(INDIANAPOLIS) — The Indiana Pacers and Larry Bird parted ways on Wednesday.
Owner Herb Simon confirmed the news Wednesday morning. Bird said on Wednesday that his recent health issues were one of the main reasons for his departure.
“I fully understand Larry’s decision to step away and can’t thank him enough for what he has done for the Pacers,” Simon said. “I can’t ask for a better transition at this time than to have Donnie back to work with Kevin in overseeing the basketball side.”
Bird took over for Donnie Walsh after the 2007-2008 season and built the team into a competitive team during his tenure. The Pacers fell in six games to the NBA champion Miami Heat this year.
“I’m going to take some time off and evaluate what I will do in the future,” Bird said. “This has nothing to do with any conflict or anything else, it’s just time.”
Bird began his run in Indiana as the Pacers coach in 1997 and took the team to the NBA Finals in 2000, which they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Walsh will be taking over again as team president.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News
Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com Columnist