INDIANAPOLIS — Larry Bird asserted it, and Herb Simon confirmed it: the Indiana Pacers’ owner does not like change.
Not when it disrupts a good thing.
“Herbie don’t like change,” said Bird, who’s stepping down as president of basketball operations. “When he feels comfortable with somebody and likes them, he wants them to stay here.
“But Herbie doesn’t always get his way.”
Maybe not. But providence came through for Simon in the form of Donnie Walsh, a familiar figure who first put the Pacers on the NBA map.
And it came through in another way, by virtue of Bird’s foresight, in the form of new general manager Kevin Pritchard. Bird hired him last year as director of player personnel, following a three-year stint as general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.
So, as transitions go, in terms of experience, familiarity and prior success, the Pacers’ power shift is about as smooth and seamless as it gets.
In that regard, Simon did get his way.
“Now I have the pleasure of working with Donnie again. It makes me feel very comfortable,” said Simon, who spent the past three weeks hammering out the details with Bird, Walsh and Pritchard.
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