As the lone Pacer fan left in the state I've been banging my head against the wall with the many ways the Pacers keep losing. Bad decisions, bad trades and only a couple of decent draft selections. We suck, but the east is so bad that we are still only a couple of games out of making the playoffs, unlike the New York Knicks, who suck complete balls. Why bring up Knicks? Well Scoop Jackson decided to write his usual piece of shit article basically saying the white man is the reason Isiah Thomas is getting so much shit and Larry Bird is receiving no criticism. Since firejaymariotti.com was asleep at the post I'll break down his horrific excuse for journalism.
And if I said Larry Bird has done more collateral damage to the Indiana Pacers than Thomas has done to the Knicks, you'd probably stop reading.
I wish I did. You see Scoop, unlike Larry, Isiah is in New York City running the most storied franchises in the league. The Pacers are in the Midwest and they were formally an ABA team that pretty much became a doormat to any NBA team when they merged back in the day. The Knicks are in a city with a ton of media scrutinizing anything and are a stones throw from ESPN - resident Boston lovers. The Pacers have Bob Kravitz and are in the Midwest. Anything the Knicks do in said city is immediately fodder for the media, anything the Pacers do basically means nothing in the grand scheme of the mainstream media.
Now, it would be unfair to Bird to blame him for everything that has gone wrong with the Pacers.
You just wrote yourself out of your own argument.
He had no control over The Brawl, no control over injuries that have taken games away from Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley.
That would pretty much fuck over any franchise. Let's see, your two best players have been down with injuries and your team starts sucking, go figure. How do you think the Bulls would have done without Jordan and Pippen? Lakers without Koby and Shaq? The Spurs without Duncan and the little French dude? How about the Knicks losing...uh....do they even have two good players?
The Brawl? That was pretty much a once in a lifetime stupid-fest that was started by a player the Pacers had to take a chance on because as much as Artest was bat shit insane he was a good defender. It also gave Herr Stern the opportunity to fuck over a small franchise team. Do you think he would have handed down such lengthy suspensions to the Lakers or Pistons? Doubt it.
But if bad things -- such as shootings at nightclubs (Stephen Jackson), charges stemming from a bar fight (Tinsley and Marquis Daniels), incidents involving handguns (Tinsley and Shawne Williams), failed drug tests (David Harrison), arrests at players' homes of a suspected rapist (an associate of Daniels) and a suspected murderer (an associate of Williams) -- continuously happen under your watch, when is it time to give misery (Thomas and the Knicks) some company?
They are called adults dipshit, Larry can't be hanging around them every fucking second of the day making sure they behave. Besides he's there to judge talent and he's trying (badly at the moment) to meld together a good team, not give them curfews and take their handguns away. If he did give them curfews you would probably write an article about a racist Midwest team profiling young black adults.
Yes, there's an $11.6 million sexual harassment lawsuit that found Thomas responsible and Madison Square Garden liable and unbelievable infighting that has reached "All My Children" levels, but that's not off par with the off-the-court incidents and activities that have plagued the Pacers.
Lets see, a sexual harassment lawsuit that found Thomas guilty and infighting where Thomas was the instigator, not the diffuser. I'm pretty sure Larry Bird was at home while Stephen Jackson was squeezing off rounds at a couple of morons and was probably off porking some high profile prostitute in the comforts of his French Lick home while Jamaal Tinsley was getting shot at downtown. Larry had nothing to do with these off court incidences, Thomas had a hand in a lot of them. So far your argument sucks.
Which makes it only fair to at some point ask whether we place some responsibility on Bird the same way we do on Thomas for harboring and manifesting a climate that has been counter-conducive to the well-being of a franchise that is in the business of winning.
Didn't you say earlier that you can't blame Bird for everything? So far you haven't defended your boy Isiah.
Thomas made questionable moves in taking risks on Eddy Curry, Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis and is blamed for the lack of production by Zach Randolph, among other things. What is the difference between that and the decisions that have been made with respect to Ron Artest, Jackson and Tinsley and the lack of production by Daniels (who, like Randolph, was supposed to be the prize catch that would begin a franchise turnaround)?
Eddy Curry - Questionable talent before coming to the Knicks
Stephon Marbury - Completely insane player that has wrecked every franchise he's been on.
Steve Francis - Stevy Franchise had like one or two decent years before becoming the overrated player that he is.
Zach Randolph - Complete racist who was part of the Jailblazers. Now completely out of shape, he was NEVER the prize catch.
Ron Artest - One of the best defenders in the league before he became insane.
Stephen Jackson - Sucked ass here but last I checked doing pretty well with the Warriors.
Jamal Tinsley - When he wants to be he actually is a decent point guard. Oh yeah, hasn't he basically been injured for the last two years? Didn't you just mention that Jamal was one of their best players that has been injured and Larry had no control over that? Are you saying Tinsley sucks or is good? Pick one.
Daniels - You got me there, but I'm pretty sure, let me check....yep, he was never a prize that would have turned around the Pacers franchise. Where did you get that bullshit?
What's the difference between Jamal Crawford and Mike Dunleavy? Is there a Thomas signee who is draining the Knicks' payroll the way Troy Murphy is draining the Pacers' payroll?
Between Crawford and Dunleavy? Not much except one is white and one is black and both are doing pretty well on shitty teams. As for Murphy, as much as his contract is bloated the guy actually does play hard every night. He's like the Rudy of the NBA, he sucks but he actually tries, unlike anyone on the Knicks.
