Does Larry Bird own the Pacers? Explaining Celtics legend’s consulting role with Indiana

Larry Bird is at the center of a Celtics and Pacers Venn diagram as the two teams battle in the Eastern Conference Finals.

On one hand, Bird is a Celtics legend. He spent all 13 years of his playing career in Boston, winning three NBA titles, three MVPs and two Finals MVPs. His No. 33 hangs in the rafters with his three championship banners, and as one of the faces of the franchise, Bird is most associated with the Celtics.

On the other hand, Bird’s ties to the Pacers run even longer than his playing career in Boston. An Indiana native, “The Hick from French Lick” has been associated with his home state team since he retired, and he currently works for the Pacers.

What exactly is Bird’s role with the Pacers? The Sporting News takes a closer look below.

Does Larry Bird own the Pacers?

No, Bird does not own the Pacers. He is in a “consulting” role with the franchise.

Bird was a “special assistant” in the Celtics front office from 1992-97 before stepping in as head coach of the Pacers. Bird served a pre-determined three-year service in that position, leading Indiana to a 147-67 record. He was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 1998 and led the Pacers to one NBA Finals appearance in 2000. 

Once Bird’s three years were up, he stepped down as head coach after the 1999-00 season. Three years later, in 2003, he took over as the Pacers’ president of basketball operations.

Bird earned NBA Executive of the Year in 2012. That award placed him in a category of his own, becoming the only person in NBA history to win an MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year.

Bird remained in that position through the 2011-12 season, citing health reasons for stepping down. After one year away from the Pacers’ organization, Bird returned to his president of basketball operations role from 2013-17. Since then, he has held an on-and-off “advisory” or “consulting” role with Indiana.

Who owns the Pacers?

The Pacers’ owner is Herb Simon, who purchased the team for $10.5 million back in 1983.

Simon, 89, is the longest-tenured owner in NBA history, going on his 41st season in Indiana.

What is Larry Bird’s role with the Pacers?

Bird has been with the Pacers in an “advisory” role since he stepped down as president of basketball operations in 2017. He remained in that role until the end of the 2022 season when he “stepped back from maintaining an active role” with the Pacers.

Bird’s time away from the organization didn’t last long, just as it hadn’t in the past. In 2023, Bird was re-hired to serve as a consultant for Indiana, a role he still holds for this current Pacers team in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Bird’s “consultant” role is extremely vague. As one of the greatest NBA players and basketball minds of all time, it’s safe to assume he is an extra set of eyes and ears to help the Pacers try and reach championship-level contention. He has attended the team’s pre-draft workouts to help evaluate talent. He has also been seen in the building for Pacers games and practices, likely there to offer a piece of his mind on the little things he notices.

Bird’s “consultant” role has never been explicitly defined, but he is clearly lending his advice to the front office in some capacity.

Larry Bird net worth

Bird has a net worth of approximately $75 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Playing the majority of his NBA career in the 1980s, Bird only made $25.87 million in contracts over 13 seasons as a player.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *