NBA.com’s David Aldridge has a fantastic column on how Larry Bird built the Indiana Pacers:
It was Bird that traded for Roy Hibbert on Draft night in 2008, a center prospect considered so slow and so heavy that other teams picking just ahead of Toronto — which took Hibbert with the 17th pick and then sent him to Indiana — didn’t even have Hibbert on their boards.
It was Bird who took a little-regarded forward from Fresno State named Paul George with the 10th pick in 2010, a player that was dismissed by a lot of personnel types because of the relative lack of competition the Bulldogs faced, in part because people thought George was a little soft.
It was Bird that convinced David West to sign in Indiana, and not Boston, as a free agent two years ago … even though the Celtics were offering more money. It was Bird that used a second-rounder in 2010 on Lance Stephenson, whose troubled past gave most NBA teams the willies. And it was Bird that didn’t hesitate to promote a then 37-year-old assistant coach with no prior head coaching experience — though he was a star point guard for Juniata (Penn.) College — to be his coach in 2011, replacing Jim O’Brien.
We’ve praised Bird before, essentially calling him the most successful individual in NBA history. It’s tough to argue with that label. Bird has found success in so many different roles.
I don’t think Danny Ainge is going anywhere and it’s highly unlikely Larry would leave his cocoon in Indiana, but is it okay to dream about Legend calling the shots for the Celtics?