Larry Bird has been with the Pacers organization on-and-off for 20 years. He coached the team for three seasons starting in 1997, took over as team president from 2003 to 2012, and then ran the team again from 2013 until this morning. According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, Bird has stepped down as Pacers president and will remain on as a consultant while GM Kevin Pritchard takes over his duties.
The Pacers just got bounced by Cleveland in four games and they now face a critical offseason. Indiana has a number of free agents to make decisions on and a first-round pick to select, but the looming free agency of Paul George has cast a shadow over the organization. George hasn’t been shy about his desire to either play for a winner or a team in Los Angeles, and if the Pacers don’t assemble a much-improved roster by July 2018, George can opt out of his contract and enter unrestricted free agency. The Pacers could trade him before then to ensure a return, although if George makes an All-NBA team this summer, he could earn more if he re-signs with Indiana.
Bird built several great Pacers teams, and he’s certainly proven himself a capable enough executive that he could get another job if he wanted one. He may not be out of a leadership role for long, as Orlando is reportedly trying to reunite him with former Pacers coach Frank Vogel down in Florida.