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Larry Bird says he wants to return to Pacers next season

May 30, 2012, 4:41 PM EDT

Former NBA player Bird attends premiere of Magic Bird in New York Reuters

It was the conventional wisdom that after this season Larry Bird would walk away from his job in Indiana. He had to be coaxed back last year and with the Pacers on solid footing for the future he could step away leaving the team in a good spot as an up-and-comer in the East.

But he’d rather stay, thank you very much.

Bird told reporters Wednesday that he would like return to the Pacers next season, if owner Herb Simon wants him to. Which is a little like asking if you would like to have dinner and a few drinks with Kate Upton tonight. And she’s buying. Bird is back.

Bird is the newly minted NBA Executive of the Year (voted on by his peers, who I think did this as a lifetime achievement award thinking he was walking away), and he’s going to have to put those skills to use. The Pacers are good but have holes to fill, plus both Leandro Barbosa and Darren Collison are free agents. David West has just one more year on his deal.

Lots of things to be figured out. But we know it will be Bird pulling those strings in Indiana again.

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