INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — In the midst of the NBA lockout, Frank Vogel is busier than ever.
The Indiana Pacers' new coach is spending much of his time getting to know his new assistant coaches, Brian Shaw and Jim Boylen, and figuring out how to blend their skills with those of holdover Dan Burke.
"Specifically because we have new assistants, we're meeting more than we normally would, discussing game plans, getting on the same page with terminology, our approach toward our team and just picking the brains of my new assistants," Vogel said.
Shaw comes to the Pacers after being an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers since 2004. He was part of five championship teams with the Lakers, three as a player and two as a coach. Boylen was head coach at the University of Utah from 2007 to 2011. In the NBA, he earned two championship rings as an assistant for the Houston Rockets before stints as an assistant at Golden State and Milwaukee. Vogel said Shaw is focusing on familiarizing himself with the Eastern Conference, while Boylen is reacquainting himself with the NBA.
Though Shaw is the lead assistant, the staff will share responsibilities.
"We're going to get away from the compartmentalized approach," Vogel said. "Everybody's going to do everything. They are strong in all areas."
Vogel is excited because of the mentorship his new assistants have received — Shaw worked under Phil Jackson, while Boylen worked under Rudy Tomjanovich in Houston in the 1990s. Most of all, he likes their rings.
"That's where we're going," Vogel said. "That's where the Pacers are going, and that's what we wanted to bring in in terms of beefing up the experience of our coaching staff."
The excitement level about the Pacers remains high. For example, while walking from Conseco Fieldhouse to a downtown Indianapolis restaurant, a group of construction workers stopped Vogel and asked him to sign their hard hats.
"To be embraced the way I have by this community, I really don't have any words for it," he said.