Regarding the firing, I definitely didn't like it...Thomas was 131-115 as a coach and although he never got the Pacers over the hump of the first round, he still deserved to end his contract (1 more year) in a much more deserving way....
Bird is just too blind to see. Did he forget his skills as a GM to in fact, negotiate with the coach Thomas in order to see what they could do? No. Bird just plain ol' gave him the butt whip and sent him packing imminently. That's harsh. Thomas deserved better, and made guys like Jermaine O'Neal fall in love with him.
In a retrospective, you can say that the Pacers are rebuilding at this point. They look more damn awful than last year's Pacers, especially with Brad Miller packing, as well as Erick Strickland and other great cores of the team. In return you also get an injury-plagued Scot Pollard and Danny Ferry, who's going to leave the team to join the Spurs' basketball operations crew. Now you get an unhappy Jermaine O'Neal after the Isiah Thomas firing. How bad can you get, Larry Bird? That was an awful move that was self-explanatory after you fired Thomas.
Now Bird's trying to get ol' friend, Rick Carlisle, to complete his dirty work for the offseason. There are no more prominent free agents left, although they can still get Jim Jackson or some other guy with the money they have left ($1.5 million). Nonetheless, that doesn't make the team outlook any better. Like when Toronto got injury-plagued, the same may be said to Indiana, but in a different retrospective: they're screwing their team up by wrecking their chemistry. That's enough harm, and now, if you're Indy, you've just got to hope Scot Pollard, Jon Bender, and Al Harrington steps it up. As for Jermaine, it's over. He may still contribute, but may be pissed off at Bird and contribute less for his firing of Thomas.
Regardless of whether or not Indiana stocks up, they've still got a pool of talent in those young'uns, and they've got veterans like Reggie Miller to manhandle them and groom them. It's the coaching that I dislike. Larry Bird getting back Carlisle to the Pacers? Carlisle, now, may be no better than Thomas, even though he helped a bleeding Detroit team reach the playoffs. Indiana's bleeding, alright, since they are now in danger in missing the playoffs (at least in my opinion) because of Bird's stupidity. It still remains to be seen whether Carlisle could help their cause. He had problems with Al Harrington when he was assistant coach, anf because of the Thomas firing there may be loooming problems ahead of him. Bird should have addressed this situation like a true professional and make things right for both the team and the coach. Make everyone happy. That's all there is to it, and the chemistry and the team would be back in the flow.
Still, Indiana should do more than just hire Carlisle on Tuesday. They should trade Ron Artest and Austin Croshere in return for salary-cap relief and another player. That would help their cause more in the offseason and get rid of a fat contract and a lumbering cancer both on the court and in the locker room. Even a site wanted them to trade Artest, that's how bad it was. Not only that, though, but Bird should try to have a one-on-one meeting with Thomas to discuss things and details over, and say that he's sorry especially for not letting him know ahead of time. Bird should be angry with himself: he screwed up the team, along with screwing up his reputation.
That's why we say the chant now: Fire Bird! I may not be a Pacer fan, but I feel for the emotions of players, and when players aren't getting along with their mentors, that's bad. Bird may think that he's right, but when it comes to organization, communal order and obedience, Larry Bird is just heading in the wrong direction.