Larry Bird on George, CBA, McMillan, Robinson, Teague

The Pacers are prepared to give Paul George a maximum contract when he becomes a free agent in 2018, team president Larry Bird tells Nate Taylor of USA Today. Bird touches on several subjects in a wide-ranging interview, including the team’s plan to keep its three-time All-Star.

Here are some highlights:

On the future of Paul George in Indiana:

“Before the year started, I told Paul and I said, ‘Look, if you want to sign a long-term deal, we’re willing to do that max [contract] and if you want to wait, I understand.’ But this year, we’re not going to worry about it, we’re not going to talk about it and he’s going to make the decision that’s best for Paul when it comes down to it.”

On whether the new collective bargaining agreement will help the Pacers:

“Well, if you want to keep your free agents, you’re going to have an opportunity to, at least, I think, have a better chance of keeping them. If a player don’t want to be here, and he wants to go somewhere else, that’s just a part of free agency. That’s what’s in the collective bargaining for. But at least you have an opportunity to pay them a little bit more and give them an extra year and be able to keep them and sign them up earlier. I think that’s a plus.”

On the offseason coaching change that replaced Frank Vogel with Nate McMillan:

“I like Nate. I liked him when I hired him. But anything I say positive about Nate, you’re going to take it as a negative to Frank, and that’s not what it’s about. I like Frank. Frank did a hell of a job here. We wish him all the best. We made a lot of changes over the last two or three years, even when Frank was here. We changed a lot of guys on the roster. With Nate came in, we changed coach and a lot of guys on the roster. We’d like to get away from that and have guys longer term and have a team that he can build with and grow with as we go forward.”

On Glenn Robinson III replacing Monta Ellis in the starting lineup:

“Glenn hasn’t been as consistent as I think as he or we would like, but the numbers don’t lie. When he plays, we do better. Monta, I’m not going to say he’ll ever accept the role of coming off the bench because that’s his mentality. But the thing is he’s going to do whatever it takes for us to win basketball games and he’ll continue to get better. I think when [Rodney] Stuckey gets back, I think that’s going to help. … But as far as Monta, I think Monta is going to do whatever he thinks will help us win basketball games. Monta knows I have respect for him and I have respect for all veterans. We’re going to do what’s right by him and we want him to be a big part of this, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench.”

On Jeff Teague, who was acquired over the summer in exchange for George Hill:

“I hear he always wanted to play here. We gave up a hell of a player to get him. He’s two years younger than George and he’s a real point guard and he gets to the line. I think he’s going to continue to get better. I couldn’t be happier.”

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4 thoughts on “Larry Bird on George, CBA, McMillan, Robinson, Teague

  1. YankeeFan72

    It would be great if you guys could spell players’ names correctly in article titles. Teauge?? It’s not that hard, guys….

      • YankeeFan72

        Unlike the writer, I know how it is spelled. Check out how he spelled it in the article heading (TEAUGE). That is what I was referring to. But thanks for playing.

        • YankeeFan72

          It’s finally been fixed. Though, no acknowledgement from site about the goof. This place is going downhill…

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