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Larry Joe's Done It Again

Jerry Kraus and Michael Jordan had a running argument back in their day with the Bulls: who was more responsible for a winning team, the guys on the floor, or the guys who put them on the floor?

You could make arguments either way, obviously, but you must have the talent to have the argument.

Which leads us to the Pacers.

Before he left, Larry Bird put together a tremendous team. Yet not all the draft picks and acquisitions were appreciated when the moves were executed.

Consider Roy Hibbert, for example. The Georgetown product was widely seen as soft and of limited use.

No one's saying that now; far from it. He's been a real revelation.

And while Paul George was well regarded, he has emerged in three years as one of the best players in the league.

And if you don't remember, Lance Stephenson was a highly questionable pick because of a perceived lack of maturity.

He put together a team of underappreciated guys who play hard and together and who work on defense.

In fact, in some regards, this group is not that different from the Celtics of his era.

Most impressively, the team is quite young: David West is 32; Danny Granger is 30. Everyone else is under 28 and five players are 25 or under.

Assuming they can keep everyone together (Stephenson is a steal at $870,000 per year. You can expect his salary to go up sharply).

Worth noting: Bird is the only man to ever win  Most Valuable Player, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year.