The only difference, the only real difference, between these two teams that truly stands out is that during this period, the Pacers lost one of the greatest players in NBA history when Reggie Miller retired. That would affect any team. It was something neither Bird nor CEO Donnie Walsh had control over. But it was something for which they could have been better prepared.
Jesus tap dancing Christ, are you blaming Larry for the downfall of the Pacers or not? So far you haven't defended your boy and you've basically blamed Larry for being "unprepared" for Miller's retirement. Easy enough, Larry, Miller just retired could you go pick up another Reggie Miller? You mean you have to develop a hall of famer and even picking a once in a lifetime talent in today's NBA draft is a crap shoot? That's no excuse! You should have been better prepared!
Christ, Scoop. Do you think the Broncos were prepared for Elway's retirement? You think the Bulls were prepared for many of Jordan's retirements? You think the Packers are prepared for Favre's retirement? No, it's impossible to prepare for. It's like preparing for a category five tornado to hit your house, there's going to be damage, and it's going to take time to rebuild.
The Pacers' attendance is the worst in the NBA, according to The Indianapolis Star -- down from being one of the league's most consistent hometown draws. Their salary-cap situation, according to Bill Simmons, is the worst in the NBA and won't change until 2010.
Yes, attendance is down. That's because we suck, people don't like going to games where we know that their team will lose. Have you ever seen a team with a losing record outside of L.A., New York and Boston have record setting attendances when they are losing? Yeah, me neither.
According to Bill Simmons? Bill Fucking Boston Guy Simmons??!! I had no idea Bill was the expert on teams outside of Boston and their salary cap issues. It is well documented that Bill hates Indiana, Pacers and Colts. That's kind of like saying "according to Sean Penn, Bush is losing his grip on America." See? No objectivity. You dolt. I know Bill is the self described expert on the NBA, but that doesn't mean that he knows what the hell is going on in Indiana.
The Pacers have become the Cincinnati Bengals of the NBA. But again, you'd never know if you depended on the sports media tell you.
Comparing the Pacers to the Bengals? I think were better than that. Scoop, you are part of the mainstream sports media, no one from Indiana is, and you aren't the first one to write something like this.
Is racism or regionalism the reason one is vilified and the other isn't?
There it is, there it fucking is. The race card makes it's way into another one of Scoops articles. Scoop, please use the race card when racism actually exists. Weren't you one of the many sports journalist that were condemning the Duke lacrosse team when the person who accused the team of racism and rape was a coked up stripper with a sketchy past? Yeah, when you use the race card as many times as you and Jemele Hill do it really starts to ring hallow and pretty much screws the ones in the U.S. that actually are victims of racism. Just stop, as a matter of fact, I'll compare Larry Bird with Isiah Thomas.
Bird - Hall of famer for the Celtics
Thomas - Hall of famer for the Pistons
Bird - As a player won NBA Championships
Thomas - As a player won NBA Championships
Bird - Fired Isiah for doing a piss poor job as a coach of the Pacers. His replacement took basically the same team to the NBA Eastern Conference Championship THE NEXT YEAR where they were toppled by the eventual champions.
Thomas - Hired Lenny Wilkins, fired. Hired Larry Brown, fired. Hired himself as coach, is still coaching and is coaching himself and his team right into the ground.
Bird - As a coach actually took a team to the finals and nearly toppled MJ and the Bulls back in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals.
Thomas - As a coach never took a team out of the first round and has made a horrible team into a laughing stock.
Bird - Has made draft picks and trades that has blown up in his face.
Thomas - Has made draft picks and trades that has blown up in his face.
Bird - Has been criticized extensively for his many failures as an executive. Especially in his own hometown.
Thomas - Ditto.
Bird - Has had some success as an executive and as a coach.
Thomas - Has had no success whatsoever in anything he has done outside of playing.
There you go Scoop. And one more thing, where in the hell did you get the idea that Bird wasn't getting any criticism for his actions as GM? I'm pretty sure the owner of the Pacers just said in the paper that he's going to make changes and the only thing he knows for sure that will stay the same is that he will stay the owner. I'm pretty sure that's not a good indication for Larry Legend. All James Dolan of the Knicks has done is sit on his ass with both thumbs directly up them and has made no changes whatsoever, EVEN AFTER THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT!!! That would have fired anyone!
Choose all of the above, and you still will come up without an answer. Know, though, on this anniversary of Isiah Thomas' continued destruction of the Knicks, he will remain singled out as what not to look for in a president of basketball operations, while Larry Bird's plight will gather sympathy, and no one will notice the mirror images of the two.
Again, Thomas has had his hand in all of the Knicks troubles. As you said before, YOU CAN"T BLAME LARRY FOR EVERYTHING THAT HAS GONE WRONG WITH PACERS!!! Besides, sympathy from whom?! He's been criticized heavily for his actions. Again, New York - big time media, big time market, Indiana - small market, one newspaper. No one outside of Indiana cares about the Pacers. I'm pretty sure there are more fans of the Knicks outside of New York than there are Pacer fans outside of Indiana.
Those who decided to continue reading will ask whether I would have written this column had the roles been reversed -- if Bird was in New York ruining the Knicks and Thomas was in Indiana, silently and unnoticeably watching the Pacers disintegrate during his reign.
Anecdotal bullshit. What if? What if? What if? You don't know.
There you go, Scoop Jackson, one of the many reasons ESPN's Page 2 sucks complete ass now.