Jun 9, 2011, 8:28 PM EST
The Indiana Pacers have made significant progress toward deciding to make interim Frank Vogel the permanent head coach while working to strengthen his grip on the locker room, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
No final decision has been reached, but sources said most of the hurdles have been cleared for Vogel to be offered a multi-year contract in the near future.
Bird and Vogel have met several times in recent weeks, and have targeted several assistant coaches – including Terry Porter and J.B. Bickerstaff – that the Pacers would like to surround Vogel.
Indiana hasn’t completely ruled out waiting longer and meeting with outside candidates, but management and Vogel have been increasingly in agreement on how to proceed forward together. Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has urged Bird – a close friend of his – to consider assistant coach Dwane Casey, but that appears a more unlikely route.
From an outside perspective, Vogel certainly seemed to earn the Pacers’ job in earnest when he turned around Indiana’s regular season, got them into the playoffs, and refused to go quietly against the 62-win Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. According to Wojnarowski, however, the Pacers’ front office does have some concerns about how much respect Vogel commands from his players, which they hope to allay by surrounding Vogel with some experienced assistant coaches this off-season.
- David Stern issues statement on passing of Nelson Mandela, players take to twitter 3
- Kobe Bryant sounds close to return, will not offer specific date 3
- Knicks and Nets might not remain so mockable for long, so enjoy it while you can 13
- Derrick Rose to those doubting his return: “You can be a fool if you want to” 11
- You knew this was coming: Carmelo Anthony denies report he has decided to leave Knicks 26
- LeBron says Wade is “getting that Kobe deal” in next contract. Should he? (64)
- The Extra Pass: Our awards at the quarter pole, plus Monday recaps (42)
- Michael Beasley finding a role, groove in Miami (41)
- Kobe Bryant dunks, looks good in Lakers practice; Friday return possible (38)
- Report: Kenyon Martin, Metta World Peace had “heated” argument (35)