Indiana Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said he has known Nate Bjorkgren for 20 years and that made hiring Bjorkghren as coach a fairly easy decision.
“We think this is a no-brainer,” Pritchard told reporters.
Bjorkgren comes from the Toronto Raptors, where he served as an assistant under Nick Nurse for two seasons. That included the championship run of 2019.
He will now be charged with leading a Pacers team that keeps getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Right now, though, he is the relationship-building stage.
“There are so many things happening in players’ lives, I want to know them,” Bjorkgren said. “I want to be there for them. Anything at all. Anything you need at all, please call me, please text me.”
Pritchard cited Bjorkgren’s communication skills as part of the reason he will be the ideal candidate.
“I think the balance he’ll bring is he’ll know when to be tough, when to push the players and know when to put his arm around the players,” Pritchard said. “He’s going to be positive, but he’s going to hold them accountable.”