World News – US – Pacers hire Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as new coach, report says


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Indiana Pacers have hired Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as next head coach, according to Athletic’s Shams Charania

Bjorkgren has been an assistant to the Raptors since 2018 after Nick Nurse became the coach at Toronto Bjorkgren previously worked with Nurse with the G League affiliate team formerly known as Iowa Energy from 2007 to 2011 He was also an assistant with the Phoenix Suns, under, then, coach Jeff Hornacek

He went from high school coaching status in Phoenix, Arizona to the G League where he won a championship in 2011, assisting the 2019 Raptors Championship team and now he has his first chance with a head coach gig Throughout his coaching career in the G League, he compiled a 126-74 record with four different teams

The nurse confirmed Bjorkgren was going to be a finalist for the job in Indiana during an interview with Sirus XM NBA Radio in September, where he praised his former assistant

« Nate Bjorkgren has been with me for a long time, » said nurse « (He) was with me in minor leagues with Iowa Energy, then he coached for a long time in the D-League and G League and obviously been with me in Toronto here He’s going to be a finalist for the position of Pacers and he’s good « 

Nurse and Bjorkgren have a rich history, as the two have not only coached through the G League and the NBA together, but have also faced each other as coaches. During the 2013 D-League Championship, Bjokgren’s Santa Cruz Warriors lost to Nurse’s Rio Grande Vipers, and after the two coaches exchanged pleasantries after the match, Bjokgren said Nurse told him they could both coach to the next level

« He said, ‘There’s no reason we can’t do this to the next level,' » Bjorkgren said in an interview with the Des Moines Register after the Raptors won the NBA championship. « And of course he was right about a couple of things, and he was here again »

The nurse is right again, as Bjorkgren will join him in the ranks of NBA head coaches

With the hiring of Bjorkgren, the Pacers are hopeful that a new coach in the locker room will finally allow this team to overcome the many first round outings in the playoffs The Pacers were swept up in the heat in the NBA bubble, but injuries to several key players certainly played a part in that

Bjorkgren will inherit a promising Indiana squad, with All-Star Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, as well as Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner and TJ Garenne This is a defensively strong team that doesn’t has yet to reach his potential or has really had a lot of time to develop some sort of chemistry, then Bjorkgren will have the opportunity to help create an identity for this team

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Indiana Pacers, head coach, Nate Bjorkgren, Toronto Raptors, Nate McMillan

World News – United States – Pacers hire Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as new coach, according to report



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