When the Indiana Pacers dismissed head coach Jim O’Brien midway through the regular season they named assistant coach Frank Vogel as interim head coach. Vogel was able to take the Pacers to the Post Season for the first time in four years and put up quite a battle against the Chicago Bulls before they eventually lost their first round series. Many observers of the Association thought that would earn Vogel the right to have the interim tag taken off him and for him to be named the team’s head coach for the upcoming campaign.
Although that scenario may eventually come to pass the “Associated Press” reported on Tuesday that Vogel is not the only candidate for the job. according to their report Indiana Team President Larry Bird has expressed interest in two former NBA head coaches. Bird would like to talk with former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown as well as recently deposed Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman about possibly being the bench boss of the Pacers for next season.
Brown coached the Cavaliers for five years before he was fired after the 2010 season. He took Cleveland to the Playoffs every year he was there including the team’s only appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007. The Cavaliers were swept in the Championship round by the San Antonio Spurs. Brown also helped the team get the best record during the regular season his last two years on the bench.
Adelman was dismissed by the Rockets after the team failed to make the Playoffs this season. Although the team did finish with more wins than losses despite being racked by injuries throughout the year the team’s brain-trust decided they wanted a new voice in the locker room. Adelman also served as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, the Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers earlier in his career.
Although both Adelman and Brown have proven track records in my opinion Vogel deserves to get the position for what he was able to accomplish during this season. Vogel was especially helpful to center Roy Hibbert who had turned into a target of abuse for O’Brien and took away the player’s self-esteem as well as effecting his play on the court. Vogel was able to give Hibbert back his confidence and allowed him to become a key contributor for the Pacers late in the campaign.
According to the report Bird says that Vogel is the front-runner to become the permanent coach of the Pacers. Bird may just be interested in exploring all his options before committing to his current coach. Vogel proved that he has what it takes to run an NBA team during his time in charge of Indiana. He should get the chance to show what he can do with the club as the coach from the beginning of the season.