Frank Vogel might have stiff competition in the race for Coach of the Year, as a number of old favorites and first-year pacers of the sideline have been spurring their teams on to greatness, but he has no worries about one honor.
According to Sean Highkin of USA Today, Vogel, representing the Indiana Pacers, will officially be coaching the Eastern Conference All-Stars:
With tonight’s win over Sacramento, the Pacers clinched the best record in the east through Feb. 2. Frank Vogel will coach East All-Stars.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 15, 2014
With a resounding 116-92 victory over the Sacramento Kings, the Pacers moved to 30-7 on the season, giving them a three-game lead over the Miami Heat for first place in the weak East. And by doing so, they helped Vogel clinch the honor of calling the shots for LeBron James, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and all of the other standouts who earn invites to New Orleans.
Erik Spoelstra was ineligible, as he coached the east last year. Gregg Popovich is also ineligible.— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 15, 2014
Erik Spoelstra coached the squad last year, so he's ineligible. And it's not like he's going to have to worry about anyone else, as the 19-17 Toronto Raptors lead the rest of the pack and are more than 10 games behind Indiana.
The Pacers coach didn't have much to say about himself after the game with Sacramento, but he did praise his team:
Frank Vogel on being an All-Star coach: “This is a recognition of our team's success. … It’s a team honor, and I’m really excited about it.”— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) January 15, 2014
And it's a team that has been quite successful since he took over. As the official release from NBA.com pointed out, "Vogel owns a 141-81 (.635) career record as Pacers coach."
There's no doubt that's an impressive mark, but it remains to be seen whether he'll be 1-0 or 0-1 while in charge of the All-Star squad. Given the strengths of the NBA's two conferences, he might have his work cut out for him.