Bird intends to be patient with young Pacers rather than planning major offseason overhaul

The Associated Press

Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel speaks during a news conference following Game 6 in the NBA basketball playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Friday, May 30, 2014, in Miami. The Miami Heat defeated the Pacers 117-92 to advance to the NBA finals. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Associated Press + More

By MICHAEL MAROT, AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Larry Bird made one thing clear — the Pacers don't need a major overhaul.

He wants Lance Stephenson back. He thinks Indiana still can win an NBA title with an old-school offense and a tenacious defense. And he said Monday that he never considered dumping coach Frank Vogel or his assistants.

Bird intends to essentially stay the course, hoping his young team will mature into one that can dethrone the Heat in the East and win an NBA title.

In his first public comments since the Pacers were eliminated Friday, Bird acknowledged he was "disappointed" that Stephenson's antics detracted from the Pacers' playoff run. He also said he told Vogel and his staff during the first-round series against Atlanta that everybody on the coaching staff would return next season.

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