Larry Bird Interview
InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner, at the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando, Florida met face to face with Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations and NBA legend Larry Bird for a quick exclusive interview on the upcoming NBA Draft and a few other topics:
InsideHoops.com: Your general impressions on the draft this year? It's considered deeper than usual.
Larry Bird: Well, it's deeper because of two top players. Very good players, probably franchise guys. But I think the draft's been like it has been all the other years. But with them two it makes it very special.
InsideHoops.com: Are there any draft rules you would change, anything to streamline the process even more or fix anything you think needs fixing?
Larry Bird: I just like to see the worst teams get the best picks. I think it's unfair at times. But I don't know how they're going to go ahead and do that.
InsideHoops.com: Possibly do away with the ping-pong ball process, or change it?
Larry Bird: I don't know, I just like to see the worst teams get the best players.
InsideHoops.com: Yeah, I guess it's tough to figure out the best possible way to make that happen.
Larry Bird: Yeah.
InsideHoops.com: And the Pacers, you're kind of in a transitional period right now. You made some team-changing trades during the season, and it seems like you can now go in a lot of directions.
Larry Bird: We got 11 new players since last year. We made a couple of trades and we're probably not done yet. We're looking at our team and we got a lot of young players, so we might go that direction.
InsideHoops.com: And I know you've been asked this before, but have you thought about going back into coaching? I thought you did a terrific job.
Larry Bird: No, I enjoyed it while I did it, but I just want to do three years, so I'm moving on.
InsideHoops.com: How has the NBA changed from when you played to now, in terms of offense, game-play, everything?
Larry Bird: I don't think it's changed that much. A lot of people talk about the change, but to me, everything changes, teams change, one year it's the Celtics, next year it's Philadelphia. It changes all the time.
InsideHoops.com: Expansion has definitely broken up the clumps of stars getting to play together.
Larry Bird: Yes it has. Watered down.
InsideHoops.com: And final question, when you played I thought there was a lot more cutting, and players seeing the cutters and hitting them. More movement. Do you think there's a lot less fundamental movement now, more standing around and watching?
Larry Bird: I don't know. It's still basketball. The games are played different ways. Coaches influence a lot of it. But overall I think it's a great game and I still love it.