Since early 2012, numerous reports have surfaced suggesting Pacers president Larry Bird will step down from his position at season's end. However, based on comments made by Bird today, it sounds like the Executive of the Year is open to staying put as long as he and owner Herb Simon are on the same page, according to Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. Here's what Bird had to say, along with a few other Pacers updates….
- "[I want to talk to him about] the direction of the team, what kind of job he thinks we’re doing, if there’s anything he sees that we should be doing better," Bird said of Simon. "Just a number of questions. I’ve got a lot of them written down to ask him and hopefully we can get the answers we like and move on."
- According to Bird, the Pacers likely won't go after other teams' restricted free agents, since that's not Simon's style, tweets Wells. The Indy Star scribe points out that would rule out a pursuit of Eric Gordon, who has long been thought of as a potential Pacers target.
- Coach Frank Vogel would be "shocked" if assistant Brian Shaw returns to the Pacers next season, as he told Wells: "I'm actually shocked that he's not a head coach already. He's got it all. He's going to be one of the top five head coaches in the NBA for the next 10 years when he finally gets his shot, and there's not a doubt in my mind that's going to happen."
- Vogel hopes that he'll face a tough decision on whether to give George Hill or Darren Collison the majority of the point guard minutes next season. To reach that point, the Pacers would have to re-sign Hill, who is a restricted free agent.