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Pacers' Bird named NBA's executive of the year

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Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird was voted National Basketball Association Executive of the Year on Wednesday, becoming the first person to win the award after also receiving the league's MVP and Coach of the Year honors.

The Pacers went 42-24 and are tied 1-1 with Miami in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Bird's moves to strengthen the team during the offseason included promoting Frank Vogel from interim to head coach and signing starting forward David West.

He acquired point guard George Hill in a draft-night deal with San Antonio, and traded for Lou Amundson and Leandro Barbosa to fortify the bench for the Pacers, who earned the No. 3 seed in the East and had the fifth-best record in the league.

"This is an honor for the Indiana Pacers, not an award for Larry Bird," Bird said in a prepared statement. "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."

Bird was a three-time MVP as a Boston Celtics player, then guided his home-state Pacers to a 147-67 record in three seasons and their only finals appearance in 2000. He was the Coach of the Year in 1998 following his first season.

He returned to the Pacers' front office in 2003 and became the full-time president in 2008 after Donnie Walsh left to join the New York Knicks.

Bird received 88 points and 12 first-place votes from a panel of his fellow team executives Wednesday. San Antonio's R.C. Buford was second with 56 points and eight first-place votes, while the Los Angeles Clippers' Neil Olshey finished third with 55 points (six first-place votes).

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  • And what a difference a year makes
    Last year, most of the people who posted to IBJ thought Bird had done a lousy job and deserved to be fired...the same people that demanded that the Pacers get rid of all the trouble makers. I am glad that Larry Legend has the last laugh...I don't know that this team as it is currently configured could win a title, but they have become a very good NBA team...he and the Pacer organization deserve some credit. Congratulations Larry...well deserved...MVP, Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year...no one else can say that.

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