Larry Bird signed David West as a free agent, traded for George Hill, removed the interim tag from Frank Vogel and picked up Leandro Barbosa for next to nothing.
And over the longer haul, he finally reaped the rewards of waiting for dead weight to be cleared from the Indiana Pacers’ salary cap, and for drafting Roy Hibbert, Tyler Hansbrough and Paul George in consecutive years.
For this, Bird was honored by his peers Wednesday when he was named the NBA’s Executive of the Year, winning over second-place R.C. Buford, who dealt Hill to Indiana last June for the draft rights to Kawhi Leonard and the NBA rights to Erazem Lorbek (whose prowess has been chronicled on this site).
Bird totaled 88 points and received 12 first-place votes from a panel of his fellow team executives throughout the NBA. Buford finished second with 56 points (eight first-place votes) votes and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Neil Olshey finished third with 55 points (six first-place votes). Executives were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote.
Bird becomes the first person to win MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year.
Here are the full balloting results:
Larry Bird, Indiana 12 8 4 88 R.C. Buford, San Antonio 8 4 4 56 Neil Olshey, L.A. Clippers 6 7 4 55 Gar Forman, Chicago 2 2 - 16 Kevin O’Connor, Utah - 2 4 10 Glen Grunwald, New York - 2 2 8 Pat Riley, Miami 1 - 2 7 Sam Presti, Oklahoma City 1 - - 5 Chris Wallace, Memphis - 1 2 5 David Kahn, Minnesota - 1 1 4 Rod Thorn, Philadelphia - 1 - 3 Dell Demps, New Orleans - 1 - 3 Rick Sund, Atlanta - 1 - 3 Danny Ainge, Boston - - 1 1 John Hammond, Milwaukee - - 1 1 Lon Babby, Phoenix - - 1 1 Mitch Kupchak, L.A. Lakers - - 1 1 Otis Smith, Orlando - - 1 1 Masai Ujiri, Denver - - 1 1