When Larry Bird stepped down in May, 2017 as President of Basketball Operations, he didn’t have to look far for his
replacement: across the office where Kevin Pritchard was sitting.
Pritchard, who enters his second season as President of Basketball Operations, took the necessary steps to his
current position. He started as Director of Player Personnel, became General Manager in 2012 and later became
the Pacers’ Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations/General Manager.
“I have the utmost faith in Kevin taking over,” said Pacers’ owner Herb Simon. “He has learned from a couple of
great ones, Donnie Walsh and Larry, while with the Pacers. We all feel he will do a tremendous job.”
“I want to thank Herb, Larry and Donnie (Walsh) for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Pritchard. “As
someone who grew up in Indiana (he was born in Bloomington), I’ve always felt the Pacers’ pride. The goal is
always going to be the same as it has been through Donnie and Larry: to make this a world-class organization.”
It was Bird who originally brought Pritchard to the Pacers and he added, “I’m very happy Kevin is stepping in and
glad another Hoosier is in line to take over this job. He has a lot of experience from the past five years as a GM
and he’s ready to step into a leading role. With us, he has had his own ideas on the draft, players, and now he gets
an opportunity to push his basketball abilities to the forefront. His role will be no different than mine was. He will
make all final decisions on all basketball-related matters. There can only be one voice and it will be his.”
His voice has been heard the last two summers. In 2017, Pritchard acquired Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis
from Oklahoma City for Paul George, then signed free agents Bojan Bogdanovich and Darren Collison and acquired
Cory Joseph in a trade. What transpired in the 2017-18 season was a team that surprised the NBA as the Pacers
were 48-34 and the No. 5 seed in the East after nearly all preseason predictions had the Pacers winning around
30 games and being in the NBA Lottery. All five players previously mentioned made huge contributions to the
team’s success with Oladipo earning the NBA’s Most Improved Award and making the All-NBA Third Team. As a
result, Pritchard finished third in NBA Executive of the Year voting. Then in the summer of 2018, he earned praise
for the signing of free agents Doug McDermott, Tyreke Evans and Kyle O’Quinn.
Prior to coming to the Pacers, Pritchard was the general manager of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2007-10 where
he was instrumental in landing 2007 Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy and 2007 first team, All-Rookie member
LaMarcus Aldridge. In his time with the Trail Blazers, Pritchard helped turn around a team that eventually posted
its sixth-best record (54-28) in franchise history in 2008-09, a year that marked Portland’s return to the playoffs
for the first time in six seasons.
The 51-year-old Pritchard was born in Bloomington, Ind., and played collegiately at Kansas where he was a
member of the Jayhawks’ 1988 National Championship team. He played in the NBA with Golden State (drafted
in the second round, 34th overall, by the Warriors), Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and Washington. He also played
internationally in Italy, Spain and Germany.
After his playing career, Pritchard was the coach/general manager of the Kansas City Knights of the ABA, winning
a championship in 2002. He has scouted for the San Antonio Spurs and became the Blazers’ Director of Player
Personnel in 2004. In the 2004-05 season, he served as the Blazers’ interim coach for 27 games, then in 2006
became Portland’s assistant general manager before taking over the GM position in 2007.
“Coming to Indiana has been a great opportunity,” said Pritchard. “To be able to work with someone like Donnie
Walsh, whose record with the Pacers and Knicks speaks for itself, and to continue to build on what Larry (Bird)
has done here and to work with him again was a great honor.”
Kevin has one son, K.J., a daughter, Kendall and a granddaughter, Ava.
PRESIDENT OF BASKETBALL OPERATIONS
WE GROW BASKETBALL HERE INDIANA PACERS 2018-1 9 YEARBOOK