Isiah Thomas recalls the brutal response he got from Larry Bird when he fired him as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers

Isiah Thomas recalls the brutal response he got from Larry Bird when he fired him as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers

Isiah Thomas recently got a lot of media attention for criticizing Michael Jordan because of his portrayal in The Last Dance documentary saying their beef will go on for a long time if Jordan doesn’t apologize to Thomas. However, in the same interview where he openly criticized Jordan, Thomas also shared a story about how Larry Bird fired him as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers back in 2003.

Thomas thought he and Bird would make a great team together

After his playing career was over, Thomas served in several coaching and executive roles, one of which was as the Pacers‘ head coach after they made it to the NBA Finals in 2000, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. Unfortunately, during his tenure as their head coach, the Pacers couldn’t repeat the same success and were constantly out of the playoffs after the first round, and by that time, it was evident his future with the Pacers was at risk.

Bird was the head coach of the Pacers before Thomas took over, and after taking a break, he came back and served as a President of Basketball Operations. Thomas recalled their encounter at his office one day and how he was trying to convince Bird to give him another chance after unsuccessful trips into the playoffs, saying he and Bird could make a great team that would finally bring success to the Pacers franchise.

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