Basketball legend and Indiana native Larry Bird has returned to the Indiana Pacers, this time as a consultant. The news of Bird’s return comes as the Pacers prepare for a crucial offseason following their third consecutive losing season.
Bird, known for his illustrious playing career with the Boston Celtics, is no stranger to the Pacers organization. He served as the team’s head coach from 1997 to 2000, and as president of basketball operations twice, from 2003 to 2012 and 2013 to 2017. Under Bird’s leadership, the Pacers reached the NBA Finals in 2000 and saw Bird awarded NBA Coach of the Year in his first season. As an executive, Bird was awarded NBA Executive of the Year in 2012, making him the only person to win NBA MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year
Bird’s return is likely to inject new energy into the Pacers’ organization. Although his role is that of a consultant, his expertise and experience could prove invaluable as the Pacers try to reverse their fortunes. The Pacers currently hold three first-round picks in the 2023 NBA Draft, offering significant opportunities for rebuilding their roster. Bird’s return could be instrumental in scouting potential draft picks and developing young talents like 2023 All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton and All-NBA Rookie Team member Bennedict Mathurin.
Bird’s return to the Pacers marks more than 30 years since his retirement as a player, further showcasing his profound impact on the game. His successful transitions from player to coach to executive, and now consultant, highlight his enduring influence in basketball and his unparalleled understanding of the sport.
It remains to be seen what impact Bird’s return will have on the Pacers’ performance in the coming season. However, with Bird in their corner, the Pacers are likely to benefit from his deep understanding of the game and proven track record in building successful teams. Fans and players alike will be watching with keen interest to see how this new chapter unfolds in the Pacers’ history.