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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. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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