Larry Bird likes LeBron James as Cavalier, not a New York Knick
BY Mitch Lawrence
Not that he wants his former boss, Donnie Walsh, to fail at rebuilding the Knicks, but Pacers president Larry Bird doesn’t want to see LeBron James come to New York next summer."I hope he stays in Cleveland," Bird said Monday. "He’s from Ohio and he means so much to that team and that state. I used to love to go and play in Cleveland because they love the game. And, I like to see the great players stay in the cities and with the teams that drafted them. It means so much for the league and the state. So I would rather see him stay."
Bird, who coached for Walsh and then joined the front office when the current Knicks president ran the Pacers, participated in a conference call with Magic Johnson to promote their new book, "When the Game Was Ours."
In the book, Johnson is critical of his former close friend and ex-Knick president, Isiah Thomas. Johnson contends their relationship soured when Thomas questioned his sexuality after the Los Angeles Lakers star retired in 1991 with a diagnosis of HIV.
Thomas has said in recent weeks he was "really hurt" by the allegation, and also the fact that Johnson admits in the book to helping keep Thomas off the ’92 Dream Team.
"We had an incredible relationship back in the day," Johnson said. "So it’s too bad it has come to this, but sometimes it happens. But when (former Garden president) Steve Mills decided on the Knicks job and offered it to me, I told him to call Isiah. I thought he could do a good job. He just didn’t get it done. Too bad it didn’t work out for all parties."
Mills, who was embroiled in the Garden’s sexual harassment lawsuit that led to Thomas’ departure, now works for Johnson. As for Thomas, Johnson said he has not talked to him about the book.