"The past few months have been the most enjoyable since I took over as President of Basketball Operations," said Bird. "To see our young players develop, to see us make the playoffs and then to see us compete in a hard-fought series with Chicago are indications we are headed in the right direction and it has made me even more determined to help this team improve further and go to the next level."
It's safe to say, without the promising, late-season scramble to make the playoffs and the even more enjoyable display by the Pacers in the playoffs, Larry Bird would've been happy to let someone else guide the Pacers through the changing NBA landscape with the foundation of young talent and financial stability he had assembled to really rebuild the team beginning this summer.
Bird put his trust in some young players and a young coach, in Frank Vogel, and they all came together to reward Bird and lure him to stay in the game to continue building on the positive end to last season. Bird's clunky post-season press conference that left the front office situation in limbo for a couple of weeks, but all of the speculation surrounding his comments and the team reaching out to other GM's is now much ado about nothing.
Stability and continuity for the organization relying on a young group of players is a good thing at this time. The best part of the late season run and playoff games was that it exposed once and for all, under the bright lights of pressure packed games, the good, the bad and the ugly on the Pacers roster.
Bird and David Morway know exactly what they have in each player, many of whom remain a work in progress, but better still, they know what they don't have. Regardless of how the new CBA shakes out and what new rules teams will have to abide by to sign and deal players, the Pacers know where they need to apply their resources to continue moving this thing in the right direction.
Now, if they can do it right, we'll all have fun.
After the jump, a few links with stories on Bird's return.
Bird decides to stay with Pacers and finish the job | The Indianapolis Star | indystar.com
Mike Wells reports on Larry Bird and Herb Simon sticking together.
Bird gets chance to finish the job/Tyler Hansbrough review
Conrad Brunner comments on Larry Bird staying on to run the Pacers after he reviews Tyler Hansbrough's season.
- AP: Pacers to keep Bird as president
- Larry Bird will return as the Pacers president after a meeting with Herb Simon - fox59.com
Pacers announce Larry Bird will return as president of basketball operations | New York Daily News
Good news for Knicks' fans.
Report: Warriors to interview Brown, Casey
Both coaches may be headed to Indiana after leaving the Bay Area for similar interviews with the Pacers.