Indiana Pacers team president Larry Bird made it official today, removing the “interim” tag from head coach Frank Vogel’s name plate. Today’s news conference comes as no real surprise, although it has taken the Pacers two months to arrive at this point.
The Pacers never really considered anyone else but Vogel. Though he lacks any previous head coaching experience, his leading of the Pacers into the playoffs this past season and the team’s response to him made the choice an easy one for Bird. The delay was in finding a suitable assistant for Vogel, one who brought some experience to the table. Ultimately, the Pacers settled on Brian Shaw, a former player and assistant for the Lakers. Shaw brings a player’s perspective to the role as well as a tremendous amount of respect league-wide. In fact, some were surprised he wasn’t named Phil Jackson’s successor in Los Angeles, a job that went to former Cavs coach, Mike Brown.
Vogel won’t have much to do immediately as the NBA lockout prohibits any team workouts or activities. Knowing Vogel’s work ethic, however, I’m sure he’ll be in his office at Conseco Fieldhouse breaking down film… and maybe polishing his new nameplate, the one with simply “Head Coach” engraved.