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able
03-16-2005, 04:40 AM
Indystar:

http://www.indystar.com/articles/3/229484-4813-179.html

By Mike Wells
mike.wells@indystar.com
March 16, 2005


The Indiana Pacers still don't have an answer on the severity of the injury to Jermaine O'Neal's right shoulder, but they essentially removed any hope Tuesday of their best player returning this season.

"We have to go on the idea that he's not going to be here," coach Rick Carlisle said. "That's how we have to approach it. We can't be hanging our hopes on his return. It's going to be awhile if he comes back at all."

O'Neal suffered the injury March 3. O'Neal has seen several doctors, including ones in Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles, to get opinions. The Pacers are waiting to re-evaluate his shoulder once the swelling goes down. There hasn't been a decision on surgery, but if it is required O'Neal will be sidelined for several months.

"The doctors are waiting to see if that's the right way to go or not," Carlisle said.

As he has done since the injury, O'Neal declined interview requests Tuesday as he walked out of the practice gym with an ice pack on his shoulder.

"I think everybody has blocked it out," forward Stephen Jackson said. "If he comes back, he comes back."

The Pacers also said Tuesday that forward Jonathan Bender, who has played just seven games because of a knee problem, isn't expected to play again this season.

Bender, who is making $6.5 million this season, will travel to Boston this week to work with physical therapist Dan Dyrek. Bender has played in 28 games the past two seasons.

"I don't think we're counting on Jonathan being back this season," Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said. "We want him to get his leg back. Dan said Jonathan will definitely play in the NBA. We're willing to let this happen for the future. If Dan says he can play before the season ends, that's fine, but we're not counting on it."

Some help might be on the way, however. Point guard Jamaal Tinsley, who has played in only two games since injuring his left foot Jan. 31, is close to returning.

O'Neal's status is the latest jolt in a jarring season filled with suspensions and injuries.

The Pacers, who host Utah tonight at Conseco Fieldhouse, entered Tuesday's games tied with Orlando for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with 20 games left. The Magic played at Sacramento, but the game ended too late for this edition of The Star.

"It's like losing Shaq in Miami or losing Tim Duncan (in San Antonio)," Jackson said. "We need him, but we still have to play. It's frustrating to everybody. We've been through so much this year that if anything happens, we expect it. We can't be concerned with who is not here."

The Pacers are 3-2 since O'Neal's injury, but the teams they beat are a combined 63-125.

The real test will come the next two weeks. The Pacers have games against San Antonio, Detroit, Chicago and Miami, teams that are headed to the playoffs.

"We just have to adjust and we have to alter our style a little bit," Carlisle said. "Defensively, it will be important that we are solid."

Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053

Bball
03-16-2005, 05:22 AM
Indystar:


Bender, who is making $6.5 million this season, will travel to Boston this week to work with physical therapist Dan Dyrek. Bender has played in 28 games the past two seasons.

I saw that and thought "They're sending us a message. The Pacers want us to know what Bender is making to make us turn on him or something to make it easier to get rid of him.

Or maybe they are sending a message to Bender!?

:( But then I read:



"I don't think we're counting on Jonathan being back this season," Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh said. "We want him to get his leg back. Dan said Jonathan will definitely play in the NBA. We're willing to let this happen for the future. If Dan says he can play before the season ends, that's fine, but we're not counting on it."

:banghead: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! :banghead:

Please just let it end. He had his chance. Let's use that roster spot next year for a player who can contribute when we have injuries, illness, suspensions, etc. The future isn't 'now', it was 'yesterday'.

:mad: :banghead:

So with that DW quote in mind, and remembering we have a new beat writer, I'm wondering if he's reminding us "Bender the Bust" is earning 6.5 mil in this season of despair and is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

I am SOOOOO fed up with this Bender story. I want him GONE. Seriously. He's a symbol of what I see as the problem with the Indiana Pacers.... it's always about the future. It's always 'wait and see'. Why do we have to let mistakes fester and compound? :mad:

Here's some 'wait and see' for the Pacers... I decided to 'wait and see' rather than bother with tix by the deadline today.

-Bball

Bball
03-16-2005, 05:28 AM
I'm seriously in danger of going PFFL...

I best go to bed...

-Bball

Will Galen
03-16-2005, 06:29 AM
There's not really a bright side in losing our most important player. So you might look at losing JO this way.

How would we feel right now if our record was 50-12? That might have been possible. That's an .806 pace. We won 61 games last year, that's .743, so an .806 winning percentage was possible.

If we had been playing at that clip we would have been at the very least one of the favorites for the NBA championship. However, with the way things have gone this year we are so used to bad things happening to our team that we can shake off this latest setback pretty easy.

If we had been at 50-12 when this happened a lot of us would have been beyond upset about it.

3ptmiller
03-16-2005, 07:10 AM
Well im not surprised, gtg now before i get an Injury to

Doug in CO
03-16-2005, 07:29 AM
Bender is out for the season? And Here I was... not even realizing he was ever in.

