He’s Larry freaking Bird, first of all. But not only that, he’s also clearly separated himself as an executive from those legends who once played as his contemporaries. If he wants to come back, you let him come back. This isn’t Isiah Thomas or Michael Jordan looking to stay on as President of Basketball Operations for the Indiana Pacers. It’s Bird, the reigning NBA Executive of the Year this season who won said award for the work he’s done building the Indiana Pacers into a team two wins away from the Eastern Conference Finals.
The rebuild he’s helped orchestrate has staying power too. Roy Hibbert is just now coming into his own as an All Star Center, and the upside for guys like Paul George, George Hills, Darren Collison and even Danny Granger is still high. At the moment though, Larry Bird is a free agent.
According to what he told the Indiana media last week, he’s interested in helping to finish what he started out in Indy:
Bird’s future with the Indiana Pacers is still in question, but he told reporters Wednesday he would be open to coming back. Bird said it’s imperative he and owner Herb Simon are sharing a common view of the future.
“(I want to talk to him about) the direction of the team, what kind of job he thinks we’re doing, if there’s anything he sees that we should be doing better,” Bird said. “Just a number of questions. I’ve got a lot of them written down to ask him and hopefully we can get the answers we like and move on.”
Bird has overseen basketball operations for the Pacers since 2008. He also coached the team from 1997-2000.
“I wouldn’t want to sign a four- or five-year deal because I’m getting older,” Bird said. “I don’t know long I want to do this but I do love my job and what we have to do is find out which direction we want this franchise to go.”
The two to three year contract option should be even more appealing for Simon and his ownership group with respect to bringing Bird back. If they moved on that, they could also use this as an opportunity to hire Bird’s successor at the same time. Bring that person in too, along with Frank Vogel, and continue to build through that shared vision for what the franchise can become over three more years with Larry at the helm. It’s a best case scenario for the Pacers in my opinion, and I’d expect they lock Bird up and keep building.