Friday, March 23, 2012
Larry Bird: No decision made
ESPN.com news services
Larry Bird has refuted a published report that he will step down as president of the Indiana Pacers at the end of the current NBA season, saying he has yet to make such a decision.
The New York Post, citing an unnamed source, reported Friday that Bird would step down, regardless of how the Pacers end the season.
"No decision has been made. End of story," Bird said Friday in a statement issued through the Pacers to Indianapolis-area media outlets.
"I talk to Larry every day. He has not said anything to me about leaving," team owner Herb Simon said, according to The Indianapolis Star. "He can stay here as long as he wants."
Bird, who is 55, said in January that he'll make a decision about his future at the end of the season, The Star reported.
A Hall of Famer as a player with the Boston Celtics, Bird has been president of the Pacers since 2003. He coached the Pacers for three seasons from 1997-2000, leading them to the NBA Finals in his last season on the bench.
As team president, Bird shared basketball decisions with former Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh until Walsh left the franchise for the New York Knicks in 2008.
The Pacers, 27-18 entering Friday's games, appear headed for their second straight Eastern Conference playoff berth after not making the playoffs for four consecutive seasons.
The Pacers surged into the playoffs last season after starting 17-27 and replacing coach Jim O'Brien with Frank Vogel. That earned Bird another year to continue rebuilding the franchise.