According to the Indiana Pacers, Larry Bird “is the recipient of the 2011-2012 NBA Executive of the Year award.” General Managers, R.C. Buford of the San Antonio Spurs and Neil Olshey of the Los Angeles Clippers, finished in 2nd and 3rd place for the honors.
Upon receiving the award, the self-forgetful Bird said,
“This is an honor for the Indiana Pacers, not an award for Larry Bird. Everyone in this franchise put in a lot of work and showed a lot of patience as we have tried to get this team to a level on and off the court the fans in Indiana can be proud of. You always believe, and hope, the players you get will fit into a plan and I’m very proud of what our guys and our coaches have accomplished so far this year.”
This year, Bird signed veteran power forward David West, who has become the vocal leader of the Indiana Pacers and their go-to-guy in the clutch. He also made a trade for Indiana native, George Hill, who has now become their starting point guard; in exchange for a first round pick.
The two moves brought playoff-experienced veterans to a young franchise that is still longing for the days of Reggie Miller. And it has paid off in dividends this year, as the Pacers finished with the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference.
With the Pacers poised to make a historic upset against the Miami Heat, the Pacers GM has also made some history of his own. Larry Legend is now the first person to win the Executive of the Year award, Most Valuable Player, and Coach of the Year award in NBA history.