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Larry Bird: 'I feel bad for Oklahoma'

by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 9, 2013

Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird this week empathized with the Thunder's limitations under the collective bargaining agreement.

Bird, speaking at the Orlando Pro Summer League, said small-market teams like Indiana and Oklahoma City simply can't ignore the ramifications of being a tax team.

“Because we can't afford it,” Bird said. “It's like buying a used car and a new car. If you got the money to buy a used one, you better get the used one.”

Like the Thunder, the Pacers have a payroll approaching $70 million. The projected tax threshold is $71.6 million. But Bird has said the Pacers will not go into the tax “for any reason” this season.

“Our owners went out and have done everything they could this year so we could be up close to the tax,” Bird said. “We just can't fight the tax. It's always going to be a disadvantage for us. I feel bad for Oklahoma. They had a great team and they had to make a trade. They were right there. But we're going to have to do the same in the future. We're always fighting an uphill battle with revenues. But that's part of who we are. And we do the best we can with what we have.”

KENDRICK PERKINS UNDERGOES SURGERY

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Tuesday morning, The Oklahoman has learned.

Perkins is expected to resume full basketball activities in two weeks.

The scope, while considered routine and more of a “clean up” for players with previous surgeries, is not something Perkins envisioned needing this summer. He insisted at his exit interview in May that he didn't require any type of surgery this offseason. Perkins also said last month that he was “excited” about the prospects of finally going through a summer surgery-free.

“To be honest with you, I was excited about this summer, being able to work on my game,” Perkins said during an appearance at a team-sponsored youth camp. “This my first summer without having surgery, so I'm just excited about it. I definitely didn't like how I finished the season this past season, or the postseason. I was kind of embarrassed about the way I played. So the only way to go about it is to go back to the drawing board and I'm just treating this summer like I'm a rookie again.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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