Larry Bird will deliver Indy’s bid to host 2021 All-Star game to NBA offices in an IndyCar

Indianapolis is sending Larry Legend to New York City to deliver its bid to host the 2021 All-Star Weekend. Bird will do so on Monday (Apr. 24), and he’ll do it in style … in a specially themed and retro-fitted IndyCar.

Yes, that’s right. Larry Bird, an Indiana native, the Pacers President of Basketball Operations, and one of the best players of all-time, will be rolling up to the NBA offices — from 55th Street to 51st Street on 5th Avenue — in an IndyCar.

Bird is 60 years old, listed at 6-foot-9, and has back issues stemming from his playing days that required surgery. It’s, in part, why he took a one-year sabbatical from June 2012 to 2013. (He was also wearing a walking boot earlier this year.)

This meaningful delivery has Indy written all over it.

  • City officials going all-in on the bid.
  • An IndyCar from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  • Lucas Oil Stadium expected to be involved.
  • Pacers owner Herb Simon funding the whole thing.

Indy’s pitch to the NBA has been several years in the making.

“We’ve look at (hosting it) from time-to-time. We looked at it pretty seriously a couple of years ago,” Pacers Sports & Entertainment President & COO Rick Fuson said on our Pacers Podcast after All-Star Weekend 2016. “… As we looked down at the schedule … we said, ‘OK, maybe it’d be the right time to do it.'”

A few months later, in April of 2016, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told “The ball is in their court.

“I’ve said it before, Indianapolis was built to host big events and we’d love to come back here for All-Star (Weekend).”

On Jan. 12, over in London for the Global Games, Silver added to the discussion and hinted that it would happen eventually.

“I think Indiana and Indianapolis should be on the top of the list to the extent that he [Simon] is interested in bidding for an All-Star Game. … We are having conversations with the President of the team, Rick Fuson, and [Vice Chairman] Jim Morris, along with Herb and Steve Simon, and I know they are very interested. We’re still talking about some of the logistics in terms of what year and maybe even the possibility of playing in a larger arena.

“All of those things need to be worked through, but I think it’s highly likely that we will return to Indianapolis for an All-Star Game in the near future.”

The Pacers have hosted All-Star Weekend once, back in 1985 at Market Square Arena and the Hoosier Dome. All-Star Weekend 2018 will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Charlotte is the likely host in 2019.

Already, Indianapolis is scheduled to host the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in 2021.

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