Larry Bird is Leaving the Indiana Pacers

According to the Indy Star, Larry Bird is leaving his front-office post in Indiana, and former Pacers executive Donnie Walsh might replace him: “Larry Bird has decided to call it quits as president of the Indiana Pacers. Bird is ‘100 percent sure’ he will not return as president of the team, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said. Bird, 55, is expected to meet with owner Herb Simon today to finalize his departure. Bird’s departure will end what had become annual speculation about his future. He and Simon operated under a yearly handshake agreement because Bird was not interested in a long-term commitment. […] Bird, who is dealing with some health issues, will likely take a year off before deciding if he wants to return to any sort of front-office position. His departure comes just three days after The Star reported that Bird’s predecessor, former CEO Donnie Walsh, is expected to return to the franchise in some capacity. There’s a possibility Walsh will take Bird’s title of president. Simon always has respected Walsh, who spent 24 years with the Pacers before leaving to become president of basketball operations with the New York Knicks in 2008. Walsh, who took last year off, attended several of the Pacers’ pre-draft workouts at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Kevin Pritchard, the team’s current director of player personnel, will likely work with Walsh as the team’s new general manager. Bird pushed for Pritchard to become general manager, citing Pritchard’s basketball knowledge. David Morway, who had been the Pacers’ general manager, is no longer employed by the franchise, according to a source. Bird, who earned $1 million this year, is walking away less than two months after being named NBA Executive of the Year. He became the first person to be named Executive of the Year, Coach of the Year (1998/Pacers) and Most Valuable Player (three times with the Boston Celtics).”