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Set Pacers to fun!

Greetings readers. Just a heads up, I will not be publishing a blog on Friday because my schedule is packed that day. I will also be interviewing the Yellow Nation Army on my radio show, so tune in Friday at 5:00pm on wwsu1069.com. I will be posting an advertisement for my interview tomorrow, with the link and everything.

As you might know, I am a fan of the Indiana Pacers. Based in Indianapolis, the Pacers play in Conseco Fieldhouse. The nickname comes from the “Pace car” during races at the Indianapolis 500. I also think it’s interesting to hear why it’s not “Indianapolis Pacers” because they wanted to play a little bit of everywhere in the state.

The Pacers began playing in the American Basketball Association in 1967. After winning three ABA titles in five final appearances, the Pacers were one of four teams to be involved in the merger with the National Basketball Association. The other teams? The San Antonio Spurs, the New York Nets, and the Denver Nuggets. While Indiana saw a lot of success in the ABA, things didn’t start off so well for the Hoosier State pros.  While it was cheaper to own a franchise in the ABA, funds started drying up when the Pacers jumped into the NBA.

Stars were traded away before the drafting of Reggie Miller in 1987, which upset a lot of fans by passing over nearby Indiana Hoosier standout Steve Alford. Who knows what could have been with Alford, but Miller ended up having a great career with Indiana despite no championship rings. The Pacers only missed the playoffs in ’96-’97 (which caused Larry Brown to step down in Indianapolis) and made the NBA finals in 1999-2000 with Larry Bird as the head coach. Also, the Pacers moved into the Conseco Fieldhouse during the season.

Bird left the coaching scene after that trip to the finals and was replaced by Isiah Thomas, who is known for his playing career instead of his coaching stints. The Pacers did continue to go to the playoffs, even after Bird fired Thomas and replaced him with Rick Carlisle in 2003. I should mention the fight at Auburn Hills, but everybody knows this. Also, Reggie Miller retired in 2005 before “the fight”.

When Carlisle couldn’t make the playoffs during the 2006-2007 season, he was given the boot and replaced with Jim O’Brien. Not to be confused with the Jim O’Brien (born in 1949) involved in the whole Ohio State basketball controversy, this Jim O’Brien (born in 1952) has coached previously in the NBA such as Boston and Philadelphia. Also, the current Pacers head coach has coached at nearby University of Dayton for four years before Oliver Purnell took over.

O’Brien is in his third season with Indiana. Many message board posters for the Pacers Digest dislike O’Brien and eagerly awake his dismissal. All opinions aside, O’Brien has yet to see a .500 season but does have a load of talent this season.

Darren Collison and James Posey were involved in a four team trade that sent Troy Murphy to the Nets. Posey has had a very solid career, including some NBA Finals experience. Collison is a young athletic guard that is supposed to bring stability to the Point Guard position. Don’t forget about draft picks Paul George (Fresno State), Lance Stephenson (Cincinnati), and Magnum Rolle.

If you are an Indiana Pacers fan and you don’t know about Pacers Digest, I suggest you check it out. Of course there is the message board but also a blog. With that being said, the Pacers do have the talent to make the playoffs once more since Rick Carlisle led Indy.

I’m looking forward to the season. If you haven’t seen the 2010-2011 schedule, here it is. Until next article, see you next time.

-Lee

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