According to the NY Post, this season will be Larry Bird’s last run as GM of the Indiana Pacers: “He has definitely decided not to return,’ the source asserted. Hired six seasons ago as Donnie Walsh’s eventual replacement, Bird was paid $5 million per for the first five. It appeared he was about to retire to his home in Naples, Fla., after last season. However, a strong finish, topped by a promising first round playoff showing against the Bulls, and an appeal from owner Herb Simon to stick around convinced him otherwise, in spite of having his salary slashed to $1 million. A handshake promise was given Simon last summer by Bird that he would consider re-upping for another season, but that has been ruled out. It’s believed Simon is aware of such and has a petite list of prospective replacement candidates. Walsh, I’m told, is eager to get back to work full time for a team as soon as his consultancy contract with the Knicks expires, yet it’s doubtful he would be rehired by Simons. ‘They’re just not as close as they once were,’ claimed a source. The firm belief by those with a pulse on the situation: Simon is more apt to choose a marquee name like Reggie Miller or Chris Mullin as opposed to promoting the people on site, general manager David Moray or personnel director Kevin Pritchard.”
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