NBA forward George Hill reportedly found out he was traded to the Utah Jazz when he received a voicemail from Indiana Pacers team president (and basketball legend) Larry Bird. Many believe Bird’s method of delivering the news was callous and too impersonal, akin to breaking up with someone with a text message. But realistically Bird did the right thing — and the only thing he could do. At least this way Hill heard the news from the Pacers, and not from somebody else. Because in our rapid-fire media culture, Hill was just a Google alert — on the same phone he received the voicemail on — from learning about his trade from a stranger.
Bird had a tiny window of time. He didn’t text. He tried to call. Hill didn’t pick up the call — he was working out, exactly the reason Bird hesitated to trade him in the first place. Bird wasn’t callous. He worked with the tools and the situation he had — just the way he did on the court. Bird reportedly said simply, “we had to trade you.”