All-Star power forward Domantas Sabonis and starting guard Malcolm Brogdon are among those who have not been on the same page with first-year coach Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren, likely playing a role in doubts about Bjorkgren’s future with the franchise, per a report from The Athletic.
Bjorkgren has had issues with both players and members of his coaching staff, creating “turmoil” in the locker room and on the court, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Meanwhile, IndyStar reporter J. Michael noted that Bjorkgren’s “micromanagement” has been an issue with players and assistant coaches all season, seemingly intensifying after the March 25 trade deadline. Michael suggested that should Bjorkgren remain, the staff of assistants will be “overhauled.”
Some players apparently think Bjorkgren’s analytical philosophy doesn’t fit with the team’s personnel, The Athletic added.
Also, Scott Agness of The Field Files cited multiple sources in writing the locker room under Bjorkgren “is quiet and disconnected.”
Bjorkgren took over the Pacers after five years as an NBA assistant, most recently with the Raptors, and owns a championship ring from the 2019 season under Nick Nurse.
The Pacers (30-34) are in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and in the thick of the playoff race despite on-and-off injuries to key players, including Sabonis, Brogdon, Myles Turner and T.J. Warren, just to name a few.
“I have to do more. We have to play harder. We have to coach better. There’s a number of things,” Bjorkgren said after Monday’s loss to the Wizards “We’re all in this together. I’ll tell you that.”