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Larry Bird Returns to the Pacers

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images (INDIANAPOLIS) -- After a year away from the team, Larry Bird will return to the Indiana Pacers as its team president of basketball operations, the Pacers announced Wednesday.

Before leaving the team last year, Bird held the position of president of basketball operations from 2003-12, and won the league's executive of the year award during his final season.

“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it re-charged me,” Bird said in a statement released by the team. “Donnie (Walsh) and Kevin (Pritchard) did a great job and I will lean on both heavily as we move forward toward the goal of competing for a championship.”

Walsh, who took over Bird's duties as the team president last season, will become a team consultant, and Pritchard will keep his position as team general manager.

Last season, the Pacers finished one game short of making the NBA Finals.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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