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.