Donnie Walsh not surprised at Larry Bird's words about Lebron James

Mitch Lawrence

Donnie Walsh didn’t take it personally when his former subordinate, Pacers president Larry Bird, lobbied against Le-Bron James coming to New York next July as a free agent."I have no problem with what Larry said," the Knicks president said Wednesday night before New York took on his old team at the Garden. "I love Larry. I’m not surprised he’d say that, either."

Bird’s contention is that James, an Akron native, means too much to Ohio and would be a catastrophic loss to the franchise. It’s hard to argue with either of those points.

"I like to see the great players stay in the cities and with the teams that drafted them," said Bird, who played his entire Hall of Fame career in Boston. "So I would rather see him stay."

Walsh laughed when he heard Bird’s comments.

"He talks about guys staying in their state, right?" Walsh said. "Well, I wish he had stayed in Indiana. You know, it might have made my life a little easier with the Pacers if he came out of Indiana State and went right to us."

Bird, of course, went to Boston before Walsh ever had a shot at drafting him.

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