NBA

Pacers Hire Raptors’ Nate Bjorkgren As New Head Coach

Feb 1, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns assistant coach Nate Bjorkgren against the Los Angeles Clippers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Clippers defeated the Suns 124-114. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers will hire Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as their new head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

This hiring comes after the Pacers fired former head coach Nate McMillan following his performance in the bubble. The firing of McMillan was surprising around league circles.

In McMillan’s four years with the Pacers, he finished with a record above .500 and made the playoffs each year. He also made the playoffs this season and finished with a 6-2 record in the NBA bubble. He accomplished all of this while arguably the Pacers best player, Victor Oladipo, played only 19 games this season. Nonetheless, McMillan has failed to make it past the first round in his years with the team.

Nate Bjorkgren comes in with no head coach experience. He worked with Nick Nurse as an assistant in the G-League from 2007-2011 and helped the Iowa Energy to the league title in 2011. He was apart of a Raptors staff that had a .721 winning percentage in the regular season and a .657 in the playoffs over two seasons. Bjorkgren will try to take the core of Victor Oladipo, Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis further than McMillan was able to.

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