While the Pacers continue to insist to anyone who will listen that Donnie Walsh has no agreement in place with the New York Knicks, Sports On Mind’s dwil has the temerit to use, well, actual results to challenge the notion Larry Bird is an appreciably better franchise executive than Isiah Thomas.
Isiah Thomas has been just crushed in the press for his basketball decisions and presiding over a floundering franchise. The year Larry Bird arrived in Indiana, they were 61-21. Since they have won 44, 41, 35, and have won only 29 games so far this season. Yet in yesterday™s press conference in Indianapolis Bird said now that Walsh is gone he can remake the franchise. And according to ESPN™s Stephen A. Smith, Bird overruled Walsh on many key team and player decisions, leaving Walsh as a figurehead general manager. Bird is generally attributed – acclaimed – for the firing of Thomas as head coach, according to longtime Indianapolis Star columnist, Bob Kravitz, “Bird was the one who pulled the trigger on Isiah Thomas, replacing him with Rick Carlisle.”
However, it is safe to say that Bird has been atrocious in his capacity as decision-maker and has been the primary reason for the recent downturn of the Pacers franchise. But Bird blamed Walsh for his own failings and said:
œNow it™s one voice; it™s mine. Now it™s a real challenge, Bird said about replacing Walsh and cleaning up a franchise that has struggled on and off the court. œIt™s something that will be great for me to turn around. We have to make changes necessary to make it better, and I think I can do that.
Larry Bird gets a pass for his failings (this fact has been chronicled by MODI at Cosellout better than by any other writer or sports media outlet) while Thomas has been excoriated for least three years.
Larry Bird remains œLarry Legend while Isiah is a pariah. When we fill positions and perform as poorly as the next white guy, their history is obfuscated to the point where we don™t know where fantasy meets reality in order to provide them with yet another chance to excel.