Indiana Pacers quick to fire coach Nate Bjorkgren after one disastrous season

Expected to bring the Indiana Pacers into the "modern" era of coaching, Nate Bjorkgren had the plug pulled after his first year on the job.

The Pacers announced Wednesday that Bjorkgren would not be retained as the team's head coach.

“The 2020-21 season was not what any of us hoped or anticipated it would be, and our results on the court certainly did not meet the standards for what our organization and our fans have come to expect,” Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “We have determined this is the right time to move in a different direction.”

Bjorkgren went 34-38 in his only season as a head coach, hired from the Toronto Raptors where he had been an assistant under Nick Nurse and won the 2019 NBA championship. The Pacers won their first game in the NBA play-in tournament over Charlotte, but were blitzed by Washington, 142-115, failing to make the playoffs. 

While injuries certainly contributed to the Pacers limping to the finish line, they were underperforming long before Myles Turner was lost for the last 19 games with turf toe on his right foot, Jeremy Lamb's surgically repaired left leg cost him the last 17 games and Malcolm Brogdon's right hamstring soreness kept him on the shelf for the final 10.

Who's next?: Possible Pacers coaching candidates to replace fired Nate Bjorkgren


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