Indiana Pacers

Pacers fire coach Nate Bjorkgren after 1 season

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana Pacers are in the market for a head coach.

The team announced on Wednesday that they won’t be keeping head coach Nate Bjorkgren around for another season.

“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, and on behalf of the Simon Family and the entire Pacers organization, I want to express my gratitude to Nate for his efforts leading our team.”

In Bjorkgren’s one year as head coach with the organization, he led the team to a 34-38 season, which came to an abrupt end following their 115-142 loss to the Washington Wizards in the play-in tournament. This loss marked the end of the Pacers’ five consecutive playoff appearances streak.

The Pacers’ previous head coach, Nate McMillan, met a fate similar to Bjorkgren’s following a series of disappointing playoff performances. After McMillan’s removal, he was named head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, a team that is currently in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

To some, Bjorkgren’s dismissal comes as no surprise. In early May, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski stated that Bjorkgren had “significant work to do with his relationships among players throughout the team and some members of the organization.”

Prior to joining the Pacers, Bjorkgren was an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors as well as the Phoenix Suns.

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