Frank Vogel denied comments made by Larry Bird that he begged to remain head coach of the Indiana Pacers during the morning before he was let go. Bird made those remarks during his press conference explaining the decision.
“I was OK with that. Larry’s going to speak his mind. A lot of people talked to me about it who didn’t like that and it’s probably an inaccurate perception that I was begging him to stay. … I fully respect Larry and the process. He knew it was going to be an unpopular move but he did what he had to do.
“I felt like we were on the verge of some big things. We stood toe-to-toe with a 56-win team. I told my team after the series that we’re poised …. I felt like I was going to be able to do that with this group. That was my only mention to Larry.”
Vogel said he and Bird shared the same philosophy on how they wanted the Pacers to play.
That’s a misconception about this whole view. Larry and I have been very well aligned all the way through these six years, including the decision to try to play faster and smaller this year,” Vogel said. “This is not something I was resistant to. It’s a style of play I’m going to try to implement with the Orlando Magic. … There was a lot made about Larry vs. Frank and the differences. But throughout the whole process, we were very well aligned.
‘It wasn’t about difference of opinion or difference of philosophy. It was about change.”
Vogel has since been hired as head coach of the Orlando Magic.