Larry Bird is Named NBA Coach of the Year

May 12, 1998 Named NBA Coach of the Year, having led the Pacers to a 58-24 record, the best in franchise history.

He is the fourth first-year coach to win the honor, joining Harry Gallatin (1962-63), Johnny Kerr ('66-67) and Mike Schuler ('86-87).

He was named the NBA Coach of the Year for his efforts, becoming the only person in NBA history to have won both the MVP and Coach of the Year awards. He then led the Pacers to two consecutive Central Division titles in 1999 and 2000, and a berth in the NBA finals in 2000.

Meanwhile, Larry kept his ties to the NBA, building a highly successful second career. He first worked for the Celtics as a front office special assistant from 1992 till 1997, then accepted the position of head coach with his home-state NBA team, the Indiana Pacers. Under his leadership, despite his lack of previous coaching experience, the Pacers were Eastern Conference runners up in 1998 and 1999, and won the Eastern Conference crown in 2000. For his outstanding efforts, Larry was named the NBA Coach of the Year for the 1998 season.

He began a new basketball career as the coach of the Indiana Pacers at the start of the 1997-1998 season, and he was named the NBA Coach of the Year for that season. He led the team to three straight Eastern Conference finals appearances and one trip to the NBA Finals in 2000.