Larry Bird Thinks Danny Granger Should Work a Little Harder

Published on 27-Dec-2013 by Raoul Duke

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Update

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Larry Bird Thinks Danny Granger Should Work a Little Harder

Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird is not particularly enamored with the work ethic of small forward Danny Granger.

But let's be honest here. Larry probably doesn’t think anyone works hard enough, in any profession, anywhere, ever.

Granger played in only five games last season due to a balky left knee, and only recently made his season debut this year after recovering from a strained left calf.

Bird was asked recently about the status of Granger and his ability to comeback this season. He seemed unwilling or incapable of mincing words in his response.

"He doesn't work hard enough (in the offseason)," Bird explained. "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."

Larry, this is a safe place. Your answer feels somewhat restrained. Please unburden yourself and tell us how you really feel.

Upon further review ...

Yikes! That reply was either refreshingly honest or unnecessarily caustic, depending on your perspective.

I suppose you could say Bird’s relentless honesty and frankness is a rare quality these days. But in a world where deceit and misdirection usually prevail in these situations and political correctness reigns, it's somewhat jarring to hear a front office man publicly give such a forthright assessment of his own player.

Is this assessment a fair one?

Possibly. Bird would certainly know the truth.

Granger is a really good player, and has been a valuable contributor for the Pacers. He has also been reasonably durable up until last season.

However, Granger is in the final year of his contract, and the Pacers are highly unlikely to re-sign him and pay the luxury tax. This means a deal at the trade deadline could be a distinct possibility. Granger has indicated that he would prefer to remain with Indiana, but understands the financial reality of the situation.

Perhaps we should ask Larry Bird to weigh in on the subject.

Yeah, right. Good luck getting a straight answer out of him.