Pacers have their ‘Man’

In the aftermath of their trade with the Raptors, Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations, Larry Bird, expressed his feelings about the type of Leadership he is looking for with his current team.

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Bird says team poised to fill leadership void
“Just because you make the most money doesn’t mean you’re the leader,” Bird said last month. “A lot of guys didn’t want to step on toes. Not only here, but other places I’ve been at. They’d say, the guy makes the most money, that means he’s the leader. That’s not the case. The leader comes from the guy doing the right thing, the guy that’s going to be there every day at practice, the guy that plays through pain without complaining. They do the necessary things to prepare themselves.

“I think the situation you have here, you had one guy making a lot of money and everybody just took it as he’s going to be leading us, and in some instances that was true. But I think more now that since it has opened you’ll see a number of guys stepping up.

“Really, you just need one voice. Usually your best leaders are ones that don’t say anything, they just play, prepare and do the right things.”

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Well, today … it says here that Larry Legend has now got his man …

Broken teeth, not broken spirit
“As professional athletes, we’ve bled throughout our careers,” he said. “We’ve broken bones, torn ligaments, busted teeth. It’s part of the game. It’s kind of fun when you do it, and you actually win.”

Granger’s refusal to leave the game after the collision impressed his teammates and coaches.

He made the play with the Pacers ahead by 16 in the fourth quarter. He stayed in the game.

“That one play epitomized what we want from our leaders — toughness, refusing to get knocked out of the game because you’ve lost your choppers,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “That was just great.”

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After a period of significant upheaval, the Pacers have now righted their ship … at last … and will be in playoff contention this season.

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