Indiana Pacers president Kevin Pritchard on Monday declined to commit to head coach Nate Bjorkgren for the 2021-22 season, saying “no decisions have been made.”
Pritchard made the comments during the team’s end-of-season news conference.
The Pacers finished the regular season 34-38 in Bjorkgren’s first season as head coach. The Pacers missed the playoffs after a blowout at the hands of the Washington Wizards in the play-in tournament.
“No decisions have been made,” Pritchard said. “I’m being evaluated. I’m being evaluated every day. (Team owner) Herb (Simon) has to decide if I’m fit for this job and what I need to improve on. Then Nate and I will have a long conversation over many days on what he needs to improve on. He is our coach as of now, and I’ll have a fair discussion with him.”
Reports surfaced throughout the season that Bjorkgren had poor relationships with his players and members within the organization. That came to a head earlier this month when assistant coach Greg Foster and center Goga Bitadze engaged in a tense in-game argument that led to a suspension for Foster and a fine for Bitadze.
Pritchard said he believes Bjorkgren micro-managed the team but added players were not unhappy with the first-year coach in exit interviews.
The Pacers were decimated by injuries from the get-go. T.J. Warren was lost after just four games, Myles Turner missed 24 of the last 25 games, Jeremy Lamb missed the final 18 games, Malcolm Brogdon missed the last 10 of the Pacers’ last 12 games, and Caris LeVert missed 26 games after having surgery to remove a mass from his kidney.
–Field Level Media