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Larry Bird, during his Boston days.An old friend won a big award for his efforts in revitalizing another franchise:
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was voted the NBA's Executive of the Year on Wednesday, becoming the first person to win that award, plus the MVP and Coach of the Year honors. The Pacers went 42-24 and are tied 1-1 with Miami in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Bird's moves to strengthen the team during the offseason included promoting Frank Vogel from interim to head coach and signing starting forward David West.
Bird's connection to Boston is kind of obvious, but remember, too, that Vogel was Boston's one-time video coordinator and the Pacers landed West only after the Celtics' failed attempt to facilitate a preseason deal with New Orleans in exchange for Jermaine O'Neal.
Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge finished with one third-place vote, which landed him in a six-way tie for 14th place. Did Ainge deserve better considering the rash of injuries Boston endured this season and the way the team surged later in the year with help from the likes of Mickael Pietrus, Greg Stiemsma, and Brandon Bass? Sound off in the comments.