Larry Bird recently discussed who will be the Pacers leader this season, and in the process hinted that Jermaine O'Neal wasn't always capable of handling the role.
"Just because you make the most money doesn't mean you're the leader," Bird said. "A lot of guys didn't want to step on toes. Not only here, but other places I've been at. They'd say, the guy makes the most money, that means he's the leader. That's not the case. The leader comes from the guy doing the right thing, the guy that's going to be there every day at practice, the guy that plays through pain without complaining. They do the necessary things to prepare themselves.
"I think the situation you have here, you had one guy making a lot of money and everybody just took it as he's going to be leading us, and in some instances that was true. But I think more now that since it has opened you'll see a number of guys stepping up."
Guys like Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy Jr. are prime candidates to provide leadership in Indiana this season.
"You can't let your ego take over," Bird said. "It can't be about you. It has to be about the team . . . whoever it is, they will follow because they've been needing it for a long time. . . . There are a few guys down there that other guys will gravitate to."