Larry Bird has been frank with his concern about the Pacers' image problem, telling the Indy Star last month, "All the off-the-court problems have been a disaster for us. ... It's something we said we were going to clean up and we're doing that."
He started a couple of years ago by dealing Stephen Jackson (guns!) and Al Harrington for a couple of overpriced stiffs and continued this summer by letting David Harrison (weed!) walk and exploring ways to move Jamaal Tinsley (target! Wait, how is that his fault? Okay, how about: bar fight! Better than nothing).
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Today, Bird took one more step toward making his roster squeaky clean: Mike Wells of the Indy Star reports the Pacers have traded Shawne Williams (who has a tendency to be pulled over by police in cars containing weed and loaning cars to friends wanted for murder) to the Mavericks in exchange for Eddie Jones, two second-round picks and $1.8 million in cash.
Jones is about as professional as they come and would be a great influence on Indy's roster, but HoopsHype cites a source claiming Jones will be waived immediately, which would explain why cash was included. Williams will be reunited in Dallas with Rick Carlisle, who coached Williams his rookie year. I'm not entirely sure how he fits in with the Mavs or whether his prospects for playing time will be increased, but a fresh start will probably do him as much good as it will the Pacers.