After a year away from the Indiana Pacers’ front office, Larry Bird will return to the franchise.
According to multiple sources, Bird is expected to resume his duties as president of basketball operations for the team he constructed up until a year ago. He expressed his intent to step down from the position after last season’s playoff loss to the Miami Heat to spend more time with his family and deal with some health issues.
One year later, Bird wants to have at it again. Current president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh was hired last summer to replace Bird. Walsh first filled an executive role with the Pacers from 1987 until 2008. He left Indiana to help a struggling New York Knicks franchise from 2008-2012. Walsh was brought back in to replace Bird, and now Bird will jump back in, with Walsh staying on as a consultant to the team.
Health issues aside, Bird is excited for a second opportunity with the team. This time, however, Bird and Pacers owner Herb Simon want to win a championship.
General manager Kevin Pritchard will stay on in his same role and will operate as Bird’s No. 2 man. Bird will not be involved in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
The Indiana Pacers have announced a press conference for 10 a.m. Thursday.
The 56-year-old Bird originally took over the Pacers’ basketball operations in 2003 and announced his departure on June 27, 2012, the day before the 2012 NBA Draft. He won the NBA’s Executive of the Year award after the 2011-12 season.