Larry Bird Returning to Pacers Front Office
After taking a year off because of health problems, former Boston Celtic Larry Bird returns to the Indiana Pacers front office as president of basketball operations.
Bird was suffering from a combination of fatigue, shoulder problems and back problems which cut his playing career short.
“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it recharged me,” he said.
Donnie Walsh stepped in for Bird while he was gone and helped build a team the reached the Eastern Conference Finals. Walsh will step down as president of basketball operations but will remain with the team as a consultant.
The rest of the front office will stay the same from this past season with general manager Kevin Pritchard and director of scouting Ryan Carr staying put in their current positions.
Pacers owner Herb Simon noted that both he and Walsh told Bird that the opportunity would be there for him if he chose to return after his hiatus. Walsh also added in the spring that he would step down from the team if Bird were to return. Both Bird and Simon expressed their desire for Walsh to stay with the team.
Bird worked in the Celtics front office from 1992-1997 before returning to his home state of Indiana to coach the Pacers. With no previous coaching experience, he won coach of the year in his first season and led the team to the playoffs in each of his three seasons. He left coaching in 2000 and returned to the Pacers as president of basketball operations in 2003. He was named 2011-2012 NBA Executive of the Year.
Bird is the only person in NBA history to win MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year and looks to add more hardware now that he’s back in the front office.