INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Donnie Walsh, the Indiana Pacers team architect who originally took over personnel decisions in 1986, has retired.
Walsh, who will turn 80 next March, served as a consultant to the team for the better part of the last decade.
Walsh’s legacy began with the decision to draft Reggie Miller, a string-bean sharpshooter from UCLA, with the 11th overall pick in 1987.
Together, Walsh, Miller and the Pacers built the best clubs in franchise, halted only by two of the greatest dynasties in NBA history: Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant’s Los Angeles Lakers.
On the news Wednesday, Pacers Owner Herb Simon wrote, “Over my thirty-year relationship with Donnie, I have been amazed to watch him help lead this organization to what it has become. He was certainly the right leader at the right time, and the invaluable wisdom and counsel he has provided over the decades extend well beyond the lines of the basketball court. For that, I owe him an incredible debt of gratitude. While he may be stepping away, Donnie will always be part of the Pacers family and I am personally excited for him as he transitions to his next chapter.”
Pacers fifth-year center Myles Turner shared these words: “The success (Donnie Walsh has) had over the past several years here has been incredible. He’s been able to bring a small market team into contention every year, and a lot of regular season success, and that’s something that just doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger.”
Donnie Walsh, a true Indiana Pacers legend.