Pacers hire O'Brien as coach

May 31, 2007 at 10:32 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, May 31 (UPI) -- Jim O'Brien, who has made two previous coaching stops in the NBA, was hired Thursday as the new coach of the Indiana Pacers.

"After speaking with him (O'Brien) the last 10 days, we have a vision of where we want this team to go, from how we are going to practice to how we are going to play and the style we're going to play," said Larry Bird, the Pacers' president of basketball operations. "I believe it is very important to have a coach with experience and I feel Jim is the guy who will take us to the next level."

O'Brien had a 139-119 record and two playoff trips during four seasons as coach of the Boston Celtics. He guided Philadelphia for one season -- posting a 43-39 mark.

"I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to be the coach of the Indiana Pacers," said O'Brien, 55. "The tradition of this franchise and the passion that this state has for the game of basketball has been well documented."

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