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As expected, looks like Larry Bird will retire from Pacers

Mar 23, 2012, 1:08 PM EDT

NCAA Championship Game: Michigan State Spartans v North Carolina Tar Heels Getty Images

Reports have come out of the New York Post Friday that Larry Bird is leaving as the President and decision maker with the Indiana Pacers after this season. Sources are saying this.

It’s news. It shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m not sure we really need sources when Larry Bird himself said this last June.

“They asked me to stay another year through the lockout season, the owner did, for a favor. I was leaving, but he asked me to stay, and I will and I’ll get the job done.”

The Post’s sources are confirming this is over.

A handshake promise was given Simon last summer by Bird that he would consider re-upping for another season, but that has been ruled out. It’s believed Simon is aware of such and has a petite list of prospective replacement candidates.

For the record, Larry Bird is denying this. Here is his statement, via the twitter of Mike Wells of the Indy Star.

“No decision has been made, end of story,” Bird said through a team spokesman.

What do you expect him to say mid-season? Bird is loyal, he will be quiet on this until after the season, but it would be a shock if he stayed on.

Who should get the job? Well, they have former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard in house, that would seem smart. This was Donnie Walsh’s job before he went to the Knicks and he might return.

But Peter Vecsey says owner Herb Simon is leading toward a splashy big name — Chris Mullin (meh) or Reggie Miller (for the sake of Pacers’ fans, don’t do it).

Whatever happens, finding a way to get this team from good to contender without high draft picks and challenges drawing big free agents will fall to someone other than Bird.

  1. drewzducks - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Isiah Thomas? Sorry couldn’t resist.

  2. tomtravis76 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Jordan needs to bring Magic into his ownership group and they need to convince Larry to run the organization.

    Jordan needs some real help with that franchise. Charlotte is a fun city that could benefit from having a winning hoops team to go along with Cam Newton and the Panthers.

    • hwatt - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      good post.

      At least Bird can start building a solid roster in Charlotte… Jordan is going to have to a silent partner, I mean 100% sit-down-please-take-notes-and-stfu-and-learn silent partner while Bird builds a Bill Parcells-like legacy of turning trash into a real force to be reckoned with, if not contenders.

      • hwatt - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:53 PM

        “Jordan is going to have *be* to a silent partner”

        and good luck that, charlotte fans

      • tomtravis76 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        Jordan meant so much to the game and I hate seeing him do so poorly in buidling a franchise.

        I still think the NBA should do more for the legacy of MJ, the MVP trophy should be named the Michale Jordan MVP award.

    • rooney24 - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      I don’t think it is in Jordan to ask for help. Wasn’t Jordan one of the guys to rip LeBron going to Miami and teaming up with competitors? Wouldn’t Jordan bringing in execs from other teams be the same thing? I don’t think he would want to open himself up to that potential criticism.

      Also, I don’t know that Magic or Larry would necessarily want to work with Jordan.

      • hwatt - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        yep. it was fun to post though. charlotte is screwed until the league takes over.

    • karlton2 - Mar 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM

      Won’t happen.

      Larry’s not leaving the state unless it’s for a vacation. He could have any role in the organization he wants (besides owner), and aside from his time in Boston, he’s lived in Indiana his whole life. He’s ready to retire.

  3. metalhead65 - Mar 23, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    pretty funny reading all the love for Larry when “fans” wanted to run him out of town 2 years ago because he wasn’t getting the job done fast enough to suit them. as if he could just magicly make the bad contracts and thug players they had at the time disapear. he said they would be in the playoffs in 3 years and they were, now they they will not only make them but should win a series thanks to his hard work.

    • mikeewright7 - Mar 23, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Thug Players??? A little racist dont you think?

      • metalhead65 - Mar 23, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        what’s racist about it? I would have called them the same thing if they had been white and been out shooting up strip clubs or being chased and shot at or climbing into the stands and fighting fans. if yhat is not thug behaviour I don’t know what is.

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