The Indiana Pacers have at least publicly given every indication that if Larry Bird wanted to return to the Fieldhouse to run the team, then they would be happy to have him back. Current team president Donnie Walsh has repeatedly said he would step aside if Bird was ready to resume guiding the team he built.
Bird appears ready to get back in the front office game, but may not with the Pacers, according to reports. Veteran NBA writer Peter Vecsey confirmed reports that the Sacramento Kings were trying to make a big splash by luring Bird to run the Kings.
Kings owner meeting with Larry Bird today means decision on hiringpresident is on hold. Source says asking 5M per, maybe piece of team— Peter Vecsey (@PeterVecsey1) June 5, 2013
The Kings have been looking at general manager prospects, but Vecsey mentions Bird as a potential team president, the same role he held with the Pacers.
Another report today has the Kings interviewing former Pacer GM (under Bird), David Morway for the vacant general manager position. Morway often takes the blame for certain front office blunders during the rebuild, namely bailing on a trade that would've landed O.J. Mayo two years ago. Morway denies the reports on how that went down, but regardless he was front and center while the team managed their way out of salary cap hell. No easy job. He also had a hand in bringing in more advanced statistical analysis as a tool for the team to work with, which is now part of the day-to-day.
So, would Bird be considering reuniting with Morway in Sacramento? Are the two separate candidates for the same GM job?
The bigger question for me is: Will Bird consider a return to the Pacers?
I have heard speculation that Bird wants to get back in the game but not necessarily with the Pacers. He would be pushing aside people he highly respects to return. But I did find it interesting the Bird was so excited about the Pacers' success in the playoffs that he texted Mike Wells to gloat a bit after they moved past the Knicks, stating, "Those who play together stay together!"
Bird's guys in the Pacers locker room still hold him in high regard and would certainly love to have his wisdom available as they try to "stay together" next season to make another deep playoff run.