Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren was hired by the Indiana Pacers to be their next head coach on Tuesday. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed.
“We are very pleased and excited to have Nate as our new coach,” Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement. “This was an extensive and thorough search, and when we reached the conclusion, we felt strongly Nate is the right coach for us at the right time. He comes from a winning background, has experienced championship success, is innovative and his communication skills along with his positivity are tremendous. We all look forward to a long, successful partnership in helping the Pacers move forward.”
Bjorkgren said in a statement, “I am honored to take on the role as head coach of the Indiana Pacer. This is something I have prepared for during my career. I want to thank Kevin, Chad (Buchanan), Kelly (Krauskopf), Larry Bird, Donnie Walsh, and Herb and Steve Simon for this opportunity. I also want to thank Nick Nurse for giving me my first professional coaching job 14 years ago.“
Bjorkgren replaces Nate McMillan who was fired after the Pacers got eliminated from the playoffs. McMillan had a 183-136 record with the Pacers including a 3-16 record in the playoffs.
Bjorkgren has been an assistant with the Raptors for the last two seasons. He has won a G league title. In 2019 he won the NBA title with the Raptors, becoming the first assistant coach to win an NBA and G league title.
The Pacers have made the playoffs the last five seasons. However, they have been eliminated from the playoffs in the first round the last two years. Can Bjorkgren continue the Pacers playoff streak and take them further in the playoffs?
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