Pacers' Bird unsure of his future
Team president knows his job, like others, will be evaluated by Simon
By Mike Wells
Less than two weeks after Indiana Pacers co-owner Herb Simon promised offseason changes, team president Larry Bird said Monday he can't be certain whether he will return next season.
"I don't know," Bird said when asked if he believed he and CEO Donnie Walsh would be here next season. "We'll just wait and see.
"Donnie's been a great man to work for and I love everything about him. 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."
The Pacers, who beat New York 110-98 Monday, are 26-41.
Speculation about Bird's and Walsh's future with the Pacers started March 7 when Simon said he plans to meet with team officials about restructuring the franchise.
There's a strong belief that either Bird or Walsh will return -- but not both.
"If it's changing everybody, it's changing everybody," Bird said. "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."
The New York Daily News reported Monday the Knicks might be interested in having Walsh replace Isiah Thomas as team president. There are several teams, the Pacers included, interested in Walsh.
Walsh again declined comment.
Bird said he had "no clue" about whether Walsh had met with the Knicks.
"Somebody (Monday) told me that he met with them," Bird said. "But I got too much respect for the man to sit here and tell you I knew or I didn't know. But I wouldn't ask him that question. It's none of my business."
Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053.