Fans excited about Bird's return to Pacers

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Larry Bird is back with the Pacers, continuing a chapter in his Hall of Fame career as president of the NBA team.

The team announced Bird's return at a press conference Thursday and fans are excited to have him back.

"I am so excited about that. I mean, we didn't want him to leave in the first place," said a caller to an afternoon radio show.

"I think it is important for him. For the organization, for this fan base and complete what he started," said radio host JMV.

Thursday's announcement was not open to the public. Jerry Aiken was disappointed by that, but not by Bird's return.

"He's been putting it together and he loves basketball as much as I love golf. It's in his blood," Aiken said.

Not many basketball players in the state have a street named after them. Larry Bird Avenue in Terre Haute is just another example of how his Indiana roots run deep.

Bird's love with Indiana basketball transcends more than the Pacers. It started on Wooden Court in Terre Haute with the Indiana State team he took to the NCAA finals in 1979.

Another one of his jerseys hangs in the Hulman Center, as well, but not a championship banner.

So could that be what keeps "Larry the Legend" coming back?

"I have known Larry Bird for long enough to know this - I have no idea what he is thinking ever. At any time. So I don't know what he is coming back other than he wants to be," said Pacers radio announcer Mark Boyle.

For Pacers fans, that is a good thing.

"Anytime you can bring a Hall of Famer and a legend into your organization, that is a positive thing," said another radio caller.

That is because he knows how to win.

"Should have won the championship this year and last year and the year before, potentially. So he needs to be back and take control," Aiken said.

Teaching the rest of us how to win is a little tougher.