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BIRD CONFIRMS PLAN TO COACH ONE MORE YEAR

Larry Bird said he plans to step down as coach of the Indiana Pacers at the end of the 1999-2000 season when his three-year contract expires.

"Do I expect Larry to coach after next season? No," club president Donnie Walsh said of Bird's statement.

Speaking to broadcasters to promote his book, "Bird Watching: On Playing and Coaching the Game I Love," Bird confirmed he had no plans to coach past next season.

"I said that to Donnie when I came in. Three years is enough for a coach in any one place. After the three years I told him I'd probably be done," Bird said in a satellite interview from Naples, Fla., with Indianapolis TV station WTHR.

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