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Liberty Links: Larry Bird steps down as President of the Pacers

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A change in the Paul George market affects the Sixers.

NBA: Indiana Pacers-Media Day Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

I’m back at the helm of Liberty Links this week! Let’s hit this weekend’s news of note:

Larry Bird steps down as President of the Indiana Pacers

The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Larry Legend will no longer be involved with his home state’s team. A front office shakeup brings into question the future of the Pacers’ roster and star Paul George’s place in Indiana. Is it more likely that Kevin Pritchard, who will replace Bird as the Pacers’ decision-maker, will keep or trade George? I’m not exactly sure, but it could have a couple of ramifications for the Sixers.

The first being that the Sixers in the past have attempted to use their stockpile of young players and picks to acquired the disgruntled forward. Our own Kyle Neubeck had the scoop on that back in March. If George is available, the Sixers will surely make a play and have a conversation regarding him with the Pacers.

The other point is that it could affect the standing of the Lakers’ first-round pick that the Sixers own. It’s been continuously insinuated that George wants to go to the Lakers. Until one of the dozen or so marquee players rumored to want to go to the Lakers actually signs there, I’m not buying any of this conjecture. George is from Los Angeles, sure, but he actually grew up a Clippers fan (Zach Lowe and Ramona Shelburne said as much on an episode of The Lowe Post several weeks ago).

Anyway, if the Lakers pick were to land in the top three this year and L.A. keeps it, they could deal that selection as well as some other players in a package for George. Having George on their roster, plus any other possible dominoes that could fall regarding free agents wanting to play with George in L.A., would very likely worsen the team’s pick for the 2018 draft when it would then convey to the Sixers.

Lavar Ball's lofty ambitions cost son Lonzo sneaker deals with Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour

My birthday is on Saturday. I will pissed if someone doesn’t buy me a Big Baller Brand hoodie.

The eldest Ball seems hellbent on turning Big Baller Brand into an entity akin to what Jordan Brand is at Nike. I’m certainly not against Ball using the idea of co-branding as a negotiating tactic with the three biggest basketball sneaker brands. Go get that money, man. Drawing a line in the sand over it seems unwise to me though.

Why not use the money that would come with the endorsement deal a top-three pick will warrant to fund and really flesh out Big Baller Brand? Lonzo Ball could’ve even considered signing a contract shorter in length in an attempt to bet on himself and then use his father’s brand as leverage after establishing himself as a talented player in the NBA.

I will always be here for the memes when it comes to the Ball family regardless:

Russell Westbrook wears a “Mr. Triple Double” hat on his Instagram story

For the guy who apparently doesn’t “give a fuck” about his stat line, it seems like he definitely cares about his stat line.

My best tweet of the weekend

I’m going to continue making this a recurring feature for the Monday edition of the Liberty Links when i’m on writing duty. Over the last two weeks or so, I started watching the show Parks and Recreation on Netflix. I had never seen it previously. I’m four season in and would say it’s below It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Seinfeld but right on par with its spiritual predecessor The Office in my all-time sitcom rankings list. I have become obsessed with the dynamics of Jean-Ralphio Saperstein and Tom Haverford’s friendship: