Larry Bird has signed a multi-year contract and is returning to the Indiana Pacers next season, the team announced on Wednesday. A press conference is scheduled for Thursday morning in Indianapolis to discuss his return.
“We are all very happy to have Larry back,” Pacers owner Herb Simon said. “When he left last July, Donnie and I both told him the door would be open for him to come back when he’s ready. Larry had a huge impact on this team and where it is now, so it’s fitting that he comes back at this time. Donnie has been a friend and a valuable contributor to the franchise and will continue to be both. I wanted him to agree to stay in some capacity as I believe with Larry and Kevin, it gives us three of the best basketball minds in the business.”
Bird announced last June he was stepping down at the end of August to deal with physical issues.
Donnie Walsh will remain with the team in a consulting role, and Kevin Pritchard will continue in his role as general manager.
“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it recharged me,” Bird said. “Donnie and Kevin did a great job, and I will lean on both heavily as we move forward toward the goal of competing for a championship.”