Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird just held a press conference to announce that the team will not be renewing head coach Frank Vogel’s contract. Bird said the decision came from his belief that the players needed a “new voice,” and called it one of the toughest he’s made.

For reasons we discussed last week, the Pacers are crazy to let go of Vogel, who has impressively kept a Pacers team that’s been repeatedly undermined by injuries and roster turnover competitive. Sadly, Vogel didn’t seem ready to go:

So where do the Pacers go from here? The list of available head coaches doesn’t feature any real sure bets, and it’s hard to imagine another coach getting more out of this roster than Vogel did. The good news for Vogel is that he won’t be lacking for job offers. If the Knicks don’t at least try to get him, Phil Jackson should be sent away to a retirement sweat lodge.

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Photo via AP