Mourning
03-16-2005, 08:00 AM
... and the hits just keep on coming :arrgh:

Regards,

Mourning :cool:

sixthman
03-16-2005, 08:07 AM
Life is so predictable. The sun comes up in the morning and bball will convert nearly every PacersDigest thread, no matter what the topic, into a Jon Bender bash. ;)

Sorry to hear JO is done for the year, but I guess down deep we already knew.

Unclebuck
03-16-2005, 08:34 AM
Bball, what good does it do to just cut Bender. Even if there is a 1% chance he can ever play again what advantage is gained by cutting him. It isn't like they can use his salary on another player.

Hicks
03-16-2005, 08:38 AM
Nothing is definite, yet now the Pacers can suddenly speculate that he's out for the season. The day after the cutoff for certain tickets. :unimpress

able
03-16-2005, 08:39 AM
Well it took some time to get over the initial shock of finally realizing that this season is starting to resemble my life, which is not a good idea for most of you around here :)

Still, always seeing the conspiracy behind the obvious truth, I have a nagging feeling that "if" the playoffs seem "possible" and "if" JO can play some part, he might opt for surgery if needed "after" the playoffs, but I think a lot of factors are important ot that, like what seed, what about Mel and what about Ron.
It may be a ploy to persuade the commish to give us Ron back before the season ends; see how bad we are hit by injury, doyou nay feel pitty ?

Of course the most obvious one is the most likely truth, as Jay"Nostradamus"@section<hell> already said, waiting for the swelling to go down enough to take the MRI, then decide, but where he wouold translate that to "surgery" I prefer to translate it to "there is still hope living over yonder horizon" (go find and kill it!)

In all, welcome to Doom Mountain, where everyone burns

Ragnar
03-16-2005, 09:37 AM
Bball, what good does it do to just cut Bender. Even if there is a 1% chance he can ever play again what advantage is gained by cutting him. It isn't like they can use his salary on another player.

Actually it would mean that. Maybe not the entire salary but if we bought him out his pay would only count against the cap this year. I think with as little as he has played we should go for the insurance policy that would pay him if he has to retire. We would then be able to use the mid level on a player. Even if we spent 5 million on Marcus Haslip :o it would be better spent than it is on Bender.

beast23
03-16-2005, 10:12 AM
The problem is that you really can't buy out a player like Bender.

There would be NOTHING in it for him to do so. It's not like he can count on landing a contract with any other team right now, and he would be giving up a portion of over $12M still remaining on his contract after this season.

The best we can hope for is that he is a throw-in to make some other deal work.

Suaveness
03-16-2005, 10:42 AM
Actually it would mean that. Maybe not the entire salary but if we bought him out his pay would only count against the cap this year. I think with as little as he has played we should go for the insurance policy that would pay him if he has to retire. We would then be able to use the mid level on a player. Even if we spent 5 million on Marcus Haslip :o it would be better spent than it is on Bender.

Ew no Haislip...sometimes it is better for the team to have no player than a crappy player ;)

And well, frankly it isn't like we are going to win the title anyway. Oh well



:censored: :censored: :censored: :censored: :censored:

Kegboy
03-16-2005, 12:21 PM
Actually it would mean that. Maybe not the entire salary but if we bought him out his pay would only count against the cap this year.

Wrong. The only thing buying out a player saves you is actual cash, the original contract still counts towards the salary cap until the end. Just look at Hoopshype. Dikembe Mutombo still counts towards NJ's cap. I remember Shawn Kemp's contract still counted against Portland's cap 3 years after they bought him out. :o

Nothing, repeat, nothing is gained by buying out Bender, except for a couple million that we can't turn around and spend on another player anyway. And that's only if he agrees to a buyout, which, as has been said, he has no reason to.

Bball
03-16-2005, 01:29 PM
Cutting Bender...
He is a symbol to fans and players of everything that is wrong with the Indiana Pacers in my view. Yes, we're stuck with his salary but at least we'd open up a roster spot when he is gone. Sometimes you have to drop back and punt.

If this season has taught us anything it is that you can't waste roster spots on players who you cannot or will not play. I'm not expecting his replacement to be the next superstar of the NBA... but I'm not expecting that of Bender either. I'm just expecting somebody who could come off the bench and play SOME type of role (no matter how minimal).

We've invested, and wasted, too much time in Bender. It cannot be good for the team to continually keep up this charade. Eating the contract, or somehow swinging a trade with Bender as filler (next to impossible thanks to being one of the worst contracts in the NBA) would let this team move on.

I'm sick of it.

-Bball

beast23
03-16-2005, 01:49 PM
The best solution for the Pacers, short of Bender somehow becoming healthy and actually panning out, would be for Bender to retire due to injury before the anniversary of his contract.

That would probably require some form of financial incentive on the part of the Pacers, but it would free up salary counting toward the cap.

But strictly talking about dollards, that would probably cost the Pacers money, whereas his injury probably does not (since insurance is probably covering it now).

But again, Bender would lose a ton of money if he retired.

Jermaniac
03-16-2005, 01:59 PM
The only reason for us to make the play offs now is just to have Reggie go out shooting in the play offs and not going into the lottery. We will probably get swept by either the Heat or Pistons with out JO, and to tell you the truth I rather have us go to the lottery and pick up a good young player then go to the play offs and get our *** kicked.

