Apr 23, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird with his wife Dinah Mattingly watches the game against the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeats Detroit 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The NBA announced on Wednesday that Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird was named the 2012 Executive of the Year thanks to the team's improved winning percentage and jump up the standings. That jump was fueled by the development of young players on the roster along with the pre-season acquisitions of David West, George Hill and Lou Amundson. All three played key roles throughout the season.
Bird capped off a strong year by adding playoff veteran and reserve scorere Leandro Barbosa at the trade deadline. While retaining Frank Vogel as the head coach, Bird also pushed his coach to add some quality experience to the bench, which he did by hiring Brian Shaw and Jim Boylen.
The honor makes Bird the first person to win an MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year award Of course, he also won Rookie of the Year and was named MVP of the NBA Finals (three times). Bird downplayed the honor in typical fashion.
"This is an honor for the Indiana Pacers, not an award for Larry Bird," said Bird. "Everyone in this franchise put in a lot of work and showed a lot of patience as we have tried to get this team to a level on and off the court the fans in Indiana can be proud of. You always believe, and hope, the players you get will fit into a plan and I'm very proud of what our guys and our coaches have accomplished so far this year."