This bothers me. How could Larry have been watching the same performances we all were and believe that the Pacers were going to win 7 of the next 10 games under JOB?
Unless Bird was going to instruct JOB to instantaneously implement a near 180 degree change in philosophy and completely stop all of his negativity toward many of the players (except for Posey of course), I find it doubtful that even JOB's strongest supporters would have thought that to be possible. Also, I doubt that anyone would have expected any new coach to do that well, either.
If this were true, why did the sudden overwhelming change in attitude and performance happen immediately upon his departure?
Why did the players (aside from an immature Stephenson) embrace Vogel to the point that it seemed like they were willing to run through walls for him?
Why was the system changed (inside out smashmouth with increased emphasis on defense as opposed to fast paced 3 point focused offense with defense being deflections and trying to take charges when opponents inevitably attacked the rim at will due to the porous perimeter defense)?
Why was the standard of expectation and execution changed (Vogel nearly immediately proclaimed that he expected the Pacers to not just make the playoffs but also to be competitive in them and gave more freedom to the young players to make some mistakes without quickly benching them, while JOB coached as if he thought the Pacers had no hope because of having too few veterans)?
Otherwise, it was a well written piece.
“People talk about how quiet he [McKey] is, but he’s really been helpful. He gives a lot of insight to players in how to guard certain teams and what their weaknesses are. The whole team listens to him, and it makes my job a lot easier. Having players like him is what pro basketball is all about for me.” —Larry Brown