VIDEO: Frank Vogel on his second return to Indy and bringing family along

Frank Vogel, the former Pacers coach who was let go last spring by president Larry Bird, has much less anxiety on this second visit back to Indianapolis. In part, that’s because his immediate family was able to join him on this trip.

Vogel’s wife, Jen, and two daughters, Alexa and Arianna, accompanied Frank on this business trip back to their home since 2007. It’s all the daughters had known until the job change. They were able to spend New Year’s Eve with close friends.

“It was great,” Vogel said pregame. “It was fantastic to be back in the neighborhood, seeing all of Jen and I’s friends. And obviously my daughters getting to run around with their buddies was terrific as well.”

[From November: Pacers look forward to seeing Frank Vogel back in Indy]

Vogel has no intention to sell their north side home. It’s the home the girls grew up in, and it will allow all of them the opportunity to visit friends. Maybe they’ll spend several weeks here over the summer. Helping his girls after such a drastic change has been the most difficult thing for Vogel with the job change.

“No question. By far,” he said “It’s tough moving young children, especially when they love where they’re at as much as we love being here. It’s been tough, it is still tough. … But we’re doing okay down there.”

When Nate McMillan was promoted, his first phone call was to Frank.

“It’s still a little weird,” McMillan said of seeing Vogel on the other end of the court. “We’re sitting here looking at and preparing for Orlando. We’re doing a lot of the same things. I got a great respect for Frank and how he coaches his team.

The Pacers dominated in Vogel’s first game back, winning 88-69 back on Nov. 14.

Much like the Pacers (16-18), the Magic have been inconsistent. They’re 15-19 and have lost three of their last five games. The Pacers had lost a season-high four straight games before edging out Chicago on Friday.

“They’ve won a game, lost a game, win two lose one; we’re kind of in the same situation,” McMillan continued. “We talk. We text. We texted over Christmas. Occasionally, when we need some support, we send out a text to each other.”

Once again before tip-off, C.J. Miles, Paul George, and Myles Turner made their way down to the Magic bench to hug their former head coach.

“I got my family here, I got some friends here,” Vogel said. “It’s a new year, it’s 2017, and we’re ready to get off to a great start.”

(Former Pacer Damjan Rudež has a minor calf strain and was not available. That was disappointing to Rudež, who loves playing in Indy more than anything. It’s where he received his first opportunity in the NBA.)

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