The Indiana Pacers made headlines earlier this month with the hiring of former Toronto Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren as the club’s new head coach. But Bjorkgren will not be the only new face on the bench this season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Longtime Indiana coach Dan Burke has been brought onto Doc Rivers’ new staff with the Philadelphia 76ers as an assistant. Burke had been with the Pacers all the way back since 1997. Since then he has worked under head coaches Larry Bird, Isiah Thomas, Rick Carlisle, Jim O’Brien, Frank Vogel, and Nate McMillan. All in that time, Burke had become notorious for shaping the Blue and Gold’s defensive schemes.
But he won’t be joining the Bjorkgren era.
Thursday on The Fan Morning Show, Scott Agness from The Fieldhouse Files Podcast talked with Jeff Rickard and Big Joe about Burke’s departure and what the Pacers bench may look like this season.
“The interesting thing about the 76ers is it feels like they are all in,” Agness said. “But this is not Dan Burke moving on from the Pacers, he saw the writing on the wall when Nate McMillan was dismissed. He had to start looking elsewhere for the first time since 1997.”
Rickard also brought up the rumor that Kevin Pritchard’s old teammate at Kansas and former Wake Forest head coach Danny Manning may be an option for an assistant position. Pritchard has often times hired individuals that he has had prior relationships with.
“There’s a previous relationship with (Pritchard and Manning) so it all goes back to that,” Agness added. “We talk about Nate Bjorkgren and how he knew Chad Buchanan for 25-plus years and then Pritchard for 20-plus. They’re all connected in some way.”
Agness said he believes assistant Bill Bayno will stay with the team under Bjorkgren. Bayno has been with the Pacers since 2016, and before that spent three seasons in Toronto.
Tune into The Fan Morning Show weekdays from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM.