that kind of risk. SMH.

    • shanelsweet - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      Signing Bynum was a clear signal that good team chemistry wasn’t going to happen for this team. Larry went for talent instead and hoped for the best. He hasn’t gotten what he wanted from the talent he signed. But, don’t blame him for ruining team chemistry. Sometimes players just don’t get along. The Pacers have several veteran players that haven’t much liked each other for quite some time.

    • metalhead65 - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      it was not an idiotic trade! the only thing granger was doing for the team was taking up salary cap space. how was Bird suppose to know that professional athletes needed a babysitter like granger to keep them focused? he was once a player and had his best friend traded by the celtics but did not cry and pout over it. he is the one who built that winning team of the first half of the season and saw a chance to make the team better and did, that is his job! when they lose this series it will be more than the coach who finds them self on another sideline next season. he is not going to put up with the immature petty back stabbing players on the team. sorry Lance no max contract for you or at least not one given by the Pacers. and I thought the talk of vogel losing his job was stupid until I see how he has handled this series and by handling I mean doing nothing to counter the hawks lineup and the matchups that are killing the Pacers. add that and his refusal to use his bench and he deserves to go when this debacle ends.

    • bballhistorian - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      and Andrew Bynum continues to steal $$

    • sportsfan18 - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      Team chemistry?

      Shaq and Kobe couldn’t and didn’t get along at all… yet won 3 straight titles…

      Chemistry too often become an EXCUSE as folks are ALWAYS looking for excuses…

      Reporter – “Hey, you’ve been losing recently. Why?”

      Player – “Man, we don’t got no chemistry dude!”

      • bougin89 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        It’s about team chemistry…on the floor. Nobody cares if these guys are friends or not. They’re not playing well together on the court, that’s the chemistry issue.

      • chargerdillon - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:01 PM

        Shaq and Kobe would’ve won a championship if they were playing for the Pacers.

        You’re comparing 2 hall of fame players, 2 of the best ever against the current Pacers roster which has a total of ZERO future hall of fame players.

        Apples and oranges buddy.

    • pharohislife - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      You can’t blame this on Bird, saying the Evan Turner trade and the loss of Granger has ultimately led to this historic choke job by the Pacers is nonsense, it’s a part of it, but hardly. If all it takes is a trade for a bench player to break this team’s entire psyche then they weren’t true Contenders anyway and are a mentally fragile and weak – minded team.

      No team like that has a shot at winning a championship, they’re showing that regardless of if this happened the way it’s happening now it was going to happen eventually anyway because they would’ve broke under the first sign of adversity anyway. That’s who this team always was, a front-runner, great when everything’s fine and you’re winning but when they’re not they’re too mentally fragile to handle and fight through it. That’s the difference between them and the Heat and Spurs. You have to be mentally tough, this Pacers team Never had it.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      Their chemistry was already ruined before the trade. They had already started to slump before Turner arrived.

  2. themagicfanguy - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    Stop blaming it on chemistry and trades, because that’s BS. This is all 100% on Hibbert, he’s always been overrated and now people are finally starting to realize it. What’s the point of a slow-footed huge center that can’t even rebound?

  3. shuttaman1990 - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    I love it.
    Be more sad ya damn ex celtic.
    Lakers all day.

    • cantonbound13 - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Another year of D’Antoni for you. Lottery all day!

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        At least we got a lottery pick! ziiiing

      • cantonbound13 - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        One that will never be taught how to play defense. Ziiiing!!!

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:28 AM

        lol! ok, ok

        God I hope you guys re-sign Melo just so that comeback blows up in your face! lol

    • bucrightoff - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Not next year you don’t (or 2017 for that matter).

  4. prareedoggin - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    With Granger they were almost unstoppable, they trade him and the entire season takes a turn for the worse. It has to be that. Like if Miami traded Haslem lmao

    • dexterismyhero - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Granger was not even playing dumba$$!

      • dablakdrphil - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:13 PM

        Granger came back from his knee injury in middle of December so yes he was playing and coming from the bench

      • tfoz5150 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Yeah, but let’s remember at the time” what a great trade it was “because, Granger wasn’t the same since the injury and you had George anyway, so basically Bird stole Turner for nothing. Meanwhile EVERYONE in Philly was saying Good luck with him Indy. The dude can’t guard anyone, and has a terrible shooting percentage. But no, it was touted as the best deadline deal. Two months later… the truth shall set you free.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      The Pacers started 33-7, then went 7-5 over the next 12 games, and then traded for Turner after that. So the slide started 12 games before the Turner got there. It may have been what prompted the trade in the first place.

  5. nickhollingsworth - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Who wouldn’t be!

