Not only is Larry Bird one of the most successful, and much loved, NBA players in the history of the game, but he continues to be a good force in the NBA, long after his playing career came to an end.
Larry Bird has just been named NBA Executive of the Year, making him the first person in NBA history to be named as both a league MVP and top executive coach.
The Pacers top man spoke to journalists in Indiana after the award was announced, saying ''It was a long journey, it was a painful journey…But now we think it's going to pay dividends.''
Bird received 12 first place votes, with a total of 88 points, from a panel of team executives from around the league. Birds closest rival of San Antonio's R.C. Buford, who only received 56 points in the poll.
Indiana Pacers forward, Danny Granger, commented, saying; ''I think it's an award well deserved…Larry probably has more accolades than anybody right now.''
Bird was named as the Pacers' team president in 2003, and getting to grips with the role has been a tough battle. He helped put together a very successful Pacers team in his first season at the club, but has since had to endure things like the famed Metta World Peace (then Ron Artest) crowd brawl at the Palace in Detroit in 2004, numerous coaching staff changes and a four-year play-off drought.
Since then, Bird has been instrumental in re-building the team and the Pacers franchise as a whole. They are now amidst a play-off battle with the Miami Heat, where the Pacers hold a 2-1 lead over the favoured team.