There has been a lot of support expressed for the job Frank Vogel did coaching the Indiana Pacers this year. Recently for example, I've heard Slick Leonard, Michael Wilbon and Adrian Wojnarowski, to name a few, all call for the Pacers to scrub the interim tag and hire Vogel as the head man next year.
Bob Kravitz also offered his support for Vogel, but raised a point that adds reticence to his gut feeling.
That said, I've been struck by how nobody on this team, on or off the record, has said, "Absolutely, positively, Frank should get the job." The furthest anybody will go is, "Yes, he's done a very good job."
Well, Lacy J. Banks found several players pulling no punches with their support for retaining Vogel as their coach.
"We want that ‘interim' taken off his title," said forward Danny Granger, the team's leading scorer. "Management usually asks for the players' input on important decisions like this," Granger said. "I expect [team president Larry Bird] to do so again. If he gives us who we want, he'll make Vogel the full-time head coach - not interim. Vogel really improved our play overall. Of course, that's a decision that management makes. And they don't always make it the way the players want."
Tyler Hansbrough and Roy Hibbert were also quoted in the article which is no surprise since no two players suffered more under Jim O'Brien. Larry Bird didn't commit to anything in his recent comments which makes sense considering he himself needs to officially return before interviewing other coaching candidates and making a final decision on Vogel.
I still think Vogel will be the top choice pending the dust settling on the season and Bird working things out with Herb Simon. Vogel is just a good fit right now. He has the players support, won't create a big change for the young players (another new coach would be Darren Collison's fifth coach in two years), and will be a cost-efficient hire for the team's bottom line.