While injuries and challenges due to health and safety protocols have surely plagued the Indiana Pacers this season, NBA personnel have long been crediting the team's stumble to ninth in the Eastern Conference to a crumbling team chemistry at the hands of first-year head coach Nate Bjorkgren.
As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on Tuesday evening, it appears Bjorkgren's tenure in Indiana will likely come to an end after just one season. His struggles as a head coach could even put longtime Pacers executives Kevin Pritchard and Chad Buchanon in jeopardy as well, multiple league sources told Bleacher Report.
"He's just very different," said one league executive who has worked previously with Bjorkgren. "He's not a d--k; he's just completely out of his element as a leader."
"He didn't come in relationship-building in an easy way from day one," said one Pacers voice.
Bjorkgren's communication style has been categorized as aggressive and abrasive with players and members of the Pacers staff, from his front-of-the-bench assistants down to trainers and equipment personnel. That behavior was cited as the cause for one assistant coach's resignation and one player to elect for season-ending surgery.