Indiana Pacers President Larry Bird announced in an end-of-season press conference Thursday morning that the Indiana Pacers will not renew the contract of head coach Frank Vogel.
The Indiana Pacers will be without Frank Vogel next season, as Larry Bird addressed the media on Thursday and announced that he will not renew Vogel’s contract for the upcoming season.
The move comes as a big surprise to many, as Vogel helped lead the Pacers to a 45-37 record as the Eastern Conference’s 7th-seeded team. Despite being seeded so low, the Pacers took the 2nd-seed Toronto Raptors to seven games in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
Vogel’s resume includes a 250-81 regular season record, two-straight Eastern Conference Finals trips and a 31-30 playoff record since taking over the team as the head coach in 2011.
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Looking at Bird’s side of the decision to not renew Vogel’s contract, the Pacers have never really been a productive offensive team under Vogel. They ranked 17th in the league in offense, averaging 102.2-points-per-game.
Perhaps one of Vogel’s biggest screw ups came during game five of the first round against the Raptors, when the Pacers gave up a 17-point lead after being outscored 25-to-9 in the fourth quarter, ultimately losing the game by three points. Vogel decided to not start the fourth quarter with either Paul George, George Hill or Monta Ellis which could be debated to be as to why the Pacers give away such a big lead.
Looking in on the pro-Vogel side, Vogel was a defensive-minded coach who turned the Pacers into a stingy defensive team that ranked seventh in the league this past season, allowing 100.5 points-per-game.
Looking at last year when the Pacers were without Paul George for the majority of the season ad missed the playoffs, Vogel still had the Pacers in the top-10 in the NBA in defense at 3rd-overall and tied with the San Antonio Spurs, allowing opponents to score just 97.0 points-per-game.
So now begins the search for the Pacer’s next head coach for the 2016-17 season. Some notable candidates that are still looking for jobs include the likes of George Karl, David Blatt, Jeff Hornacek and Mark Jackson. While Kevin McHale remains on the market, Bird stated Thursday that McHale won’t be a candidate for the Pacers now-vacant head coaching position.
Whatever unravels between now and the remainder of the season in terms of the team’s search for a new coach, Bird had just better hope that he made the right choice in letting Vogel walk.