The “Indianapolis Star” reported on Thursday that Indiana Pacers interim head coach Frank Vogel would not be attending the team’s work-out session for players the club may be interested in selecting next month in the 2011 NBA Draft. Team President Larry Bird has still not decided if Vogel is the right man to lead the Pacers next season so he did not feel it would be appropriate for the coach to be present at the session. Bird told reporters “I’m talking to some people and I’m talking to (Vogel). When these guys (the prospects) come in, I don’t want them to think he’s going to be the coach.”
Although I believe that Vogel earned the right to be the team’s head coach on a permanent basis with his performance during the recently concluded season; one could understand Bird’s hesitancy to give him the job until Wednesday. The Pacers President had interest in former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown who was a former assistant coach for Indiana. Brown is a bright young coach with huge upside who did a stellar job during his time in Cleveland.
Brown however was named the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday taking him off the market. That should have removed the last barrier keeping Vogel from becoming the permanent bench boss for Indiana but for what ever reason Bird still wants to explore his options. Other candidates for the position that have been mentioned include former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman and Dallas Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey.
Vogel was able to turn around the Pacers this past season after replacing former coach Jim O’Brien. He helped them make the Playoffs for the first time in years and the club would give the Chicago Bulls a tough time in the first round before they were eliminated.Vogel earned the right to be running the team next season and hopefully for Pacers fans he will be on the bench in October.