Let the second guessing begin.
Pacer President Larry Bird makes no secret about his infinity for players who have a number of years of college experience before entering the NBA. Last night Bird got his man, and in the process, left more than a few fans as well as the alleged draft experts wondering what he is up to with the selection of UNC standout Tyler Hansbrough.
Hansbrough’s career at North Carolina was certainly a distinguished one as he finished as the ACC’s all time leading scorer while posting a career scoring average of 20.3 to go along with 8.6 rebounds a game. But it is his blue collar approach to the game that enamored Bird and when he was available at the 13th pick, selecting the four time All-American was proclaimed to be a no-brainer.
Bird cited practice habits and his ability to score as just some of the attributes that led the Pacers to select Hansbrough.
Coach Jim O’Brien told ESPN that Hansbrough was one “ornery guy” who would certainly help the club on defense.
The knock on Hansbrough is that his style of play will not transfer to the NBA against more skilled competition.
While time will tell, the Pacers did pass on more athletic players to select this young man, and if the abundance of boos heard when his name was announced is any indication, there is concern amongst the Pacer faithful this morning.
My take? Barring injury, Hansbrough will probably be a solid role player in the NBA. But hey, give this young man a chance to earn our respect. While I would have rather seen Louisville’s Earl Clark in a Pacer uniform, lets see if Bird’s selection works.
Time will tell. Welcome to Indy Tyler, but I would rent instead of buying if I were you.
Notes: The Pacers selected Connecticut’s A.J. Price with their second pick. The six foot two inch point guard averaged 12.9 points a game during his career to go along with 4.9 assists.
Hats off to the Pacers for transferring Conseco Fieldhouse in to party central for the draft. The atmosphere was festive and the crowd was estimated at 4,500. Indeed a great time for all those in attendance.
Danny Bridges, who never even came close to being drafted for a pick up game as a kid, can be reached at (317) 578-1780 or at Bridgeshd@aol.com.