Some players and members of the media spoke out against this decision, and even Bird admitted that Vogel is “the best. He's the real deal.”
Being the gentleman that he is, Vogel released a very classy statement from through his agent that thanks Pacers fans as well as the organization itself for the opportunity to coach there.
“I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the Simon family, Larry Bird, and the entire Indiana Pacers organization for giving me the opportunity to serve as the head coach of this team for the past six seasons. This is one of the top-flight organizations in the National Basketball Association and I truly enjoyed every minute I spent as the leader of this group of men.”
In the five and a half years that Vogel coached Indiana, they reached the playoffs five times, only missing out in 2015 when Paul George was sidelined with a horrific leg injury until the final few games. They also had a pair of Eastern Conference Finals appearances in back-to-back years (2013 and 2014).
Rather than focus on the negative side of being let go, Vogel looked back fondly on his memories with the franchise.
“During my time with the Pacers, we made a lot of positive memories and none that would have been possible without the support of Larry, the front office, and all of the players I had the opportunity to coach. We consistently battled through thick and thin, and that is something that I am very proud of.”
Finally, his thank you to the fans.
“I want to give a huge thanks to Pacers fans in Indiana and across the country. You all have treated my family and me with kindness and class throughout our time here and I can't thank you enough for that. My family and I consider Indianapolis home and this community will always hold a special place in our hearts.”