June 25, 1997
The NBA staged a videoconference yesterday aimed at informing the media
on trends to expect in tonight's NBA draft. Instead, much of the
one-hour session turned into an impromptu comedy routine with a heavy
Celtics accent involving Rick Pitino, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.
job was finished in Boston," began Bird, who left his special
assistant's position with the Celtics last month to become head coach of
the Indiana Pacers. "If you noticed, I left Rick with a lot of great
players there. It was time to move on."
and his dry wit were only getting warmed up. Asked how he would
negotiate potential deals with McHale, his ex-teammate who runs the
Minnesota Timberwolves, and Pitino, the man he helped bring to Boston, Bird replied, "I don't trust either one of those guys."
getting in on the fun: "For me it would be very easy dealing with Kevin
McHale because of his serious nature. We all know how serious he took
practices and things of that nature while he was here playing in Boston.
As for Larry, he's wanted the (Celtics') third and sixth picks, and he
was more than willing to give up the 11th and 12th men on his roster.
He's been very benevolent so far."
finally got in on the exchange. "Rick got more money in his contract
than me and Larry combined, so we're going to screw him," McHale said.
"When we deal with Boston, they'll have to put a towel over our numbers
Bird, McHale and San Antonio coach and general manager Gregg Popovich
were asked by NBA director of scouting Marty Blake to comment on Garth
Joseph, a 7-foot-2, 320-pound project from the West Indies targeted for
the NBA in the next few years.
"I figure Pitino is going to draft him as a bodyguard when he goes to the ATM machines," said McHale.
all of air time was devoted to good-natured ribbing. Bird, sounding
like his old self, spoke of the diminishing art of fundamentals in
basketball. Meanwhile McHale, whose team has the 20th pick, spoke with
envy of the Celtics' dual draft position.
don't buy what a lot of people say about how this is a bad (draft)
year," he said. "Two years ago, it was a four-person draft, we drafted
fifth and took Kevin Garnett. I think we got the best player in the
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