No one is surprised about this one, nor should they be, considering it was a foregone conclusion. Sources claim that the Indiana Pacers will announce Frank Vogel as their next full time head coach, removing the ‘interim’ from his current title. It will be a 3 year contract (relatively cheap, I assume, considering even Larry Legend took a paycut) with the 3rd being a team option, and apparently there will be incentives involved.
Rumblings on forums suggest that the Pacers did Vogel and themselves a disservice for taking this long to give the job the Frank, which they felt he deserved to get immediately after taking the Pacers to the playoffs for the first time in 5 years, finishing the regular season with a 20-18 record and pushing the top seeded Chicago Bulls to 5 games, with the first 4 being super competitive.
I don’t necessarily agree. Sure, Frank did do a good job, but with the lockout looming (and now a reality), what was the rush? The last thing the Pacers should have done was rush out and sign a head coach with only 43 games of NBA coaching experience. It wasn’t as though Frank was perfect either. The Pacers still had lapses on numerous occasions and there were rumors that he was too lax with the players in practice. And as is the case with young, rookie coaches (Vogel is the youngest in the NBA at 38), you just never know how the team will perform after the initial excitement wears off. If say a Jerry Sloan was to put his hand up for the job, the Pacers would have been foolish to not consider it.
In any case, I think they ultimately made the right choice. Frank deserves the opportunity, and with Brian Shaw as his assistant, they have a stellar backup even if Frank flutters and fails.
The bigger question remains: will Frank even get to coach a game next season if this lockout continues?