The Pacers were bounced from the Playoffs in the first round of the playoffs by the struggling Toronto Raptors. This led to immediate speculation on the future of the franchise and whether head coach Frank Vogel would be a part of that future.
Larry Bird addressed it after their loss.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Bird told IndyStar, and could not offer a timeline on when a decision will be made. “What I don’t want to do is leave Frank hanging – there’s other jobs out there he could get.”
That statement, along with scheduling a press conference for today, led people to assume Vogel would be let go. Former players such as Danny Granger expressed their support for Frank Vogel.
Please @Pacers DO NOT fire Frank Vogel!!
— Danny Granger (@dgranger33) May 5, 2016
Current Indy superstar Paul George, who’s been engulfed by trade rumors of his own, had this to say last night about Vogel’s future.
“For the most part, what I think is going on in Indiana – and I don’t think you needed to be there or be within the organization to see this – but for a press conference to be called and no one knows what’s going to be discussed, including Frank Vogel, and that’s from the reports I’ve heard, that he doesn’t even know what’s going to be discussed, then obviously I think the writing is on the wall as to what will be discussed,” Granger said. “So I don’t know why they would call a press conference to say we are going to retain a coach.”
An hour ago Bird ended the speculation by announcing that Vogel will not be re-signed as head coach.
— Larra Overton (@LarraOverton) May 5, 2016
This makes the Pacers the latest NBA franchise to throw their hat into the pool of teams without a coach at the helm. They join teams such as Houston, Sacramento and New York as teams now competing for a small pool of head coaching candidates.
This leaves Vogel in a pretty nice situation, considering he’s a man who was just fired, because there’s other teams desperately in need of a coach with playoff experience.
His reputation with his current and formers players shows why he’d be a prime candidate for teams looking to add a few free agent pieces to get over the top. Don’t be surprised to see his name on the top of the list for teams such as Houston and New York.