  6. kb2408 - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Man, you guys make it seem like Granger was “so valuable” to the Pacers when that is hardly the case. I don’t care how much chemistry a team has, TALENT wins titles! Shaq and Kobe rarely, if ever, hung out off the court but won 3 rings in a row. Bird and McHale weren’t going out together after games but they won titles together. Granger wasn’t giving the Pacers much “on the court”. You might say Miami didn’t trade Haslem because they didn’t want to mess with team chemistry…but they are two time champs. They won those titles because they have the best player in the world, two more all stars and role players that play their roles. Indy’s problems are selfish play, irratic shooting and a center that has completely lost his confidence. Granger wouldn’t have solved any of that.

    • toycannoni - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      “Shaq and Kobe rarely, if ever, hung out off the court but won 3 rings in a row.”………………………….

      kobe had very little to do with those 3 rings, much like derrick fisher and his 6 rings…..

      shaq was the man and then kobe ran him off so he could go win another ring in miami with dwade, while kobe squealed for the lakers to trade him or get him some help

      • pharohislife - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        That is one of the most ignorant statements I’ve ever read, “Kobe had very little to do with those 3 rings”. How could anybody even agree with that. If you do its either because 1.) You are a Kobe Hater which is fine I actually have no problem with that or 2.) You don’t know Anything about basketball or you just started watching it. I’m going to hope it’s the former rather than the latter for your sake because your comments will automatically lose all credibility if you truly believe that.

      • kb2408 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        If you’re clueless sometimes it’s just best not to say anything. Look up Kobe’s stats for the 3 titles with Shaq. From 2000-2003 Shaq was the most dominant player “arguably” the NBA has ever seen. He made 7 ft men look like little boys. Kobe was 20 yrs old when they won the first title. Shaq was 27, an established star and in his prime. ANY player would have been the 2nd option on the LAKERS teams playing alonside Shaq. Especially if that player was barely out of his teens like Kobe was at the time. Kobe was 20 years old, straight out of high school and the 2nd best player on a championship team. Not only was he the 2nd best player, he also was the best defensive player and the designated closer. The offense ran through Kobe in the 4th qrt of close games because as we all know Shaq couldn’t shoot free throws. You’re welcome for the education.

    • rrhoe - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Very well said….

    • antistratfordian - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:01 PM

      Well Turner certainly wasn’t going to help. They should’ve traded Granger for a three point shooter.

  7. lj312chicago - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    I blame Vogel there’s is absolutely something wrong with the chemistry of this team…and blaming it all on turner is idiotic. This team plays with no heart anymore it hard to watch.

  8. lj312chicago - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Shaq and Kobe never looked like they have up mentally…the chemistry is horrible

  9. lj312chicago - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Indy needs to go watch Rudy as a team lol if half my guys had the heart you do kid…rudyyyy lol

  10. jzone954 - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    I thought they were built not bought?…

    • pacersfan1 - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      They are. So what’s your point?

  11. toycannoni - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    lol….now you know why pat riley said no thank you to evan turner for udonis haslem, before the pacers dumped grange for him

    also was pretty funny to see bird jump on andrew bynum, thinking the heat wanted him….bynum was signed just so the heat wouldn’t bring him in (even though they wanted nothing to do with him)

    there’s a reason riles is the best in the business, along with the great jerry west

    • kb2408 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      Is Riles the “best in the business” because Wade, LBJ and Bosh all got together and decided to play together? How much did Riley really have to do with that? Was he the best in the business before that? I love Riley, as I love all former LAKERS, but I think he gets too much credit for building the Heat. The Big 3 probably would’ve joined together regardless of who was the president of the Heat.

      • kinggw - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        Considering that both Bosh and James said that Riley’s rings presentation sealed the deal for them (and Bosh still has his 06′ ring) I respectfully disagree.

      • unxpexted1 - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        I think what he’s saying is that he is lucky that those three wanted to play together and team up in the first place. Even if they would have went to Cleveland or Toronto they would have probably made another GM look good as well. But Riles has done a great job of putting the right pieces around them.

    • metalhead65 - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      everybody knew that signing bynum was a gamble and one worth taking. he has nothing to do with he team tanking. he would have to be playing and in the locker room to be disruptive not getting treatment on his knees. he looked impressive in his 2 games though.

  12. 12444uggg - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    I blame the players. They play the game. They didn’t forget how to play basketball, something else is bugging them. Maybe it’s each other. That’s my guess.
    Granger has sat for two years and Bynum has played two, count em, two games for the Pacers. If he’s any kind of issue, that would be more than surprising.

    That said. Larry’s expression speaks for most Pacer fan.Truly tough to watch.

  13. redbaronx - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    I think everyone on here is oversimplifying the Pacers problem. Trading away Granger wasn’t the problem. Granger had barely played for the Pacers this year.

    It also isn’t Bird’s fault. He didn’t ruin the chemistry by the trades he made. I’m far from a Bynum or Evan Turner fan, but these trades are not what is ailing the Pacers.

