The Indiana Pacers have decided not to renew head coach Frank Vogel’s contract for next season,
“Decided it’s time for a new voice around here,” Pacers president Larry Bird said Thursday at a press conference. “Sometimes my job really sucks. I had time to think about it and watch the team throughout the year. I had higher expectations than most people on how our team should play. I came to a conclusion it’s time for these guys to hear a new voice. Made a decision not to renew [Vogel’s pact].”
Vogel, the winningest coach the Pacers’ NBA history, compiled a 250-181 regular-season record in six years with the team.
But he was only 31-30 in the playoffs, including losing to the Raptors in Game 7 of their first round playoff series this year.
Bird said he wanted the team to be more uptempo.
“It’s no secret — I want us to score more points,” Bird said to the IndyStar after the Pacers lost to the Raptors 89-84 in Game 7. “If you’d told me we’d score 84 points … You can’t go very far in the playoffs if you don’t score. When I tell people this, it’s not because I think I know it all — it’s because I experienced it as a player.”
Vogel said that he enjoyed his time with the team.
“During my time with the Pacers, we made a lot of positive memories and none of that would have been possible without the support of Larry, the front office and all of the players I had the opportunity to coach,” Vogel said via a statement. “We consistently battled through thick and thin, and that is something that I am very proud of.”
Names surfacing to replace Vogel include Mark Jackson, Randy Wittman, Brian Shaw, Mike D’Antoni, and Nate McMillan.
As for where Vogel may land, Knicks fans are begging triangle-obsessed president Phil Jackson to interview the defensive-minded former Pacers coach.
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