WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that Larry Bird will return to the team as President of Basketball Operations. Bird agreed to a multi-year deal and per team policy, no terms will be released. Donnie Walsh, who held that position the last year, will be a consultant to the franchise and Kevin Pritchard remains as the Pacers' General Manager.
"We are all very happy to have Larry back," said Pacers' Owner Herb Simon. "When he left last July, Donnie and I both told him the door would be open for him to come back when he's ready. Larry had a huge impact on this team and where it is now so it's fitting that he comes back at this time. Donnie has been a friend and a valuable contributor to the franchise and will continue to be both. I wanted him to agree to stay in some capacity as I believe with Larry and Kevin, it gives us three of the best basketball minds in the business."
Bird was President of Basketball of Operations for the team from 2003 until June 27, 2012. He returns to the position Monday, July 1.
"The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it re-charged me," said Bird. "Donnie and Kevin did a great job and I will lean on both heavily as we move forward toward the goal of competing for a championship."
Walsh was President of the Pacers from 1988-2008, when he left to assume a similar position with the New York Knicks. After three years in New York, Walsh returned last year when Bird stepped down.
"I met with Larry when he wanted to leave last year and I said I would do this until he was ready to come back," said Walsh. "Well, he's ready and I couldn't be happier. I had a great year last year with this team. It is a great group of guys who have the potential for some great things and to remain a part of this, with two people who I love to work with and respect greatly, is very special."
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