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Storm Lake native Nate Bjorkgren out as Indiana Pacers head coach

Bjorkgren spent just one year as the team's coach.
Credit: AP
Indiana Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, March 15, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren is out after just one season.

NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported Bjorkgren learned of the team's decision to dismiss him Wednesday.

"The 2020-21 season was not what any of us hoped or anticipated it would be, and our results on the court certainly did not meet the standards for what our organization and our fans have come to expect," Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard said in a statement on the team's website. "We have determined this is the right time to move in a different direction, and on behalf of the Simon Family and the entire Pacers organization, I want to express my gratitude to Nate for his efforts leading our team. While we do not have a definite timetable for our search, we will move quickly to identify candidates who will make our team and our organization stronger."

The Pacers hired Bjorkgren in October 2020 after firing Nate McMillan, who was let go from the team in August 2020 after the Pacers got swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.

The Pacers finished the season 34-38 after losing a play-in game against the Washington Wizards and missing the playoffs.

There were multiple reports near the end of the season that Bjorkgren had lost control of the locker room and there was tension between the coaching staff and players.

Former assistant coach Bill Bayno resigned in February, citing personal reasons. In May, assistant coach Greg Foster and center Goga Bitadze got into an on-court altercation during a game against the Sacramento Kings. Foster was suspended for one game and Bitadze was fined.

   

This is a breaking story. It will be updated as more information becomes available.