Report: Pacers CEO Walsh likely staying in Indiana; Bird's future uncertain

Updated: March 23, 2008, 10:02 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh, who has reportedly had discussions with the New York Knicks about possibly replacing Isiah Thomas as team president, is leaning toward staying with Indiana, according to a published report.

Donnie Walsh

Walsh

"Barring something crazy happening, Donnie is staying," an unnamed source told The New York Daily News. "The players all got a sense on Friday that Donnie would be around."

A key hold up for Walsh is the future of Pacers team president Larry Bird.

Walsh met with Pacers owners Herbert and Melvin Simon for eight hours on Friday, according to the newspaper, and Bird would have to relinquish day-to-day duties of running the franchise to Walsh. That scenario leaves the future for the Hall of Fame player uncertain.

Last Monday, Bird said he couldn't be sure whether he will be back next season.

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

The Pacers are 29-41 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 the Simon brothers said that they had enough and pledged changes would be made -- and that everything except ownership of the team would be on the table.

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