Larry Bird: ‘I back Frank (Vogel) 100 percent’

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Not long ago, the Pacers could have been mounting a Coach of the Year campaign on behalf of Frank Vogel.

Instead, they didn’t sound entirely pleased with his performance. Pacers president Larry Bird, via Bob Kravitz of IndyStar:

“A lot of times, we don’t take the fight to them (the opponent),” Bird said Tuesday, before the Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Boston Celtics 94-83 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. “A lot of times we sit back and wait and see how it goes. And that was the case even when we were winning a lot of games early in the season. We’ve got to be mentally prepared to really go after the teams we’re playing again. We can’t have the mindset it’s just another game; it’s a very important game. All of them are.”

And that was before the Pacers went through a 9-9 stretch (ongoing) marred by disarray.What does Bird think of Vogel now?

Bird, in an interview with Dave Furst of RTV6:

I back Frank 100 percent. There was some things early on this season, like I said, I went to him and told him that we needed to clean everything up.

Admittedly, I was intrigued by the idea of Bird replacing Vogel on the bench this late in the season. I didn’t necessarily think it would help – I believe Vogel is a good coach, and there would be an adjustment period for Bird – but it sure would have made for compelling theater.

Now, it’s too late for a change. The Pacers will almost certainly stick with Vogel, so what else is Bird supposed to say at this point?

Really, I’m interested to see whether he sticks with 100 percent if the Pacers don’t reach the NBA Finals.