Pacers fire coach Isiah Thomas

Updated: August 27, 2003, 4:54 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - Isiah Thomas will not get to work with Larry Bird after all.

After it appeared that Thomas had survived another first-round playoff loss, the Indiana Pacers decided to fire their coach on Wednesday.

The move comes nearly four months after the third-seeded Pacers were upset in the playoffs by the sixth-seeded Boston Celtics and a month-and-a-half after Bird returned to the organization as president of basketball operations.

Bird and Pacers chief executive officer Donnie Walsh will address the media at a 5 p.m. EDT news conference.

Since Bird was hired, speculation swirled that he would not hesitate to hire former Detroit Pistons coach Rick Carlisle if the Pacers got off to a slow start in 2003-04. However, Thomas was not even given a chance to serve out the final year of his contract.

The Pacers lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of Thomas' three seasons.


This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index