Report: Larry Bird re-hired as top exec for the Indiana Pacers
The team will reportedly re-introduce Bird at a press conference Thursday morning -- just hours before the 2013 NBA Draft. Bird will not handle any draft day duties tomorrow, according to the report, and the Pacers' 2013 drafting will still be handled by GM Kevin Pritchard and interim president Donnie Walsh.
Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star reports that Larry Bird will return to the Pacers as team president. The Pacers keep a somewhat unconventional executive structure wherein the GM reports to the team president. Donnie Walsh will step aside as president, but will stay with the Pacers as consultant.
"First of all, we all realize he's done a pretty good job with the team," Pacers owner Herb Simon told USA Today. "He left because of physical reasons. It was always contemplated that when he straightened out his medical issues he would come back. The only thing is we didn't know if it would take a year or more for him to feel strong enough to get back and apparently he had a good year and is ready to come back."
There were other complications. Bird had been in contact with the Sacramento Kings regarding their GM position.
Bird is credited with creating the core nucleus of Indiana's current team. He's reponsible for acquiring Roy Hibbert's draft rights, drafting Paul George, trading for George Hill, and signing David West.
Bird was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2012, then promptly left the job to tend to undisclosed health issues.