Pacers part with coach Vogel
Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird announced on Thursday that the NBA franchise have parted company with head coach Frank Vogel.
The Pacers made it to the play-offs this season after compiling a 45-37 record, but lost in the first round to the Toronto Raptors in a seven-game series.
Bird had higher goals for Indiana this season, and felt Vogel did not get everything he could out of the team, resulting in the Pacers opting against renewing the 42-year-old's contract.
"It's time for a new voice around here," Bird said. "Sometimes my job really sucks and this is one of the toughest things I've done because the respect I have for Frank.
"I had time to think about it and watch the team throughout the year. I know a lot of you didn't expect us to make the play-offs but obviously I have a lot higher expectations than most people about how our team should play, how far they should go in the play-offs and how hard they should compete every night.
"I just came to the conclusion that I felt is necessary for these guys to hear a new voice."
Bird added that he did not meet with Vogel to discuss his thoughts.
Instead, Bird talked to him on the phone on Thursday and Vogel tried to change his mind, delay the press conference and arrange a meeting so they could talk.
When asked if Vogel came close to changing Bird's mind, the 59-year-old said: "I'd rather not talk about that."
Vogel had a 250-181 (.580) record in six seasons as head coach in Indiana.
He made the play-offs in every season aside from 2014-15 when they lost Paul George in the off-season.
As for the next candidate, Bird says he started putting together a list of candidates around the All-Star break. He did say Kevin McHale will not be a candidate saying, "I respect him too much to work for me."
Vogel later issued a statement through his agent thanking Bird, the Pacers organization and fans.