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Vogel seems to be the choice, but ...

The Sports Xchange
Vogel seems to be the choice, but ... · Notes, Quotes · Roster Report

The first part of the Pacers' offseason -- Larry Bird returning as president -- is taken care of.

Now it's on to the next part.

Bird is in the process of figuring out who his coach will be next season. The frontrunner, according to Bird, is Frank Vogel.

Vogel led the Pacers to a 20-18 record and the playoffs for the first time since 2006 after taking over for the fired Jim O'Brien at the end of January.

"I haven't really gotten into the interview process, but obviously he's a frontrunner and we'll bring him back at the end (of the interviews) and have more conversations," Bird said.

Bird still wants to talk to other candidates despite Vogel being the most logical choice.

Former Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman and former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown are on the short list of candidates for Bird. Owner Herb Simon has already told Bird that he won't have any problem spending money on the right candidate.

"If it's the right guy, I don't think (the salary) really matters," Bird said. "Obviously, I feel if you see a coach out there who can get more out of our players, then I think you have to go get him."

The Pacers went 20-18 under interim coach Frank Vogel and put an end to their playoff drought by returning to the postseason for the first time since the 2006 season despite having a losing record. Vogel guaranteed that the Pacers would make the playoffs when he replaced Jim O'Brien in late January.

The writing on the wall for Jim O'Brien was written in big, bold letters after the team went 0-4 on a West Coast trip in the middle of January. O'Brien, who had a losing record in his three-plus seasons as coach, was fired at the end of the January after the Pacers started the season 17-27. Interim coach Frank Vogel went 20-18 after replacing O'Brien.

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