Larry Bird’s Uncertain Future

by January 25, 2011
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Bird is contemplating retirement from the NBA entirely, but won’t rush into a decision. Gotta talk to the wife first. FanHouse reports: “[Larry] Bird, who is in the final year of his contract, isn’t certain the Pacers will want him back. Even if they do, he’s not yet sure he wants to return. ‘I have no clue,’ Bird said of what will happen. ‘I know the owner wants to sit down and he’ll do whatever. He’s been very good to me … He’s a good man, and I told him it’s not just me but everybody I got on the basketball side is up (contract-wise after this season). The scouts. The coaches. (General manager David) Morway. Myself. People in my office. And, if he wants to go in a different direction, he can do that. And he won’t be sitting there holding a bunch of contracts. So he’s in a good position. The franchise I think is in a good position. So we’ll just see what happens. I’ve had great success in this league. We went through three bad years but my thing with Herb is to try to get this right. I don’t know if I want to come back at this stage. I really don’t … That’s something we’ve got to talk about. I want to see what direction (Simon) wants to go. He’s got options now. He never did have that before.’ Bird was asked why he would willingly walk away after this season and not be around to see the results of his rebuilding. The Pacers have spent the past three years ridding themselves of bad contracts or waiting for them to expire, and now there finally might be better days ahead. ‘You’re like all my friends,’ said Bird, who has assembled some intriguing young players alongside Granger, including center Roy Hibbert, guard Darren Collison and forward Tyler Hansbrough. ‘They say, ‘Stick it out.’ … It’s my 30th year in this league. It’s been a great run. I got the best job in the world. There’s 30 (top executive jobs with teams) and I got one … I have no idea (what will happen with the future). Everybody asks me. I’ll wait until after the draft and make a decision. See what my wife (Dinah) wants to do … I got to ask my wife. Maybe she wants me to stay home.’ If Bird does leave the NBA, he said he ‘probably’ would retire from basketball for good. Even though he coached the Pacers to a 147-67 mark during his three seasons, including an NBA Finals appearance in 2000, he said coaching is not an option in his future.”