Larry Bird: I respect Kevin McHale too much to make him Pacers coach

Anyone wondering if Larry Bird might make his old Boston Celtics teammate Kevin McHale the next coach of the Indiana Pacers, well, you can forget it.

Bird said on Thursday he "would love for him to be my coach," but he respects McHale "too much" to put him in that position.

"I would not do that to Kevin —€” have him work for me. That’s just not fair," Bird told reporters. "I respect the man too much and we’ve been through too many battles together to bring him in here and be my coach.

"I would love for him to be my coach, but it ain’t gonna happen."

If that seemed slightly awkward, it wasn’t the only such example, as Bird was explaining why he let coach Frank Vogel go despite thinking so highly of him.

"You know, sometimes my job really sucks, and this is one of the toughest things I’ve done because of the respect that I have for Frank," Bird said.

The decision sparked some outcry around the league, while FOX Sports’ Michael Pina identified five teams that should hire Vogel tomorrow.