Jackie MacMullan has recanted an assertion she made that Larry Bird stepped down as president of the Indiana Pacers due to the franchise’s inability to spend significant sums on players.
Bird also issued a statement on the issue.
“A published report indicated that I left my position as President of Basketball Operations in 2017 because ownership was not willing to spend ‘big money’ and that it frustrated me enough to step aside,” said Bird in a statement published by the Pacers. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I want everyone to know I left there because it was time for me to move on from the Pacers.
“I had worked with Kevin Pritchard and at that time I felt Kevin was ready to take over and he has proven that. I can’t thank Herb and Mel Simon, along with Pacers Sports & Entertainment, enough for the opportunities to, at first, coach, and then later move into the front office.”
MacMullan also provided a statement to the Pacers that they’ve released.
“About three weeks ago during a discussion on the podcast The Hoop Collective, I misspoke when I expressed my opinion regarding the business practices of the Indiana Pacers, and inferred that Larry Bird had been frustrated during his time as team president,” said MacMullan. “It was a careless remark, based solely on my opinion, and therefore should have never been said. Larry Bird never expressed those feelings to me, and I apologize to both Larry and team owner Herb Simon for poor choice of my words.”