Kevin Pritchard Reportedly Will Remain Pacers President After Meeting with Team Gov.May 27, 2021
Kevin Pritchard's job as the Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations is safe this offseason, according to the Indianapolis Star's J. Michael.
Michael reported Pritchard met with team governor Herb Simon, after which Simon decided to retain the services of the 53-year-old for another season. Michael added Pritchard "wasn’t ever in jeopardy."
Since joining Indiana's front office in 2011, Pritchard has generally done well to assemble a strong roster while dealing with the difficulties of working in a non-marquee market. And while the Pacers failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015, that wasn't really a failure of team-building.
T.J. Warren appeared in just four games, and the trio of Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner missed a combined 51 games.
The franchise also came out pretty well from trading away Victor Oladipo, only to then see Caris LeVert require surgery after the team physical turned up a mass on his kidney.
Simply qualifying for the play-in tournament at 34-38 was a bit of an achievement given what the Pacers went through.
Pritchard does, however, have to answer for the process that resulted in Nate Bjorkgren's arrival.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic's Shams Charania and Sam Amick both reported Bjorkgren appeared to be on shaky ground only one year into the job. Sabonis and Brogdon were mentioned as having "voiced their dissatisfaction with Bjorkgren and their general unhappiness amid a down season."
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report dug deeper to examine how Bjorkgren was brought aboard in the first place:
"'They didn't do their background on who [Bjorkgren] was or how he treated people,' said one person close to the coaching search. 'They just talked hoops with him.'
"It seems that missing intel foreshadowed the very interpersonal issues that have since risen in Indiana.
"'When he was hired I was surprised, because he's not the easiest to work with just on anything,' said one of Bjorkgren's former G League players. 'He's kind of stubborn, won't listen, even though it might be good conversation. He's a micromanager and he's not for everyone.'"
Warren, who had played under Bjorkgren while with the Phoenix Suns, reportedly requested a trade once he heard the 45-year-old was succeeding Nate McMillan.
Pritchard didn't commit to Bjorkgren staying on as head coach, so the Pacers could be making their second change in as many offseasons on that front. It doesn't appear that will impact Prichard's status within the organization, though.