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News » Indiana Pacers Notes, Quotes 2009-10-08

Indiana Pacers Notes, Quotes 2009-10-08

Indiana Pacers Notes, Quotes 2009-10-08--The Pacers are bracing for replacement officials. The NBA is using 62 replacement officials, with more than half of them having officiated in the NBA Development League. Most of the players said it's going to be difficult biting their tongues when an official makes a bad call. Coach Jim O'Brien's perfect streak of not being ejected in a game as coach of the Pacers could be in jeopardy.

"It's going to be hard not to say anything to the refs," All-Star Danny Granger said. "I can already see it in the heat of games. We have to remember the refs are calling things on both teams. Even if they make a few bad calls, they're going to make some for the other team, too."

--The Pacers gave coach Jim O'Brien a one-year extension despite him having a 72-92 record in two years as coach of the team.

"We are very happy to get the option done on Jim's contract," team president Larry Bird said in a statement. "When I interviewed Jim for this job, he was committed to everything we want to do. We both feel we're moving in the right direction."

The move allows O'Brien to avoid being a lame-duck coach this season.

I think it's great," O'Brien said. "I think making sure there's continuity when trying to build toward a championship is important. I appreciate it."

--Pacers president Larry Bird is doing his best to avoid being known as a Hall of Fame player, but miserable front office official.

Bird, who is in his second season with full control of basketball operations, said he plans on staying with the franchise until it at least becomes a respectable contender in the league again.

"I said when I took over that we were going to change the culture, and I think we've done that," Bird said. "Now it's putting the pieces of the puzzle together to get the type of team I want here and it ain't going to happen overnight.

"It's a process, and we said it's going to be three years and we feel we're still on course."

The Pacers have missed the playoffs three straight years and are 32 games under .500 in that same span. A lack of fan support forced Bird to get rid of talented but trouble-prone players like Stephen Jackson and Jamaal Tinsley.

"We took over a franchise, that we were part of, that was in dire straits," Bird said. "(Former Pacers CEO) Donnie (Walsh) has always told me you have to have good players and you have to be a playoff contender every year being in a small market.

"I understand that, but the situation we had, I felt we had to go in a different direction. We had to worry about the off-the-court problems and the type of players we bring in."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "T.J. had an up-and-down year last year. When he was good he was very good. I expect him to have a big year because I think he understands what (coach Jim O'Brien) wants on the offensive end." -- Pacers president Larry Bird, on G T.J. Ford.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 8, 2009


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