Players throughout the roster have voiced their dissatisfaction with Bjorkgren and their general unhappiness amid a down season, including key star players in Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon, sources said. Those sources say Bjorkgren has implemented an analytics style of coaching that players privately do not find suitable for the roster, and that there have been issues among the coaching staff at times. Bjorkgren has worked to address matters internally, and one source described him as “over-communicative” to make sure he is sharing and receiving messages from the roster. One coaching source predicted that this would have a similar ending to what took place in Charlotte in 2013, when former St. John’s assistant Mike Dunlap was fired after just one season amid widespread player frustration.
Amid a year of difficulties with players and staff, Indiana Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren's future with the franchise is uncertain as the regular season nears an end, sources told ESPN.
Bjorkgren has significant work to do with his relationships among players throughout the team and with some members of the organization, but has thus far shown a willingness to try to address those issues, sources told ESPN.
Scott Agness: There’s a lot of issues inside the locker room that need to be addressed. It’s been an unusual year, but things have been bumpy.
A lot of variables factor into this slide after such a promising start to the season, but a coaching staff shakeup is likely to happen before next season, another league source told IndyStar. There's no indication that Bjorkgren's job is in jeopardy in the first season of a guaranteed multi-year deal, the same league source said.
Bjorkgren, multiple sources said, can be too much of a micro-manager and controlling. Brogdon and Sabonis have had his ear. Another source conceded that's to be expected for a first-year coach learning his way to be hands-on and rely on his go-to guys.