Larry Bird wrote:Well, with Murph, the one thing we saw last year was he didn't play as tough as he did in the past. You've got to understand, Murph was a double-double guy for three years in this league. I think in Golden State they wanted to run so they lost a lot of weight. Now he's bulking up. The thing we do in the summer is send our trainers and strength and conditioning guys out everywhere our players are at and we set them up with programs that are going to do the things we need them to do. Our guys go out and check on them about every two or three weeks and they can see the difference in them.
Rumor out of Indiana is that Larry Bird sat Troy Murphy down and read him the riot act. Told him how soft he's gotten. Told him he needs to get back to his 1st and 2nd year style of play; where he rebounds and bangs inside, and only uses the perimeter jumper as a marginal weapon (rather than his whole offensive game). Coming from one of the most hard-nosed, passionate, willing-to-sacrifice-his-body-for-the-good-of-the-team players of all time, I'm gonna assume Murphy was listening to Bird's lecture. Apparently, Bird challenged him to step his game up and become Indiana's enforcer.
My questions are: #1, will Larry Bird get through to Troy Murphy and turn him back into the beast he was during his first couple of seasons... and, #2, what sort of results would that yield in a pathetic Eastern Conference?