The Indiana Pacers are interviewing a dozen candidates for their vacant head coaching gig after the team fired Nate McMillan.
During their time in the Orlando bubble, the Indiana Pacers had us all believing that Nate McMillan was their head coach for the foreseeable future, especially after the team signed him to a contract extension following an impressive run in their seeding games at Walt Disney World.
But after the Pacers got swept in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs by the Miami Heat, the organization parted ways with McMillan. Weeks after their elimination, the Pacers are set to begin their first round of interviews, and it’s a lengthy list of potential candidates.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pacers are set to interview more than a dozen head coaching candidates, headlined by San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon and former Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger.
The Pacers are doing their due diligence
Hammon has broken barriers in the NBA after Gregg Popovich hired her to be a full-time assistant coach on the Spurs, making her the first woman to ever hold that position in league history. The move came after Hammon retired from the WNBA after a 16-year career. Hammon coached the Spurs’ NBA Summer League team a number of times, including the 2015 team that won the Las Vegas Summer League title.
The Pacers are now the second head-coaching gig that Hammon has interviewed for, with the first being the Milwaukee Bucks gig that she lost out to Mike Budenholzer in 2018. If Hammon is to get the Pacers job, she would become the first female head coach in NBA history.
Joerger previously served as the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies from 2013-16. Although he led the Grizzlies to three playoff appearances, they failed to reach the Western Conference Finals under Joerger, leading to his dismissal in 2016. Joerger was hired by the Kings to be their head coach just days later. While he didn’t have initial success in his first two seasons, Joerger coached the Kings to a 39-43 record in the 2018-19 season and they narrowly missed out on a playoff berth. The organization fired him following that campaign.
In six seasons as an NBA head coach, Joerger has accumulated a 245-247 record.
Per Wojnarowski, the other candidates being interviewed for the Indiana coaching gig include Brooklyn Nets assistant Jacque Vaughn, Spurs assistant Will Hardy, Dan Craig and Chris Quinn of the Miami Heat, Darvin Ham and Charles Lee of the Milwaukee Bucks, Nate Tibbetts of the Portland Trail Blazers, Jamahl Mosley and Stephen Silas of the Dallas Mavericks, Pat Delany of the Orlando Magic, David Vanterpool of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Ime Udoka of the Philadelphia 76ers.