Peter Vecsey of the New York Post reports today that a solid source indicates Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird will end his tenure as the team's top basketball voice following this season.
Vecsey has always had solid sources close to the Pacers even if some of his reports haven't even been close to coming to fruition. But the report of Bird stepping down comes as no surprise since he surely feels he has done his job to leave the Pacers in better shape than he found it, sitting on a solid rebuilding foundation for the future.
The real news which furrows my brow is what Vecsey's source had to say about Herb Simon's plan for the next front office leader.
(Donnie) Walsh, I'm told, is eager to get back to work full time for a team as soon as his consultancy contract with the Knicks expires, yet it's doubtful he would be rehired by Simons.
"They're just not as close as they once were," claimed a source.
The firm belief by those with a pulse on the situation: Simon is more apt to choose a marquee name like Reggie Miller or Chris Mullin as opposed to promoting the people on site, general manager David Moray or personnel director Kevin Pritchard.
At first I read that as they didn't expect David Morway to return which would be nuts. But the mixed use of GM in the story title and president in the actual article forced me to clarify that we're talking about the team president here. if you aren't letting Morway take over as team president, the Pacers at least have to make every effort to keep him as GM to continue building on what he and Bird have done the past few years. They have an outstanding scouting infrastructure in place that seems to be maximizing the bang for the buck the Pacers are getting from their current roster.
So I understand if Simon is looking for a new president when considering Reggie or Mully with the expectation of keeping the nuts and bolts of the operation together. Having a high-profile name in that position certainly has its benefits when you combine the sales and marketing implications. Let's just hope the Pacers don't try to move forward with a completely new front office.