Mike D’Antoni likely to be next Pacers head coach if Nate Bjorkgren is fired

Mike D'Antoni, Rockets, Pacers, Nate Bjorkgren
USA Today Images

The Indiana Pacers are in the middle of what has been a brutal 2020-21 NBA season. A lot of drama has been unfolding and there have been a lot of reports that the franchise could move on from head coach Nate Bjorkgren after his first year with the team. If that is the case, it sounds like Mike D’Antoni would be the front-runner to replace him as the team’s next head coach.

According to a report from Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Pacers would likely look to hire D’Antoni if they choose to make a change this offseason.

“Should a change ultimately occur on the bench, Mike D’Antoni is once again considered the leader in the clubhouse to fill Indiana’s opening, sources said. But could a few games and the play-in tournament be enough to prevent any turnover?”

D’Antoni would be an excellent change for the Pacers. He would bring a ton of experience as an NBA head coach and would likely relate much better with the players than Bjorkgren. That has been the main problem.

Throughout the course of the season, it has been clear that Nate Bjorkgren has lost the Pacers’ locker room. Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon have both been very obvious with their displeasure in the way he runs his system. Other issues have also come out recently.

Most notably, Indiana assistant coach Greg Foster got into a shouting match with second-year big man Goga Bitadze in a loss against the Sacramento Kings. The two have reportedly had a great working relationship this season, but it is clear that frustration is boiling over. A change may be needed with all of the issues.

So far this season, the Pacers are just 30-35, but they are still very much in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament picture. If the front office decides to make a move, they need to spend the money to bring in a top-notch head coach. They have a ton of talent on the roster and a guy like Mike D’Antoni could get the most of of it.

Expect to hear a ton of rumors continue coming out about the Pacers. Bjorkgren’s job is absolutely in jeopardy and a move to D’Antoni would make a lot of sense.