Once again the lure of the game was too much for an athlete to endure as Hoosier-native Larry Bird will rejoin the Pacers as the team’s president. The team announced the decision on Wednesday. Bird, who took the year off last year, was the team’s president from 2003 until he retired last season.
“We’re on the right track here we got a good team and hopefully we can move it forward another step,” Bird said in a press conference on Thursday. Bird admitted he watched about 90 percent of the Pacers’ games this season and says that he got a different perspective from watching at home.
As for what needs to be done with the team, Bird said the team’s top priority is re-signing power forward David West. West, who started 73 games for the Pacers this season, was second on the team in both points and rebounds per game with 17.1 ppg and 7.7 rpg. Another thing that Bird mentioned in his press conference that the Pacers need to address is the bench.
“The bench didn’t step up and play the way we thought they would,” said Bird.
However, with limited funds for free agency Bird said that they have to be very creative in the way they approach improving their bench. Obviously one key in gaining an improving bench is getting back Danny Granger. Bird said that the team has no plans to trade Granger who missed all but five games last season. He even went as far to say if they stay healthy and get Granger back, they have a good shot at winning a championship.
As for Thursday’s NBA Draft, Bird said that he doesn’t know much about the college game and he’s leaving it in the capable hands of the team’s General Manager Kevin Pritchard.
“My dreams and my goals are set pretty high,” Bird said, “When you have a group of guys like we have that stick together, play together, care about one another, share the basketball and do the right things on and off the court that’s a hell of a start.”