Report: Bird not sure he'll return as Pacers president

Updated: March 18, 2008, 7:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Even Larry Bird isn't sure of his future with the Indiana Pacers as ownership pledges big changes for the troubled franchise.

Bird, the team president, said Monday he can't be certain whether he will be back next season, The Indianapolis Star reported.

"I don't know," Bird said when asked if he believed he and team CEO Donnie Walsh would return to the front office next season. "We'll just wait and see."

The Pacers are 26-41 and have seen a number of players make headlines for bad behavior or trouble with the law in the past few years. Two weeks ago, Herb Simon, who co-owns the team with his brother Mel, said that he'd had enough and pledged changes would be made -- and that everything except ownership of the team would be on the table.

"If it's changing everybody, it's changing everybody," Bird said, according to the Star. "I would like an opportunity to try to do it. … I think there's a lot of blame that can be passed around, and obviously it starts at the top. When you're at the top, you have to take the hits like everybody else."

One of the questions hovering over the team is whether Walsh will return as CEO. New York-area media outlets reported Monday that according to sources, Walsh has had preliminary discussions with the Knicks about replacing Isiah Thomas as team president. Walsh declined to speak with reporters at the pregame shootaround on Monday.

"Donnie's been a great man to work for and I love everything about him," Bird said Monday, according to the Star. "He paid his dues, came up from the bottom, assistant coach, was on the bench, got in the front office and had a fine career. He's just as sick over [the team's performance] as I am."

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