Three weeks have passed since Frank Vogel was informed by Larry Bird that his contract with the Indiana Pacers would not be renewed
In that time, much and more happened. Vogel was hired by the Orlando Magic, Larry Bird mumbled his regrets, and rumors were spread about the nature of the break between coach and franchise – – that Vogel had begged Bird for his job, and that the entire situation had been awkward and painful for both parties.
Now with enough time passed, Vogel is telling his side of the story. According to the Indy Star‘s Phil Friend, the newly-minted Orlando Magic head coach went on The Dan Dakich Show Tuesday and gave his version of events.
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As Vogel puts it, he did not plead anyone for his job, and that any characterizations to that effect are inaccurate.
"Larry’s going to speak his mind. A lot of people talked to me about it who didn’t like that and it’s probably an inaccurate perception that I was begging him to stay…I fully respect Larry and the process. He knew it was going to be an unpopular move but he did what he had to do."
Vogel did say that he told Bird he believed the team was on the cusp of a breakthrough, and he felt capable of guiding them to the next level.
"I felt like we were on the verge of some big things," Vogel said. "We stood toe-to-toe with a 56-win team. I told my team after the series that were poised…I felt like I was going to be able to do that with this group. That was my only mention to Larry."