INDIANAPOLIS — It appears that Larry Bird is back with the Indiana Pacers.
One day after the Boston Celtics, Bird’s former team, lost to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the Pacers tweeted out a photo of the Indiana basketball legend back inside team facilities.
The photo appears to show Bird watching a practice amongst Pacers players while sitting on a chair emblazoned with the team logo, although it is unclear if the photo was taken inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse or at another team facility.
In it, the 66-year-old Bird is seen wearing a gray baseball cap, a long-sleeve collared white shirt, blue pants, white socks and gray and blue Nike running shoes.
But the photo, which can be seen below, isn’t nearly as important as its caption.
“Larry Bird is back in the building serving as a consultant,” the Pacers said in the tweet.
Although the Pacers have not made any official announcement on Bird being rehired, it appears he is back with the team after stepping down as team president in May of 2017.
On Tuesday night, the Pacers front office confirmed Bird has “attended pre-draft workouts as a consultant to the front office.”
Bird served numerous roles with the Pacers following the end of his illustrious playing career, including head coach from 1997 to 2000 and president of basketball operations twice from 2003 to 2012 and 2013 to 2017.
A former NBA Coach of the Year with the Pacers in the 1997-98 season, Bird took the team to an NBA Finals in 2000 before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games.
Since Bird left the position of Pacers president of basketball operations in 2017, Kevin Pritchard has served as president. Now, it seems Bird will interact with Pritchard once again as a consultant for the team.
The Pacers could use some help this offseason. Coming off the team’s third straight losing season and a three-year playoff drought, Indiana has an opportunity to turn things around with the upcoming NBA draft and the development of some young stars.
Earlier this month, the Pacers secured the 7th overall pick in the upcoming NBA draft at the lottery in Chicago. It is possible that Bird is helping the team scout potential players to join the team next season.
Additionally, with young talent such as 2023 All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton and All-NBA Rookie Team member Bennedict Mathurin on the bench, Bird could use his NBA expertise to help develop players already on the roster.