Larry Bird is reportedly ending his run as president of the Indiana Pacers, and what a run it was.
In fact, it lasted two tenures. But the idea of Bird stepping aside is not a huge shock. He turned 60 back in December, and it appears he has grown weary of the modern day NBA, with players turning away the biggest possible dollars for (supposedly) greener pastures.
The Pacers have one such player in star small forward Paul George. Rumors have it that George has been playing with one eye on the floor, and one eye on the door — or more specifically, pointed in the direction of his hometown Los Angeles Lakers.
Bird steps aside shortly after his top playing rival and the man to whom he’s forever linked, Magic Johnson, took over the Lakers. The two admittedly took part in a brief conversation about George at the trading deadline in February.
Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard will replace Bird as president, according to Yahoo Sports, which broke the news of the move.
Bird is expected to remain on as a consultant, but will certainly be courted by other franchises. But this is more than likely a permanent move into retirement, according to multiple league sources.
Also, this interesting tidbit from Yahoo Sports: “The Orlando Magic are searching for a president and general manager, and the search firm running the Magic’s process has been asking other league executives about Bird as a possible candidate, sources told The Vertical. For now, Cleveland Cavaliers GM David Griffin remains the top candidate in the Magic’s search, but Orlando hasn’t yet asked for permission to speak with Griffin, largely because of the Cavaliers’ playoff status, sources said.”