Larry Bird leaves Indiana Pacers
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 11:42 AM
has decided to leave his position as the President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers
. The basketball icon has suffered through health related issues including a balky back from his playing days and at 55 years old wants to get out of the daily grind of running an NBA front office.
Larry Legend was a high school star at Springs Valley High School in his native French Lick, Indiana before moving onto Terre Haute and the Indiana State Sycamores leading them to an undefeated season until the National Championship Game defeat at the hands of Magic Johnson and Michigan State in 1979. He was the college Player of the Year his senior season. He played thirteen seasons for the Boston Celtics, was an all-star twelve times, won three NBA Championships, and three MVP awards.
Bird coached the Pacers for three seasons reaching the NBA Finals in 2000. He joined Donnie Walsh
in the Pacers front office in 2003 and became President in 2008.
Bird has transformed the Pacers from a group to malcontents with legal and behavioral issues into a model franchise. He also jettisoned fat contracts of unproductive players and drafted high quality individuals. He has done this within the budgetary constraints of a small market franchise owned by Herb Simon.
Larry always operated on a year to year handshake deal with Simon and talked like he would be returning to the Pacers for the 2012-13 season. The 2012 Pacers had the fifth best record in the NBA and advanced to the second round of the Playoffs before succumbing to eventual NBA Champion Miami Heat in six games.
Walsh is returning to the Pacers after a stint as the New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations. A position he seems likely to assume with the Pacers in replacement of Bird.
is the Pacers new General Manager replacing David Morway who is no longer with the franchise. Walsh will get to oversee Thursday’s NBA Draft. Let’s hope for the sake of the Pacers that his drafting acumen has improved over his last few drafts with the Pacers.