Jim O'Brien has been fired as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, team president Larry Bird announced on Sunday. Bird confirmed earlier reports of O'Brien's dismissal, explaining he felt a change was needed after the team fell into a slump it couldn't recover from after starting the season 9-7. An 0-4 road trip followed by a loss to the Orlando Magic at home sealed O'Brien's fate.
Bird said it wasn't just the losses that forced his hand, but the way the team lost over its last stretch of games.
"We came home to Orlando, and really, the game was over in the first three minutes," Bird said. "So that's when I really started thinking that we really probably needed to do something. I called Mr. Simon up and he said, 'whatever you want to do' and so, here we are."
Assistant head coach Frank Vogel will take over the head coaching position for the remainder of the year. Vogel has never been a head coach, but has extensive experience as a scout and assistant coach in the NBA.
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