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.
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.
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.
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.