The Indiana Pacers have finally made the decision to move on from head coach Nate Bjorkgren after just one season as the team’s head coach. Following an incredibly disappointing and frustrating 2020-21 NBA season, the team will be looking for a new head coach for the second offseason in a row. Terry Stotts appears to be the primary target.
According to a source, the Pacers are “firmly” targeting Stotts to be their new head coach. Chauncey Billups and Mike D’Antoni could also be some names to keep an eye on.
Stotts would bring the kind of veteran coaching experience that the Pacers need following the botched Bjorkgren experience. He knows how to work with players while also keeping control of the locker room. Many around the league respect Stotts and believe he would be an ideal fit for Indiana.
Bjorkgren reportedly lost the locker room quickly during his first season with the franchise. The players began the season with hope that he could be a breath of fresh air, but quickly realized that would not be the case. Instead, he began micromanaging his coaching staff and rubbing players the wrong way.
Everything came to a head late in the season for the Pacers with an in-game blowup between assistant coach Greg Foster and young center Goga Bitadze. Bjorkgren did absolutely nothing to stop the sideline scuffle. That alone showed just how disconnected the team was under the first-year head coach.
Throughout his NBA coaching career, Terry Stotts has compiled a 517-486 record and that included a run to the Western Conference Finals with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2019.
Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers cannot afford another miss in this head coaching search. They need a guy who can come in and coach the roster well and not create division with the locker room. Indiana has plenty of talent, but they need someone to lead them and Stotts could very well be that guy.