    I think it is quite possible that the Pacers (much like the Bulls) get the maximum squeezed out of them by their coach, but when it comes to having that extra gear for elite level play, the talent on the roster is just not up to that level. Also, they had become too reliant on Hibbert and the funneling system they had going. When a team like Atlanta throws in a smaller 5 and makes Hibbert move around, the Pacers have to counter by sitting Hibbert and bringing in someone more mobile at the 5.

    With all of that being said, the Pacers need to be active in free agency this offseason. David West isn’t getting any younger, and there is the need for an actual scorer / all-star level player to be added to the roster. At the end of the day these Pacers are who we thought they were two years ago, before they played Miami last year. That is to say, a fairly good team with good players that mesh well, but without a real superstar or player on the roster that creates matchup problems for opposing teams.

    • nard100 - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      I agree with everything being said by redbaronx, but I also think that this team is not yet ready for the role of favorite. They can play the underdog role well (us against the world). However, when they are the target, and the new underdog plays nasty and kicks it up a notch as teams will do against the favorite, the Pacer don’t compete. They don’t hit the other team in the mouth. If the don’t get all the calls they think they should, they quit. Is this roster talented enough to go to the finals? No doubt (it is the east after all) about it. Will they? I doubt it because they don’t have a killer instinct.

      • redbaronx - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        @nard100 – I think we’re saying the same things. The Pacers might have been a bit overrated and need an offensive piece/star player to be in that role of a real contender for a ring.

    • toycannoni - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      so you’re saying that paying paul george super star money was a big mistake??

      hibbert’s last great game of the season was vs the heat, and i think it had indy squealing for joy that they had finally found a way to beat the heat

      what they didn’t realize was who hibbert did it against…..he ate oden up in that game

      spo is such a genius with his rotations and he found out that oden wasn’t going to help vs hibbert in the long run…..

      haven’t seen much of oden since hibbert drilled him for 9 points in 5 minutes in that game, but udonis is back and the heat are back to being the best in the biz

    • genericusername93 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      It’s a combo of a bunch of things (in no particular order):
      – PG13 regressing to his mean
      – Lance forcing things after his perceived all-star snub
      – losing Granger as the clear locker room leader
      – the starters being worn down from lack of rest chasing the No. 1 seed
      – mental fatigue from being a consensus contender since last year’s conference finals loss
      – Lance feeling like Evan Turner was signed to replace him in free agency
      – Hibbert losing confidence that Indiana didn’t think he was enough when they brought in Bynum
      – Bynum being Bynum and Bynuming all over everything he touches.

      All of these things led to an offense that was just getting by via excellent play by PG13 and smart, measured drive and kick creation by Lance sputtering when those two slumped and the defense struggling when Hibbert let’s his emotions impact his effort on the court and (1) can’t protect the rim and (2) can’t rebound to end a defensive possession if there’s a miss.

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        NIce job of compiling the points. I was going to respond to so many of the posts above – becaust it isn’t just one thing that killed this team, it’s been a combination of what you said above. Team chemistry is a major factor when you don’t have players with the skill levels of Shaq and Kobe, along with great role players and a coach who really knows how to manage egos (Jackson).

      • 12444uggg - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        “Lance feeling like Evan Turner was signed to replace him in free agency”

        This isn’t the sole cause, but this hasn’t been explored in the media much. Interesting point.

  14. 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    I would gladly pay the $11 that’s being asked right now on stubhub to be in the building to watch Indy lose the series in Game 5 at Indy. With the $11, would I get a blue swagger shirt? Would I get my cardboard piece of the Beat the Hawks puzzle the fans are holding up? Yes? Oh I have to get there!

    • reesesteel23 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:09 PM


    • pacersfan1 - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      Dude you mad bro? It must suck being so sad.

    • pacersfan1 - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      1972wasalongtimeago. Well you probably live with mom and dad so I would guess that you don’t have 11 dollars.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        You know so little. Enjoy your Pacers

    • tashab03 - Apr 28, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      I enjoy the Pacers immensely. Love that team. And btw it’s GOLD swagger. You must really sweat the Pacers to look up prices on stubhub. lol You’re pathetic.

  15. lj312chicago - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Kobe and shaq might have not gotten along but you’re an idiot and need to go watch the tape they had chemistry on the court…where it matters most

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Both Shaq and Kobe are all-time great players (historically great), the Pacers don’t have anyone on their team like that. Tallent can overcome bad chemistry.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:27 PM

        Any team with a prime Shaq and Phil Jackson was going to dominate regardless.

  16. jzone954 - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Uh, we really talking about Kobe and Shaq right now?

  17. chitownmatt - Apr 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    After the past few years of NBA playoffs following seeds with the predictability of a script for a Hallmark channel Christmas movie, I think a few upsets might just be the best thing for the league.

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