Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird has confirmed he is stepping down from his current role, but says he will remain with the team in an advisory position. At a press conference Monday morning, Bird said the decision was easy, especially with General Manager Kevin Pritchard succeeding him, saying Pritchard is "the right guy to take over."
Bird says he plans to scout for the team through the NBA, collegiate and international levels in addition to advising senior basketball management personnel when needed.
"The one thing I don’t want to do is get in Kevin’s way. This is Kevin’s team. He’s going to make the decisions based on how he feels he wants to build the team," said Bird. "I know how difficult at times this job can be, but if he’s got a question or he wants some help on certain things, I’ll be glad to do that."
Bird said, being a native Hoosier, he is proud to have served in his previous roles in Indiana.
"Being able to come back here and work under Donnie Walsh for a number of years and then take over a franchise I grew up with, you can’t beat that," said Bird. "My whole career has been full circle as a player, a coach and then in the front office and not very many people can say they’ve done that."
Pritchard, who previously served as executive vice president of basketball operations, joined the team five years ago as director of player personnel. Before joining the Pacers, Pritchard served as general manager for the Portland Trail Blazers from 2007-2010.
"I want to thank Herb, Larry and Donnie for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime," said Pritchard. "As someone who grew up in Indiana, I’ve always felt the Pacers’ pride. The goal is always going to be the same as it has been through Donnie and Larry: to make this a world-class organization."
Bird says he will continue as an advisor to senior basketball management.