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SBD/May 31, 2012/Franchises
Larry Bird Wants Answers From Herb Simon Before Committing To Pacers For Next Season
Published May 31, 2012
SPEND WISELY: In Indianapolis, Bob Kravitz writes Bird "wants to win championships, and there's only one way that's going to happen in the next few years," and that is by "spending money." Kravitz: "That's what this whole Bird-Herb Simon conversation will be about: the owner's willingness to spend, something he has done in the past but might be disinclined to do with such lousy recent results at the gate." If Simon "gives Bird more freedom -- and the Pacers figure to be about $10 million under the new salary cap -- that's great. If he doesn't -- and you'll know he hasn't if Bird walks away -- the Pacers still have a chance to remain good for years to come." Kravitz: "But to be a champion, or at least compete for titles? That's hard to do when you're 24th in total payroll" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 5/31).
DOWN SOUTH: In Atlanta, Michael Cunningham reports Hawks GM Rick Sund has "had discussions" with the team's owners about returning to the club, "but no agreement has been reached to return for a fifth season." Sund's contract expires at the end of June, and he said, "Nothing has been resolved at this point. We will have some more discussions, and then the process will play itself out at some point and time." In addition to re-signing with the Hawks, Sund's "potential options include an advisory role with either the Hawks or another club." Cunningham notes the Trail Blazers reportedly were interested in talking to Sund about their GM vacancy, "but have narrowed their list of candidates" to three other execs (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 5/31).