Jun 26, 2013, 4:51 PM EDT
It was just like Larry Bird was on a year sabbatical.
After a year away from the Pacers — a year where the team he built made a run all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals — Larry Bird will return to the Pacers front office, first reported Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and now confirmed by the Pacers themselves. It will be formalized at a press conference on Thursday (because what else does a front office have to do on NBA Draft day).
Donnie Walsh, the long time Pacers front office man who went to New York and rebuilt that roster after the Isiah Thomas years, had come back to Indiana and taken over the reins of the organization last season.
Walsh will stay on with the Pacers in a yet-to-be-defined capacity. Bird, the Hall of Fame Celtics player, was the coach of the Pacers for three years then was the team president and GM from 2003 to 2012.
What is this going to mean for Indiana on the court? Not much, Walsh and Bird think alike and followed the same plan for the organization. The primary goal for the Pacers this offseason is to re-sign David West, something that is very likely as both sides want to get a deal done.
The Pacers have the No. 23 and 53 pick in Thursday’s draft, too.