Larry Bird isn’t one to give out token compliments. As a hard-nosed player and now front office executive for the Pacers, he calls it as he sees it. He will even critique his own players (see Danny Granger’s work ethic) if he has to. That fact makes it appealing to hear (via Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald) Larry Bird heaps praise on Rajon Rondo before last night’s game:
“Yeah, I appreciate the hell out of him,” Bird said. “I don’t know him at all, but in the playoffs he’s showed that he’s one of the better players in our league. It’s unfortunate he got hurt (Rondo returned in January from a torn ACL), but he’s amazing to watch.
“To be able to defend and make plays for other guys, that’s big. He makes a lot of players that are not really good look pretty damn good. And that’s a key.
“If you can make people around you better, it makes you one of the top players in our league.”
As for Ainge, Bird continued to offer praise.
“Danny’s really good at this,” he said. “Danny knows what he’s doing. He’s one of the best in the league. He spends a lot of time on it, and he’s got a lot of good help. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
If and when Rondo hits free agency, it’s highly likely the Pacers won’t be suitors, given the amount of money they have tied up in the rest of that roster right now. With that said, it’s refreshing to know that Rondo has many fans around the league, despite an up-and-down 2013-14 season.
Also in honor of Larry Legend, we’d be remiss not to take a look back at one of his finest performances in NBA history. The 60 point effort he had against the Atlanta Hawks, 29 years ago today. Check it out.