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Larry Bird withdraws from Kings GM search, mulling return to Pacers

Jun 10, 2013, 8:06 PM EDT

Larry Bird attends a party after the premier of the Broadway play Magic Bird in New York Reuters

When the Pacers hired Larry Bird as their coach in 1997, the Hick From French Lick said, “I’m very excited about this opportunity to go back home and coach the Indiana Pacers. Indiana is the only team I wanted to coach.” Since, Bird became the president of his home state’s NBA team and helped build a roster that reached the conference finals with a young and promising lineup.

Bird stepped down from the Pacers last year due to health reasons, but he can return to the team if he chooses.

If Bird is healthy, what could get in the way?

Money. A lot of money.

Bird reportedly discussed a big offer to become the Kings’ general manager, but it wasn’t enough. Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird, who has discussed the Kings GM vacancy with new owner Vivek Ranadive and was said to be at least mildly intrigued, told team officials that he is no longer interested in the position. Bird sat out the 2012-13 season and is weighing whether to return to the Indiana Pacers – where he has an open invitation to resume his role as the team’s top basketball executive – or to extend his sabbatical a second season, both for personal and health reasons.

The Kings, who’ve already hired Michael Malone as their head coach, have reportedly shown interest in Kenny Smith, Pete D’Alessandro, David Morway, Chris Wallace, Chris Mullin and Mike Dunleavy. That’s a large group, but with the draft nearing and Bird out of the picture, they’ll need to make a decision soon.

  1. erckle31 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Hope he comes back, this team could use less Miles Plumlee first round picks. Still don’t understand why they took him…

    • smiff620 - Jun 11, 2013 at 12:54 AM

      The Plumlee Pick Was Larrys….Walsh and Pritchard traded back into the 2nd round to grab Orlando Johnson and they will also be running the draft this year

    • chadley71 - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:09 AM

      bird got confused and thought he picked MASON instead of MILES Plumlee…doh!!

    • fanofevilempire - Jun 11, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Larry is such a tease!

  2. sportsfan18 - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    I know that Sacramento isn’t exactly L.A., but Bird isn’t a Cali guy… He is the Hick from French Lick.

    Donnie is way up there in years and the Pacers organization knows Bird obviously. It makes too much sense for Bird to return to the Pacers, especially since Donnie is already 72 yrs old and Bird is 56 yrs old. It’s just a matter of when…

  3. andrejohnsonforpresident - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Haha yea right. He basically said heres the keys don’t scratch her up. Except his car came back detailed and with a new set of tires. He wanted the pacers to show him the money I bet. An i’m sure they did.

    • jamieaadams - Jun 10, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      After Bird left, the Pacers signed Gerald Green and D.J. Augustin and drafted a Plumlee. Which one was the new tires and which one was the detailing?

      • badintent - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        Wadda about the Rims ?

      • asimonetti88 - Jun 10, 2013 at 11:43 PM

        they also signed Ben Hansborough. Don’t forget that key cog.

  4. ddogdaddy - Jun 10, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    I don’t think it was ever about the money with Larry Bird. I think he just needed to step back and take a break. That being said, Larry get your butt back to work. This is your team, that you built and they need you to finish what you started.

  5. gregoryproach - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    Agreed. Cannot come too soon. Many changes need to be made after signing West. The entire bench must go.

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