UPDATE: Larry Bird on Failed Trade: Deal Pulled Off the Table with Two Minutes to Go
Larry Bird is now talking about what happened when his attempted trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for OJ Mayo fell apart just minutes before the trade deadline came and went last Thursday. UPDATE: And it is a different story from the one that Griz owner Michael Heisley was telling the other day. I’m not a logic major, but it seems as though someone here is either misinformed or has pants that are on fire. Apparently I was misreading this based on the Star’s “Bird claims Grizzlies pulled deal off table late” headline. Reporter Jeff Rabjohns has informed me that it was New Orleans that pulled the deal off the table at the last minute. Sorry for the confusion. Here’s the link to the more clearly presented Indy Star piece.
Jeff Rabjohns reported the following for the Indianapolis Star.
“I was on the phone with Memphis. We had a deal with five minutes to go. At two minutes, they (New Orleans) pulled the deal, and it didn’t happen,” Bird said, referring to the 3 p.m. deadline set by the NBA.
Larry elaborated further about the opportunity to get Mayo and “not give up a ton” — a characterization that must make Josh McRoberts, Brandon Rush and Solomon Jones (the three guys who would have been shipped out) feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
“We felt we had the opportunity to get a player who would help us and not give up a ton, even though I like Josh and Brandon,” Bird said. “It’s unfortunate it had to be a three-team deal because when you get more teams in it, anything that happen.
“It’s tough on me because we worked three days to get a deal done, and they (New Orleans) pull it off the table with two minutes to go. That’s pretty hard to take.”
Now the Pacers look ahead to the summer. Barring the new Collective Bargaining Agreement capping all salaries at “one peanut butter sandwich with a team option for jelly,” the Pacers should have plenty of money to target some free agents. We’ll see how that goes, but I’ve increasingly become enamored with the idea of Zach Randolph playing power forward for Indiana.
The only responses from Brandon and Josh on the matter were typical, “say the right thing” fodder, although Rush again dropped a similar line to the one he gave me last night regarding his thoughts on what the front office has in store for his future in Indiana.
“They tried twice. I’m thinking they’re going to try again. But it’s the NBA. Everybody gets traded.”
The only real surprise here is that neither Brandon or Josh used the phrase “it is what it is.”
Good call, Dime magazine. Also, I love how every other cover line is a person’s name aside from “Kenyon’s Ink,” which now that I think about it, should be something K-Mart can claim as a dependent on his tax return no matter what Ron Paul thinks. Also Part II, I bet reading this issue with posterity would be hilarious. Just look at those names.