After suggesting recently on a podcast that former Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird stepped down from that position because of the team’s unwillingness to spend, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan has walked back that claim.
“I misspoke when I expressed my opinion regarding the business practices of the Indiana Pacers, and inferred that Larry Bird had been frustrated during his time as team president,” MacMullan said in a statement relayed by the Pacers. “It was a careless remark, based solely on my opinion, and therefore should have never been said. Larry Bird never expressed those feelings to me, and I apologize to both Larry and team owner Herb Simon for poor choice of my words.”
Bird issued a statement of his own, further confirming that his departure from the top job in the Pacers’ front office didn’t stem from frustration about the club’s spending habits.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Bird said. “I want everyone to know I left there because it was time for me to move on from the Pacers.”
Here’s more from out of the Central:
- The Cavaliers were upset to be excluded from the NBA’s restart because they felt as if it would cost the team a prime opportunity to develop its young players, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who suggests those fears are now being realized. As Cleveland remains inactive, Fedor writes, young teams like the Suns and up-and-coming players like Michael Porter Jr. are getting meaningful reps and thriving.
- Big man Jordan Bell, who signed a multiyear deal with the Cavaliers in June, expressed excitement to Kelsey Russo of The Athletic about his new team, whose interest in him apparently dates back to the 2017 draft. “When I was about to get drafted, it was told to me that the Warriors and the Cavs were two teams (that were) very interested in me,” Bell said. “So … I always kind of kept them on my radar, and obviously they kept me on their radar too … because in the league you move and you never know what’s gonna happen.”
- Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press takes a look at how the month of August will bring at least some sense of normalcy to the Pistons, who can move forward to the next stage of their draft planning after finding out in the August 20 lottery where their first-round pick will land.