Jun 9, 2012, 1:36 AM EDT
Larry Bird has decided to return as the guy steering the ship for the Indiana Pacers, but he is bringing in a new No. 2.
Bird is replacing existing general manager David Morway with a guy down the Pacers ladder, former Trail Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo.com.
Despite joining the organization as a subordinate to Morway, Pritchard rapidly usurped power and influence since his hiring a year ago, league sources said. Pacers owner Herb Simon and Morway were wary of bringing Pritchard into the organization, sources said, but Bird trusts Pritchard’s counsel and has pushed for this change….
The Pacers’ move is largely baffling to league executives who believe Morway played a significant part in the franchise’s rise to contention in the Eastern Conference this season. Morway helped replenish the Pacers through the draft and trades. Indiana lost in six games to the Miami Heat in the East semifinals.
When was the last time a successful GM was let go just after the team’s best season in a while? Something smells a little odd.
Morway will not be unemployed for long. He reportedly has been interviewed for the Orlando job and had been in the running for the Portland job before they went with Clippers GM Neil Olshey (Los Angeles is another open job, while we’re talking about it).