Since taking over the operation of the Indiana Pacers, from Donnie Walsh [Mar-24-2008, on a full-time basis, Larry Legend has had to endure a great many insults from NBA observers - experts and non-experts alike - who have asserted that ... although he was an all-time great NBA player ... he was somehow in over his head, as a GM, and incapable of constructing a top flight franchise, based on the quality of his work in that capacity to that point in time.
Anyone who tries to tell you THAT today, you should simply laugh at.
3 seasons ago the Pacers added Roy Hibbert [C, 1st Rd Draft Pick] to their roster.
2 seasons ago the Pacers added Tyler Hansbrough [PF, 1st Rd Draft Pick], AJ Price [PG, 2nd Rd Draft Pick] and Dahntay Jones [OG/SF, veteran FA] to their roster.
Last season the Pacers added Paul George [SF/OG, 1st Rd Draft Pick], Lance Stephenson [PG/OG, 2nd Rd Draft Pick] and Darren Collison [PG, 1st Rd Draft Pick/2009, from New Orleans] and James Posey [SF/PF, veteran FA] to their roster … and made the playoffs for the first time in 4 years.
This off-season the Pacers have added George Hill [PG/OG] to their roster, affirmed Larry Bird as the head of their overall operation, affirmed last season’s interim head coach, Frank Vogel, as their permanent bench boss, in addition to naming Brian Shaw his lead assistant … and now, it seems, have also hired Kevin Pritchard, as their erstwhile GM-in-waiting.
As has been mentioned in this space on different occasions over the course of the last 24 months, or so …
The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of performing a successful franchise re-build in a first-class way.
When a NBA team makes the decision to place their trust in someone with the track-record of Larry Bird … and, then, has the wherewithal to stick with him, come h*ll or high water … it will eventually be rewarded in a substantive way.
Kudos to, both, Herb Simon [Pacers owner] and Larry Legend!