Bjorkgren says Pacers will be fun to watch
By: Mike Stiles -
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Nate Bjorkgren (photo courtesy of WFFT TV)
(INDIANAPOLIS) – New Indiana Pacers coach Kevin Bjorkgren went right to work Wednesday. Less than 24 hours after accepting the job, the 45 year old former Toronto Raptors assistant started explaining his plan. He expects the Pacers to move the ball and take more 3-pointers. He wants the defense to be more disruptive. He promises not to get locked into rotations and will be willing to take risks. Perhaps most important, he believes there needs to be more communication between coaches and players. Those are exactly the traits president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard hoped to find when he embarked on a coaching search two months ago. The proof will come in time. But the first-time NBA head coach certainly presented a different kind of vision, one Pacers fans may embrace after watching years of stodgy, half-court basketball. Bjorkgren wants to shatter those norms. He prefers an evolving style that conforms only to circumstances. Bjorkgren developed his coaching style working largely with Raptors coach Nick Nurse. Nurse first hired Bjorkgren as an assistant in 2007 with the Iowa Energy. Following their first season together, Bjorkgren described how he and Nurse held daily whiteboard sessions to discuss strategy. It was there, in the G-League over the next seven seasons; three as Nurse's assistant, four as a head coach. where Bjorkgren learned the value of flexibility. With small coaching staffs and ever-changing rosters, Bjorkgren managed to go 126-74 with the Dakota Wizards, Santa Cruz Warriors, Energy and Bakersfield Jam before joining the Phoenix Suns in 2015.