Recently Bird spoke his mind on the performance of Indiana Pacers swingman Danny Granger, Yahoo Sports reported.
Bird originally drafted Granger back in 2005 and has presided over the rebirth of his top-ranked Pacer team from the front office.
NBA legend was far from withholding when he discussed why Granger, who has played just six NBA games since May of 2012 as of Sunday morning, typically starts so slowly at the beginning of an NBA season.
“Will Granger struggle in his comeback? Absolutely, he’ll struggle. He’s missed nine months. Even when he’s been healthy, he’s always been a slow starter throughout his career,” Bird said.
“He doesn’t work hard enough (in the offseason),” Bird said. “He’s not a guy who’ll push himself to the brink like a lot of our guys do. He works hard but he doesn’t push himself. That’s why he starts slow every year and he just works his way back. Now this year, he’s been hurt, so it’s a different deal.”
Granger has a lot to prove after barely playing since the Pacers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs back in 2012.
Bird went on to praise Granger’s “toughness,” while relaying that he felt as if his team “finally looked complete” on Friday night with Granger out there in his season debut, but this was a pretty brutal assessment.
Back in September, Bird told Indianapolis Star that Indiana Pacers have a chance to win NBA championship.
“We’re all in. Anything less than (a Finals appearance or a conference finals appearance) would be a disappointment,” he said at the time. “I think anything over 50 wins is a good season, but I believe we’re built more for the playoffs than we are for the regular season. Because we’re deep and we’ll have time to prepare. It’s hard to beat 10 or 11 guys.”
Bird was drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons. He was a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times.
He played his entire professional career for Boston, winning three NBA championships and two NBA Finals MVP awards.
Due to chronic back problems, he retired as a player in 1992. He was a member of the Dream Team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Bird was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.
Bird played a total of 897 NBA games (starting 870), averaging 24.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg and 6.3 apg.Follow @exnbadotcom
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