Doug
03-16-2005, 02:03 PM
Why spend all of this energy thinking about Bender? It's obvious we're stuck with him. By choice if you believe the quote. But we can't trade him, can't cut him. So what else is there to do with him.

At this point in the season, I give Bender no more thought than I give John Edwards.

Every team has a bust, or a career doomed by injury. That's the way it goes. No sense getting bent out of shape about Bender any more. It is what it is and it's not going to change.

_PD_
03-16-2005, 02:12 PM
to tell you the truth I rather have us go to the lottery and pick up a good young player then go to the play offs and get our *** kicked.
Not to throw gasoline on the fire, but wouldn't it be ironic if Stern NOW decided to reinstate Ron?

diamonddave00
03-16-2005, 02:21 PM
Jonathan Bender's break out season will be 2006-07. Coincedently last season of his contract.

Pacers will then re-sign the then 26 year old Bender. Jonathan will then go out and celebrate but will tear up his knee going to the bathroom.

God , I hope that scenerio does not really occur.

As much as we are all sick of waiting on JB , to finally have that break out season, Walsh and Bird have no choice but to continue to hope it occurs. So lets keep expectations low , hell he COULD STILL BREAKOUT. He is still only 24 .Fred Jones is actually almost 2 years older than Bender.

I don't believe we will ever see a superstar in Bender. But I hold out hope he can stay healthy and contribute over the next 2 seasons.

Doug
03-16-2005, 02:30 PM
Jonathan Bender's break out season will be 2006-07. Coincedently last season of his contract.

Pacers will then re-sign the then 26 year old Bender. Jonathan will then go out and celebrate but will tear up his knee going to the bathroom.


I started to post that exact scenario! But I stopped when I realized that Bball might jump off a bridge.

Bball
03-16-2005, 02:34 PM
Jonathan Bender's break out season will be 2006-07. Coincedently last season of his contract.

Pacers will then re-sign the then 26 year old Bender. Jonathan will then go out and celebrate but will tear up his knee going to the bathroom.

God , I hope that scenerio does not really occur.

As much as we are all sick of waiting on JB , to finally have that break out season, Walsh and Bird have no choice but to continue to hope it occurs. So lets keep expectations low , hell he COULD STILL BREAKOUT. He is still only 24 .Fred Jones is actually almost 2 years older than Bender.

I don't believe we will ever see a superstar in Bender. But I hold out hope he can stay healthy and contribute over the next 2 seasons.


We should never be in this position. That last contract extension was based on wishful thinking and generosity beyond all reason.

But in your scenario, maybe we will catch a break and it will play it out like this:

Bender plays in 50% of the games and in 25% of those shows flashes of athleticism that awe the crowd. His defense will be poor to mediocre consistently BUT he will lead the team in blocked shots pacifying those who only follow the stat line. Walsh will offer him a max contract in order to show his confidence that Bender will be the player that he hoped and to show the fans who have been waiting that Bender wasn't a mistake.

Bender will show up at the contract signing ready to put his name on the dotted line when, reaching for the ink pen, he dislocates his shoulder and breaks his wrist. The pen will fall on his knee and it will immediately begin swelling. Hopefully, by this point Chuck Person will arrive and pull the unsigned contract from the table and finally earn his place as savior of the Pacer franchise.

-Bball

Kegboy
03-16-2005, 02:36 PM
He is a symbol to fans and players of everything that is wrong with the Indiana Pacers in my view.

Bball, the next time you're at a game, I want you to sit by the doors and do a survey of what's wrong with the Indiana Pacers. I seriously doubt anyone is gonna respond "Jonathan Bender."

Bball
03-16-2005, 03:00 PM
Bball, the next time you're at a game, I want you to sit by the doors and do a survey of what's wrong with the Indiana Pacers. I seriously doubt anyone is gonna respond "Jonathan Bender."

Artest would make a good 'immediate' symbol as would a broken mirror.

Bender would make a symbol representing all the overpaid players hamstringing us who have graced the Pacer payrolls throughout the years. He represents the 'Wait'll Next Year' motto we are forced to endure year after year. He represents a team so focused on the future that the present can fall apart. He represents hanging onto mistakes and letting the situation fester rather than staying agile and cutting losses. He represents what a lily soft media and hype can do to coverup the reality of a situation. He represents not only overblown local media hype based on team hype without any real background reporting as well as a symbol of when not to believe team reports of injury prognosis. He represents what happens when you waste bench place on players and suddenly find yourself NEEDING extra players.

As much as we talk about putting our eggs into the Ron Artest basket, I'm not so sure we didn't make it worse by putting several in the Bender basket.

-Bball

Diamond Dave
03-16-2005, 03:08 PM
Bball, the next time you're at a game, I want you to sit by the doors and do a survey of what's wrong with the Indiana Pacers. I seriously doubt anyone is gonna respond "Jonathan Bender."

Actually that would be interesting. More people would respond that way than you think. I can think of at least two.

waxman
03-16-2005, 04:45 PM
:bored:

Hindsight.... makes just about everything crystal clear.