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Bird reportedly leaving as Pacers executive

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Despite a recent endorsement from his bosses, Larry Bird is set step to down as Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations, a newspaper is reporting.

An anonymous source told the Indianapolis Star that Bird is “100-percent sure” he will not return next season.

Last month, Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris said if Bird left the Pacers it would be his choice.

“[Pacers owner] Herb Simon has said without question that he’d like Larry to stay with the franchise,” Morris said. “In our minds, Larry can stay just as long as he wants. Herb Simon and I have a lot of confidence in what he is doing. We are hopeful he will be here for a long time.”

Morris could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning. Pacers spokesman Greg Schenkel said the team could not comment on the situation.

Bird this year completed a three-year plan to rebuild the team. After several losing seasons, the Pacers finished with the fifth best record in the National Basketball Association and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. The team was eventually defeated in six games by the Miami Heat, which went on to win the NBA championship.

Team sources said Bird is scheduled to meet with Pacers owner Simon later Tuesday. The last three years, Bird and Simon have operated on a series of one-year handshake deals. Bird had said he didn’t want to make a long-term commitment to the job.

Bird this month indicated to local media members that he was ready to remain for at least one more season. He also said he needed to talk to Simon about how much the team could commit financially to improve the team. It's not clear why Bird had what appears to be such a sudden change in heart.

Bird indicated some frustration over Simon's unwillingness to go after unrestricted free agents. Securing unrestricted free agents can be an expensive endeavor because the team for whom the player last played has the opportunity to match any offer by another team.

Team sources also said Bird might have become unsettled by the prospect of former Pacers President Donnie Walsh returning in some capacity to the team next year. Walsh, who hired Bird to the Pacers front office, left Indiana in 2008 to become the president of the New York Knicks. But things didn't work out for Walsh in New York and he left the team following the 2010-11 season.

Simon this week is meeting with several team executives in Indianapolis to evaluate the team and its future direction.

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  • Bird
    Donnie Walsh is returning?!? That is depressing. That's just what this team doesn't need.

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  1. Great article and post scripts by Mike L (Great addition to IBJ BTW). Bobby's stubborn as a mule, and doubt if he ever comes back to IU. But the love he would receive would be enormous. Hope he shows some time, but not counting on it.

  2. When the Indiana GOP was going around the State selling the Voucher bill they were promising people that the vouchers would only be for public charter schools. They lied. As usual.

  3. I am Mr. Morris Ray, a Legitimate And a Reputable money Lender. We lend funds out to individuals in need of financial assistance, we give loan to people that have a bad credit or in need of money to pay bills, to invest on business. Have you been looking for loan? you have not to worry, because you are in the right place i offer loan at low interest rate of 2% so if you are in need of a loan i want you to just contact me via this email Address: morris_ray123@outlook.com

  4. Jim, your "misleading" numbers comment is spot on. This is the spin these posers are putting on it. News flash, fans: these guys lie. They are not publicly traded so no one holds them accountable for anything they say. The TV numbers are so miniscule to begin with any "increase" produces double digit "growth" numbers. It's ridiculous to think that anything these guys have done has awakened the marketplace. What have they done? Consolidate the season so they run more races on consecutive weekends? And this creates "momentum." Is that the same momentum you enjoy when you don't race between August and March? Keep in mind that you are running teams who barely make ends meet ragged over the summer to accomplish this brilliant strategy of avoiding the NFL while you run your season finale at midnight on the East Coast. But I should not obfuscate my own point: any "ratings increase" is exactly what Jim points to - the increased availability of NBC Sports in households. Look fans, I love the sport to but these posers are running it off a cliff. Miles wants to declare victory and then run for Mayor. I could go on and on but bottom line for God's sake don't believe a word they say. Note to Anthony - try doing just a little research instead of reporting what these pretenders say and then offering an "opinion" no more informed than the average fan.

  5. If he's finally planning to do the right thing and resign, why not do it before the election? Waiting until after means what - s special election at tax payer expense? Appointment (by whom?) thus robbing the voters of their chance to choose? Does he accrue some additional financial advantage to waiting, like extra pension payments? What's in it for him? That's the question that needs to be asked.

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