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Report: Mark Jackson rumored as replacement candidate if Pacers part ways with Frank Vogel

May 31, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT

Frank Vogel named head coach of Indiana Pacers Frank Vogel named head coach of Indiana Pacers

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel had plenty to deal with during a second half slide that saw his team stumble to the finish line, but he overcame the disappearance of Roy Hibbert, the antics of Lance Stephenson, and a midseason locker room shakeup to somehow manage to guide this team to within two wins of reaching the NBA Finals.

It was far from a pretty end to a season where Indiana had the best record in the East and had extremely high expectations. But Vogel’s done a fantastic job under the circumstances.

Still, rumblings persist that he may have been coaching for his job during the Eastern Conference Finals. While it would seem short-sighted to blow out a coach with Vogel’s apparent talent, if the Pacers do decide to do so, there may already be a logical replacement in line.

From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

Yet there’s no escaping the fact that Vogel was awarded his current extension — which runs through the 2015-16 season — when team president Larry Bird was on a one-year hiatus. The fact Bird openly questioned Vogel’s player-friendly approach during the regular season has only added volume to suggestions that Vogel’s seat is warming.

And there’s more.

The whispers have already started in Indy about Bird turning to his old point guard, Mark Jackson, to take over. Jackson and Reggie Miller were the leaders when Bird was the Pacers’ coach … and Bird isn’t the only big fan in the organization of the man Golden State just ousted. Fellow Pacers exec Donnie Walsh is another huge admirer who has long maintained privately that he wouldn’t consider Jackson for the Indy job unless he had coached somewhere else first.

Vogel brought up a very good point during his press conference following the Game 6 loss.

“It’s bitterly disappointing to fall short of our goals, and it’s bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row,” Vogel said. “But we’re competing against the Michael Jordan of our era, the Chicago Bulls of our era, and you have to tip your hats to them for the way they played this whole series. And you just have to go into the offseason with the mindset that we’re going to reload, and we have a core, a system, a culture that’s going to give us a chance every year.”

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra discussed just how ridiculous the volatility of the head coaching position in the NBA has become.

“If there is speculation about that, that’s ridiculous, and that’s the sad state of our profession,” Spoelstra said. “There were 13 job openings last year, and now it’s reaching almost double digits again this year. It’s absurd.

“They weren’t anybody before that,” Spoelstra continued. “They’ve gotten better every single year. This year was probably the year they’ve had to deal with the most adversity, and they came out of it — every time you’re about to count them out, they would have a jump and prove you wrong. So hopefully, from a coaching standpoint, that that’s not the case.”

There will definitely be changes in Indiana this offseason. No matter what happens with the Heat, this Pacers team as currently constructed simply hasn’t been able to get over the hump for three straight seasons. Vogel should be safe, but we’ve seen solid head coaches replaced in the past. And Jackson’s prior relationship with Bird might make it more tempting than it should be to do so this time.

  1. deadeyedesign23 - May 31, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Isn’t dealing with “the disappearance of Roy Hibbert and the antics of Lance Stephenson” the job of a coach?

  2. mnsadsportsfan - May 31, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    This is so not on Frank Vogel. This group of misfits are nothing more than cowardly lions the whole damn bunch!

    • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      JKirby’s head just exploded. Dude: I feel for ya. The Pacers just aren’t a great team, yet. At least they’re not a team for losers like New Yawk.

      • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 2:44 PM

        Thumbed myself down. Feel bad for Indiana and their fans. Not even a Heat fan. I’m a fan of those loser Knicks but at least I don’t reside in that loser state.

  3. imakcds - May 31, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    this team self destructed after the all star break, and it was quite surprising they made it to the ECF.
    Vogel should be gone, a coach doesn’t allow the team to fracture like this one did.

    • nycalldayz - May 31, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      @imakcds

      Agree, but that’s a reflection on how poor the east was. At the time Raptors, Nets, Bulls, Wizards were struggling. Those teams eventually got better, but Pacers and Heat were so far ahead in the standings to catch up. And though I think Vogel should get some blame the players need to take responsibility too.

  4. cruzan80 - May 31, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Like I just said in a previous post…Vogel will be looking for work a week from today.

    I think Mark Jackson would be the perfect fit for a laundry list of reasons. Hardnosed, great leader, familiarity with the city & organization. He’ll light the fire under guys like Paul George & Roy Hibbert who look too often like they’re just not into it.

    Vogel will get work quick…the “Zen Master” is probably paying very close attention to this one.

    • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Agreed.

      • sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 5:36 PM

        jimmer

        not a good decision to agree with that…

        Vogel will coach the Pacers next year

    • loubearkane - May 31, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      Mark Jackson serves as the full time pastor of True Love Worship Center International in Van Nuys, Calif. I believe this was an issue in G.S. If he can semi-retire from being the full time pastor he is someone who can reign in Lance Stephenson. He would need a hell of a coaching staff to pull it off.

      • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        Thanks for the info. I have not seen that mentioned on any article dealing with this issue. I think, like you, that he’s got to semi-retire from the religious thing but can still go to bed with the Bible under his pillow. I like Mark Jackson and am not belittling him or religion.

    • sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      no cruz

      Vogel will still be coaching the Pacers then…

    • papichulo55 - May 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Need to wait until after the Finals. If Coach Popovich and the Spurs cannot challenge the Heat, it would be a mistake to fire Vogel. A convincing championship season by the Heat (no Elimination Games), will establish them as this generations version of ‘MJ and The Bulls’. And we all know that there was no medicine for what ailed those Jazz, Knicks, Pacers,… teams.

      The Pacers, like everybody elseJ, will simply wait for age and or boredom to takes its toll.

    • sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 5:35 PM

      cruzan

      like you just said… Vogel is.. wait, what’s that? a new report out since you wrote this..

      Vogel is still the Pacers coach… and will coach them next season…

      what’s your next prediction?

  5. nycalldayz - May 31, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Here we go. Just ridiculous.

  6. ProBasketballPundit - May 31, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Mark Jackson might be a great fit. Vogel’s main weaknesses seem to be team chemistry, inspiration, and lack of offensive system. Mark Jackson’s Warriors teams always played together beautifully, they fought very hard for him in tough games/series, and the offense would probably improve simply from the amount of ball movement he’d demand from them. Mark’s weakness seemed to be that he refused to play with any pace despite the talent that Warriors team had for running & gunning. Wouldn’t be an issue with Indiana. Hmm.

  7. lgwelsh1 - May 31, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Vogel spoke the truth in the press conference last night, you can tell he was having difficulty saying it, but everyone who saw the game last night, knew that Indiana has a long way to go.

    • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      The two time defending champs and the greatest player in the world had something to do with that. The Pacers are a good team, not a great one. At least they don’t suck sphincter probes like the Knicks and Cantonpeabrain!

    • nycalldayz - May 31, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      The Pacers roster needs to be revamped. It wasn’t so much about Miami being vastly better, but the Pacers being inferior against the Heat. The Heat are older and slower than the last 2 seasons, but having Lebron covers up the flaws.

      • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        You know you’re right about the vastly better. I’ve never seen a club play so far below their potential as the Pacers. But I think the Heat, because of all the hate, are actually underrated as a two time champion. By the way I love New Yawk and am just messing with that loser Cantonpeabrain. It’s too bad NY’s not the mecca of basketball like it was, once.

  8. loubearkane - May 31, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    What can Indiana really do to change up the roster? Trade Hibbert to Milwaukee for Larry Sanders then have Sanders & Lance have lockers next to each other.

  9. thekingdave - May 31, 2014 at 1:01 PM

    Fire Vogel because his player friendly approach doesn’t work but hire Jackson because his player friendly approach does work? If you say so.

  10. asimonetti88 - May 31, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    If Vogel is fired, the Lakers better be on his agent within minutes! Geez, that would be a huge mistake by Indiana! This is a very good team that was made better by Vogel.

    • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      Lakers, like their arch rival Celtics, need a lot more than a coach to move ahead of the Warriors, Clippers, and once again the Trailblazers to be the premier west coast club. At least the Lakers are better than the Kings (?). Have a great day asimonetti88!

    • sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Bird won’t let Vogle go…

  11. realfootballfan - May 31, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    It seems like a logical fit.

  12. provguard - May 31, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    The GM does nothing about the Stephenson to Vogel and expects the team to win??? Get rid of the GM and don’t bring in the turmoil with Jackson. Let Jackson go to the Knicks and destroy them even further…

  13. mcsuave - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Jackson would seem to be excellent fit. Loved in Indiana as a former player and has great motivational skills. Players will put out for him. Vogel is a great xxxs and ooos coach, but can not motivate players as in years past.

  14. 1rawdawg - Jun 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    It is time for Vogel to go!! While the players do share some responsibility in this, it is the coach who ultimately must shoulder the blame. That being said, Hibbert has been a GREAT disappointment and should be gone as well. His inconsistent play should not be tolerated any longer. Indiana also needs an upgrade at the point guard slot. George Hill is not going to get it done. He would be good coming off the bench, but not a starter. Finally, Paul George must also play like an All-Star every game!!

  15. sandersmarcus10 - Jun 2, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Samething i said about OKC, what Offense do they run, they look lost, get Rondo to run the show to get guys shots

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