Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird is a legendary figure in his home state of Indiana as well as in Boston where his Hall of Fame career ended thanks to lingering back injuries. With the announcement that now-former Indianapolis Colts quarterback and local legend, Peyton Manning is leaving the organization, Bird made the following statement on Manning's incredible impact on Indianapolis.
"Peyton Manning is the best professional athlete to ever play in Indianapolis, truly a one-of-a-kind player, maybe a once-in-a-lifetime player. Being a small market, having a player like him come here and do what he did on and off the field is remarkable. This city and this state are fortunate to have had athletes like Peyton, Reggie Miller and Tamika Catchings come here, play as long as they did here, have success here and do as much in the community as they did on the field or the court. It was an honor to have Peyton in this city for 14 years and he is a good friend to the Pacers and Fever franchises. We wish him nothing but the best."