Larry Bird’s resignation as Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations may have just been the first of some major changes in the organization.
In the latest episode of his self-titled podcast that was released on Friday, The Ringer’s Bill Simmons said that there are rumors within the NBA that Pacers owner Herb Simon may be selling the team.
“I think stuff’s going on with that team. I think he got out a little bit early,” Simmons said of Bird. “I think they’re probably selling it … There’s some word on the street … The owner’s old, and there’s a feeling within the league.
“You know, it’s really hard to buy into the NBA right now,” he continued. “The two teams that everybody just keeps circling, actually there’s three: Indiana, New Orleans, Minnesota. All of them have aging owners. So I think that Bird leaving when he did made me think that the team is probably gonna be sold, they’re probably gonna blow it up, who knows what’s gonna come in.”
Simon, who will turn 83 in October, purchased the team along with his brother Melvin in 1983 and became the full owner upon Melvin’s death in 2009. He has overseen six division titles and one Eastern Conference championship for the Pacers and also owns the WNBA’s Indiana Fever.
The Pacers went 42-40 this season and were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs. Beyond Bird’s surprising decision to step down last month, the team also faces an uncertain future with their franchise player, so there at least appears to be some incentive for Simon to cash out.
Image via Indiana Fever on YouTube