Former Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle is an NBA Champion. Former Pacer Mark Jackson is a Warrior. Former Pacers assistant coach Mike Brown is a Laker. Reported 2011-12 Pacers head coach candidate Dwane Casey is a Raptor. Kevin McHale is a Rocket. Lawrence Frank “blew away” the Pistons.
And yet Frank Vogel doesn’t know who his employer will be next year.
Rumored Indiana coaching candidates Rick Adelman and Chuck Person remain available (though the Rifleman is looking elsewhere for a lateral move), but based upon everything we have heard from Mike Wells of the Indy Star and others, it seems as though Vogel will return the Pacers bench next season. The only hurdle to that becoming reality — that we have heard publicly — has been management’s insistence upon Vogel to rounding up an expert staff of assistants for offset his inexperience.
Wells has been reporting this fact frequently, most recently in a Q&A he did for the Star.
Bird’s waiting for Vogel to line up his coaching staff. Bird’s more worried about who the lead assistant will be. He wants somebody who has a lot of NBA experience to help Vogel out coaching wise and in the locker room.
There’s a possibility that the coaching situation could be resolved sometime soon because owner Herb Simon returned to Indianapolis this week and will likely be here through the draft.
Not many people thought the Pacers would still be waiting to name a coach in the second week of June.
On the one hand, it is nice that the Pacers have had the luxury of thoroughly assessing everything surrounding this decision. Bird has long talked about how the opportunity to have so many franchise-renewing decisions this summer — on management, coaching, the draft and free agency — has been three years in the making. Obviously, you don’t want to squander that opportunity. So deliberation and diligence are good things. Perhaps the position still remains vacant because Bird was hoping to get a chance to talk to the one guy he was considering who had so far been unavailable for an interview (Mavs assistant coach Dwane Casey)? Or not. Who knows? If so, it’s moot now because Casey will be head coaching in Toronto.
But on the other hand, it is a little disconcerting that the team has felt so comfortable with the fact that no other team would hire Vogel that they can just sit on their hands this long. What does that say about Frank? Or even if they didn’t think no team would hire Vogel, they at least haven’t seemed particularly concerned with losing out on the chance to get him back on the sidelines.
Or perhaps they are waiting until after the draft to make a decision? Or until after the lockout? I’m not sure why either would be particularly beneficial unless there are fiscal realities that fly over my head. Could be. I’m not that smart.
But at this point, of course Vogel is still the frontrunner.
No one else is left.