“It’s gotta be one voice, one guy leading this franchise. And I came back to do that.” -Larry Bird
After a one year hiatus, Larry Bird is right back where he was. At the top of the Indiana Pacers organization. Right where he belongs.
Bird took a year off citing health problems. Now, he says he’s back. He’s ready. And he’s feeling better than he has in years. He says his interest “got real” when his phone started ringing…from other teams.
In the end, it wasn’t a hard decision.
“I love Indianapolis. We’ve got a great team. I know the system. I know what we need here to fulfill our dreams…and it’s really an easy choice.”
And it’s not like he was gone…gone. Bird said he watched 90% of the Pacers’ games last season. And he texted with some of the players throughout. Bird says looking in from the outside gave him a new perspective on the team. But more than anything, it made him proud.
“If you watch this team, they care about one another. They play together and they play as a team. And that’s exactly what I envisioned when I helped put this team together.”
There is still work to be done. The goal is to take the Pacers one step farther…to play for the NBA Championship.
And to finish what he started in 2003.
“When you got a group of guys like we have that stick together, play together, care about one another, share the basketball, do the right things on and off the court…that’s a hell of a start.”
Larry Bird. Back home in Indiana.
Right where he belongs.