After the Pacers were run out of the gym to end their season once again in Miami, Frank Vogel expressed his disappointment while doing his best to stick up for his team which far too often rolled over on him throughout what turned into a strange end to the season.
"You have to go into the offseason with the mindset that we're going to reload," Vogel said after losing in Miami. "We have a core, a system, a culture that's going to give us a chance every year. We've got to make whatever adjustments we have to make to come back and be here again next year."
Those weren't the words of a coach with any concerns for his job security. Not long after the dust settled from the Game 6 loss, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Pacers plan to keep Vogel around. Woj's report mentions the Pacers never considered getting rid of Vogel despite reports to the contrary as the Pacers struggled through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The Pacers need to make some deft changes this offseason to improve and in my mind, coaching was definitely an option on the table. Vogel deserved much better then get received from his players this year, but in a players' league that often leads to a new voice.
By keeping Vogel, Larry Bird and the front office are putting the onus on the players for their uneven close to the season. So obviously, that's where the changes will come as we begin delving into what this team will look like to begin next season.
Lance? Hibbert? GHill? Everyone on the bench? Roles, responsibilities and addresses may all be altered which should make for an interesting summer.
The vote of confidence in Vogel should strengthen his voice, and if not, getting through next season will be a challenge. When he was coaching, Larry Bird once said, a coach has a three year shelf life before players need a new voice. As team president, Bird hasn't acted on that belief with either Jim O'Brien nor Frank Vogel.
I guess it is time to take that comment for what it was: a thoughtful excuse to step away from the sideline as the coach.
Bird and Vogel will meet the media to wrap up the season at 11am ET on Monday morning which you can watch here.
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