Larry Bird leaving Indiana Pacers

The reigning NBA Executive of the year won’t be guiding the Indiana Pacers next season. Larry Bird is leaving the franchise due to health concerns and has also set the stage for his former boss, Ex Knicks exec, Donnie Walsh, to pick up where Bird left off.

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 also had a coaching stint with the Pacers (97-00) and is really responsible for reconfiguring the team in the wake of the brawl between the Pacers and Detroit Pistons. While it was rumored that he and owner, Herb Simon, had recently beefed over payroll and personnel. The real culprit looks to be Bird’s bad back. Ironic as he’s the one that had to do all the heavy lifting to revamp the team.