INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 5, 2016) - After five years as the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, Larry Bird decided it was time to part ways with Frank Vogel.
"Over the last few days I've had numerous conversations with Frank," Bird told the media in his season-ending press conference.
"I decided it's time for a new voice around. Sometimes my job really sucks and this is one of the toughest things I've done because of the respect that I have for Frank."
While Bird insisted that he didn't think that the problem was that Vogel lost the lockeroom, he did say that he felt the head coach lost the players' ears after being with the team through five seasons.
"I think at times, players just don't listen. You have to keep them mentally focused and if you have a new voice and new strategy you hold their attention longer."
Bird also made it clear that Vogel wanted to stay with the team. The Pacers' president let the head coach know over the phone that he was not renewing his contract.
"Frank loves it here, he kept bringing it up," Bird said as he paused before what seemed to be tough sentence for him to get out.
"He kept saying, 'Can we sit down and delay the news conference and start all over again?' He's going to be missed. "
Despite the fact that they did not extend Vogel's contract, Bird had nothing but glowing remarks to say about his now former head coach. He insisted that he'll have only positive references to give on Vogel's behalf as he searches for a new job.
"He's the best. He's been in our community. He's a great man and a great leader. He will do fine," said Bird.
As for Bird and the Pacers, they're hoping that they will be fine as well as they open up the search for a new head coach.