Larry Bird attends a party after the premier of the Broadway play Magic Bird in New York

Larry Bird withdraws from Kings GM search, mulling return to Pacers


When the Pacers hired Larry Bird as their coach in 1997, the Hick From French Lick said, “I’m very excited about this opportunity to go back home and coach the Indiana Pacers. Indiana is the only team I wanted to coach.” Since, Bird became the president of his home state’s NBA team and helped build a roster that reached the conference finals with a young and promising lineup.

Bird stepped down from the Pacers last year due to health reasons, but he can return to the team if he chooses.

If Bird is healthy, what could get in the way?

Money. A lot of money.

Bird reportedly discussed a big offer to become the Kings’ general manager, but it wasn’t enough. Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

Hall of Fame forward Larry Bird, who has discussed the Kings GM vacancy with new owner Vivek Ranadive and was said to be at least mildly intrigued, told team officials that he is no longer interested in the position. Bird sat out the 2012-13 season and is weighing whether to return to the Indiana Pacers – where he has an open invitation to resume his role as the team’s top basketball executive – or to extend his sabbatical a second season, both for personal and health reasons.

The Kings, who’ve already hired Michael Malone as their head coach, have reportedly shown interest in Kenny Smith, Pete D’Alessandro, David Morway, Chris Wallace, Chris Mullin and Mike Dunleavy. That’s a large group, but with the draft nearing and Bird out of the picture, they’ll need to make a decision soon.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.