NBA Rumors: Indiana Pacers Firing Frank Vogel

NBA rumors are swirling around Frank Vogel. Despite leading the Indiana Pacers to the playoffs, he’s been rumored as a candidate to be fired. According to ESPN, team president Larry Bird has openly stated that the future is uncertain for Vogel. The Boston Celtics legend has even gone as far as to talk about his current head coach finding work elsewhere in the National Basketball Association. The belief is that the two of them cannot coexist because they share different views on how the Pacers offense should be run.

Frank Vogel has done a pretty good as head coach of the Indiana Pacers. He’s won 250 games, which puts him at second in franchise history. Vogel has also led the Pacers to the NBA Playoffs in five of his six seasons. Indiana has been to the Conference Finals two times during that span, which is pretty impressive. He’s proven that he is worthy of being a head coach in the National Basketball Association.

Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird
Larry Bird [Photo by Kevin C Cox/Getty Images]
Considering his success, it is odd that the Indiana Pacers have yet to discuss a contract extension with Frank Vogel. Most NBA teams like to lock down coaches that can help their teams consistently get to the playoffs. It appears that Larry Bird has very little interest in sitting down with Vogel to discuss a contract extension. He’s already told the media that he doesn’t want to wait to make a decision because he knows that Vogel can find other jobs in the National Basketball Association.

One of the big reasons why Larry Bird doesn’t want to keep Frank Vogel around is because the latter refused to run a high-tempo offensive scheme that the former was rooting for. Bird wanted Paul George to play more minutes at power forward, something that the All Star did not want to do.

Indiana Pacers forward Paul George
Paul George [Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]
Frank Vogel opted to listen to his star player. Since Paul George did not want to play power forward, Vogel played him more minutes at small forward, which is his natural position. Larry Bird felt that the Indiana Pacers could capitalize on small ball because power forwards would have trouble defending George. In the NBA, head coaches want to appease their star players because it earns the trust of other players. Vogel did not want to have a reputation for being a coach that was not player friendly.

Another reason why Frank Vogel opted to go against Larry Bird is because of the development of his big men. Though he was the 11th overall selection in the NBA Draft, very few people expected Myles Turner to develop as quickly as he did. The Indiana Pacers have someone that might become a second star to pair up with Paul George.

Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner
Myles Turner [Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]
Frank Vogel also had a good problem to have in Ian Mahinmi. The 29-year-old center from France finally got his chance to become a starter after spending three years as a backup to Roy Hibbert, who played with the Los Angeles Lakers this past season. Mahinmi was much better than anyone expected, especially on the defensive end of the court. It was hard for Vogel to keep Mahinmi off the court because of his improved play.

Larry Bird has had success in the NBA as a player, head coach, and executive. That means that it’s hard to convince him to change the way he sees the game of basketball. If he really feels that the Indiana Pacers can become a legitimate championship contender by playing small ball, then someone like Frank Vogel doesn’t stand much of a chance at keeping his job. Fortunately for Vogel, he’ll have other options in the National Basketball Association.

[Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]

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