Originally created 01/19/98

Bird will pass on All-Star game, if asked



BOSTON -- Indiana Pacers coach Larry Bird, who was selected to 12 All-Star games as a player, said Sunday he would not go back as a coach this year.

"I'll be in Florida when they're playing that game. I've already got my plans, they were made back in October, and I have no desire to coach the All-Star game," Bird said. "I have no desire to ever go to an All-Star game again."

The Pacers had the best record in the Eastern Conference heading into Sunday's games.

The coaches whose teams have the best records a week before the game are entitled to coach their respective conferences at the NBA All-Star game. This year's game is Feb. 8 in New York.

Bird said that if commissioner David Stern calls, "He won't get a hold of me."

NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre said the league wouldn't respond to Bird's comments because they are "speculative."