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Bet on the NBACan the Indiana Pacers do any worse than they have done over the past few years? The owners and management don't seem to think so, as they are expected to fire head coach Jim O'Brien later this afternoon.

After the head coach's dismal record at the helm of the Indiana basketball team, it is probably no wonder that the Pacers and O'Brien will part ways. The Indiana Pacers have called a press conference for 4:00 PM this afternoon to make some major announcements about the future of the team.

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After coming off of their seventh loss in eight games against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night, the team has racked up the less-than-impressive record of 17-27 this season. O'Brien's overall record with the Pacers has been a slightly more impressive 121-169, but that is only in relative terms. In absolute terms, O'Brien has been a disappointment for Indiana basketball fans, never having won more than 36 games in any of the four seasons he has been head coach.

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And this dismal coaching performance is not for lack of talent. The Indiana Pacers came to the 2010-2011 season with higher hopes than in previous years. Center Roy Hibbert is considered one of the most improved players in the league right now, and the team picked up Darren Collison, a point guard from New Orleans. This year, the expectations were higher for the Indiana Pacers, who are ten games back from being .500.

Plenty of changes may be coming to the Pacers in the next few months. Assistant head coach Frank Vogel is expected to take over the head coaching duties until a permanent replacement is found. And team president Larry Bird has also hinted that he may not return after his current contract expires this year. But after so many disappointments over the past few years, do Indiana basketball fans really want any of these team leaders to return?

UPDATE: The Pacers have, indeed, fired head coach O'Brien and appointed assistant coach Frank Vogel as interim head coach. O'Brien's record as a coach in the NBA currently stands at 303-327, after stints with the 76ers and Celtics. In his time with the Pacers, the team failed to make the playoffs each year. He had originally been hired to turn the floundering team around, but has come up short.


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