The Beast of the Week: Larry Bird

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Normally our Beast of the Week goes to a player and their incredible performance on the field or court. But in the new era of sports, your performance on the clean office carpet where telephones ring non-stop on the desk while in an expensive suit than a sweaty jersey is just as important to give your team the best chance for a championship title.

During the final hours of the 2014 NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20, Larry Bird, the president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers pulled the trigger on trading one of the beloved Pacers’ player, Danny Granger and a future second-round pick to Philadelphia as they received 76ers guard Evan Turner and center Lavoy Allen.

This buzzer-beating trade deal could be the deciding factor on who wins the NBA Finals this year. The Pacers added great bench players during the off-season last year and now add two more for an intimidating match-up problem on paper against the fellow Eastern Conference teams.

Although Bird traded veteran star forward Danny Granger, it was with the best intentions as Granger has suffered injury problems the past year and has struggled on making a healthy appearance on the court this season with only starting two games for the Pacers. During his long absence from the court last year and with superstar Paul George leading the Pacers to the playoffs, Granger was a supporting role player off the bench.

By adding 76ers star wing player, Evan Turner to come off the bench is an upgrade for the Pacers – as Turner was a starter for Philadelphia and has great versatility to run the point, play shooting guard and be used as a small forward in the game when the starters are resting.

Turner, the 6’7” guard is averaging 17 points, six rebounds and 4 assists this season. Big man, Lavoy Allen is averaging 5 points and 5 rebounds but could see his numbers rise toward the end of the season when PF David West and C Roy Hibbert rest before the playoffs begin.

Earlier last month, Bird took center Andrew Bynum off the market and added his big-man presence in to cause problems for playoff teams this Spring. Bynum will be a great bench player come playoff time, and with the addition of Lavoy Allen – the Pacers are big, strong and looking to send LeBron James and company back to South Beach early for the offseason.

The Pacers are favorites to win the Larry O’Brien trophy this year with their powerful starting five lineup and arguably one of the best benches in the league – all thanks to Larry Bird.

There is no doubt that 30 years ago, “Larry Legend” would’ve been named beast of the week with his performance on the court for the Boston Celtics. It seems now Bird has mastered the art of operating as an executive for the Pacers, and that is why he is our beast of the week.

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You can follow David Pradel on Twitter: @davepradel_

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