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Friday June 28, 2013

Celtics legend Bird returns as president of operations at Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS: Hall of Famer Larry Bird, who resigned in 2012 because of health problems, will return to his role as president of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers agreed to a multi-year deal with Bird who will resume his duties of running the National Basketball Association team on Wednesday.

“We are all very happy to have Larry back,” said Pacers owner Herb Simon. “When he left last July, Donnie Walsh and I both told him the door would be open for him to come back when he’s ready.”

Walsh filled in for Bird during his year away, but will now move into a consulting position. Kevin Pritchard will remain as general manager.

“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it re-charged me,” said Bird, who was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2012.

“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.”

Bird, who has three championship rings as a player, has been instrumental in the success of the Pacers since he took over as president of the team a decade ago.

His draft picks include Paul George and Lance Stephenson and he acquired the draft rights to centre Roy Hibbert in 2008.

Bird played 13 seasons in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and was a three-time league MVP and two-time NBA finals MVP. — AFP

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