George on his role changing at the power forward position:

It’s time for a new voice around here. Sometimes my job really sucks and this is one of the toughest things I’ve done because of the respect that I have for Frank. I had time to think about it and watch the team throughout the year. I know a lot of you didn’t expect us to make the playoffs, but obviously I have a lot higher expectations than most people about how our team should play and how far they should go in the playoffs and compete every night. I just came to the conclusion that I felt it was necessary for these guys to hear a new voice, but it’s tough.

— Larry Bird

I’m trying to wrap my mind not so much around playing the four, but around us having four ball handlers on the court at all times. I told them I was open for it. It’s the way the league is going. But it was new to me. With the whole idea of playing that style, I was all for it. I think it will be good for us. I think it gives us a chance to change the East.

— George on role change at power forward

I always wanted to score more points. I don’t think we ever scored enough points here. We defended pretty well. (Assistant coach) Dan Burke has done an excellent job with our defense the last 10 or 12 years. He’ll find a way to get stops on the defensive end. The offensive part of it was what I was concerned about and hopefully this will help us. It will be hard. I’m not talking 15 points a game. I’m really talking five to eight more points a game. If we can average 102 or 103, I would be fine with that.

— Larry Bird, team’s focus from defense to offense

He’s the best. He’s been in our community and a lot of people know him. Great man and a great leader. He will do fine. He’s looking forward to the opportunity to his next job and he’s the real deal. He’s a good man.

— Larry Bird

I think everybody is reacting to it like that because they say, ‘Well, he’s got to guard the four!’ Name the big fours left in the league that you’re going to face? There’s not a lot of them. And I think there’s game plans for (them). The big fours that are left now play the five because everybody plays small. Ian Mahinmi and Myles Turner are more than enough athletic to guard those guys. There are going to be nights where there’s going to be a problem with it. You look at the Finals and Golden State had a problem with it at first. Then, what happened? They figured it out. (Playing smaller) creates problems and if you stick with it, it will continue to create problems. Over the long haul, because of the way the game is going, you’re going to prosper more from that side, I think.

— C.J. Miles, on George moving to power forward

We talked for probably a half hour on the phone. He was trying to talk me out of this decision. Frank loves it here, his family loves it and he kept bringing it up about can we sit down and delay the news conference and start all over again. He’s going to be missed. He’s a good guy, he’s good for our community.

— Larry Bird

It’s all about motivating the players and getting them to play at a higher level. If you’ve got their ear, then it works. This goes back a long time ago. I’ve seen it. After a certain number of years, it’s time to make a move and that’s how I feel. I know it’s not going to a 100 percent popular move, but all I think about is the franchise. What’s best for the franchise, and I think this is.

— Larry Bird

The whole year I was waiting on Myles Turner. A lot of people don’t think summer league is valuable, but when he was done there last summer – the way he was playing and the way he was dominating – I knew right then by All-Star break that’s small ball is probably going to go out the window, if we had it that long, because that kid needed to be playing, he needed to be getting experience. Then he breaks his hand. I though he was probably going to be done with the season, but through his hard work and dedication, his love for the game, he came back and finished strong. He’s future is very bright.

— Larry Bird