Does Larry Bird own the Pacers? Explaining Celtics legend’s consulting role with Indiana

Does Larry Bird own the Pacers? Explaining Celtics legend’s consulting role with Indiana

Larry Bird is at the center of a Celtics and Pacers Venn diagram as the two teams battle in the Eastern Conference Finals.

On one hand, Bird is a Celtics legend. He spent all 13 years of his playing career in Boston, winning three NBA titles, three MVPs and two Finals MVPs. His No. 33 hangs in the rafters with his three championship banners, and as one of the faces of the franchise, Bird is most associated with the Celtics.

On the other hand, Bird’s ties to the Pacers run even longer than his playing career in Boston. An Indiana native, “The Hick from French Lick” has been associated with his home state team since he retired, and he currently works for the Pacers.

What exactly is Bird’s role with the Pacers? The Sporting News takes a closer look below.

No, Bird does not own the Pacers. He is in a “consulting” role with the franchise.

Bird was a “special assistant” in the Celtics front office from 1992-97 before stepping in as head coach of the Pacers. Bird served a pre-determined three-year service in that position, leading Indiana to a 147-67 record. He was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 1998 and led the Pacers to one NBA Finals appearance in 2000. 

Once Bird’s three years were up, he stepped down as head coach after the 1999-00 season. Three years later, in 2003, he took over as the Pacers’ president of basketball operations.

Bird earned NBA Executive of the Year in 2012. That award placed him in a category of his own, becoming the only person in NBA history to win an MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year.

Bird remained in that position through the 2011-12 season, citing health reasons for stepping down. After one year away from the Pacers’ organization, Bird returned to his president of basketball operations role from 2013-17. Since then, he has held an on-and-off “advisory” or “consulting” role with Indiana.

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