Larry Bird Is Stepping Down as Pacers President During a Crucial Time for the Team

Larry Bird

Larry Bird Is Stepping Down as Pacers President During a Crucial Time for the Team

Without the hoops legend, will the franchise be able to keep All-Star Paul George?

Published April 28, 2017

A postseason shakeup for the Indiana Pacers came only five days after the team was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening round of the NBA playoffs.

The Vertical is reporting that Larry Bird is stepping down as the Pacers president, with Indiana general manager Kevin Pritchard slated to replace the NBA legend. Although a reason for Bird resigning hasn't been confirmed, sources told ESPN that the plan was always for the Hall of Famer to suggest to Pacers owner Herb Simon that Pritchard take over as president. In fact, Bird, 60, had been comfortable with year-to-year contracts with the Pacers' front office over the years.

That being said, the timing of Bird stepping down couldn't have been more nerve-racking. That's because Pacers' All-Star Paul George is set to be a free agent during the summer of 2018, and Bird was the one who drafted the forward in 2010. 

As previously reported, the media tabbing George for one of the All-NBA teams could spell the difference between the forward banking an additional $75 million or not. If the media does select PG-13 for the honor, he would be eligible to sign a $200 million extension with the Pacers this summer. 

We can't help but wonder if Bird will assist in making an extension happen as a reported team consultant. Further complicating the matter is sources telling The Vertical that the Orlando Magic is looking to hire a president and general manager and have been speaking with other league execs about Bird.

The three-time NBA champion stands as the only person in league history to be named MVP (1984-86), Coach of the Year (1998) and Executive of the Year (2012). The latter two accolades were accomplished while Bird was with the Pacers.

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Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

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