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View Full Version : Stop the insanity... Bender... Will it end? (Indy Star Article)



Bball
01-14-2006, 05:06 AM
Bender faces quandary

Pacers forward isn't sure whether to retire or try to return on troublesome knees

By Mark Montieth and Mike Wells
mike.wells@indystar.com

Jonathan Bender has two choices, neither of which is appealing.

The injured Indiana Pacers forward can retire, or try to play again on knees that appear beyond repair and risk permanent damage.

Although he said he's not ready to announce his retirement, he also has no immediate plans to return. He has not played since the Pacers' home opener Nov. 5, and has not practiced with the team since mid-November.
"There's a lot of wear and tear," Bender said in a telephone interview from New Orleans, where he owns a home. "There's a big difference between the MRIs from last season and this season. I have no cartilage in my left knee, and the right knee is headed in that direction. It's like they've been shaved down."

Bender said he is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in March. He probably will not announce a decision on his future before then.
"I either have to take a chance and keep going and end up with no range of motion in my legs, or stop," he said. "I don't want to put myself in position where I end up in a wheelchair."

Bender, who turns 25 on Jan. 30, entered the NBA as the fifth overall draft pick in 1999. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his six-plus seasons with the Pacers, but played just 76 games over the past three-plus seasons because of knee-related injuries.

His home in Carmel, Ind., remains for sale, though he might buy a smaller one in the area.

Bender's contract runs through the 2006-07 season.

No slam dunk for Jones

Pacers guard Fred Jones hasn't heard from the league about participating in the dunk contest at next month's All-Star Game in Houston. He already has an answer if he is asked.

"I'm all right; I don't need to do it this year," Jones said.
Jones won the competition in 2003 but missed it last season with an injury. He's healthy this season but feels he wouldn't be competitive in it.
"I just don't have it like I used to have it," Jones said.

O'Neal close to starting

Jones may not take part in All-Star weekend, but teammate Jermaine O'Neal looks like he's on his way to starting his third All-Star Game.

O'Neal has nearly a 400,000-vote lead over Detroit's Rasheed Wallace for one starting forward spot in the Eastern Conference. O'Neal trails Cleveland's LeBron James by more than 600,000.
Voting continues until Jan. 22.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060114/SPORTS04/601140503

MunciePacerBabe
01-14-2006, 09:30 AM
Although he said he's not ready to announce his retirement, he also has no immediate plans to return. He has not played since the Pacers' home opener Nov. 5, and has not practiced with the team since mid-November.
"There's a lot of wear and tear," Bender said in a telephone interview from New Orleans, where he owns a home. "There's a big difference between the MRIs from last season and this season. I have no cartilage in my left knee, and the right knee is headed in that direction. It's like they've been shaved down."

While watching the games on TV, I have been wondering why he is never seen around the team during games. Is he not expected to be part of the team? He is in NEW ORLEANS? What is the scoop?

Unclebuck
01-14-2006, 10:02 AM
Wait a minute, do you mean he hasn't had this injury since high school. Do you mean the Pacers couldn't have known about all this. Wow I'm confused.

Yes I'm being sarcastic


I'm specifically referring to this quote from Bender,
"There's a big difference between the MRIs from last season and this season. I have no cartilage in my left knee, and the right knee is headed in that direction. It's like they've been shaved down."



The scoop is the Pacers want him to retire, they are doing eveything they can to force him to retire, but they can't make him do it. A player must decide to retire, a team cannot retire a player.

Evan_The_Dude
01-14-2006, 10:16 AM
I wish he'd just retire and move on. How bout going to college now and getting a degree. That's a future that can't be denied by injury.

3Ball
01-14-2006, 10:52 AM
He isn't retiring because nothing can happen until the Ronnie trade. There is a possibility that a team would take him, knowing that he and his bloated salary can come off the cap after his retirement. They'd still have to pay him, so it isn't as valuable as an expiring contract. I just think Donnie has said don't do anything until we get the Ronnie situation finished. There isn't any real rush anyway. But if he announces that he will retire, the league may not allow him to be part of a trade. Just like everything else on this team, nothing can be done until we unload Ronnie.

Hicks
01-14-2006, 11:25 AM
I don't think a trading team would get the insurance coverage that we'll get with his retirement, so trading him does no good.

MunciePacerBabe
01-14-2006, 11:25 AM
My question still stands:

Why is he not sitting on the bench with the team like he still belongs to the Pacers? I think it seems weird that he isn't part of the team. Jamaal sits with the team, doesn't he? Ehat makes this situation different? I have been curious for a long time.

DisplacedKnick
01-14-2006, 11:40 AM
I don't think a trading team would get the insurance coverage that we'll get with his retirement, so trading him does no good.

Yeah - they changed the rule with this year's CBA. Not so sure about insurance covering the $$$ but I think that his salary coming off the team's cap only applies to the Pacers - with anyone else it would still count against the team for cap purposes.

aceace
01-14-2006, 11:42 AM
IMHO: This is smoke and mirrors, Bender like someone else said is waiting for the Artest soap opera to conclude. Then he will retire and it will be effective starting with whatever guidelines they go buy. Whether its the first game this year or retro to last year sometime. Why is he waiting till March for arthroscopic surgery? Anyone planning on playing again would have had the surgery after game 1 in November.

Hicks
01-14-2006, 11:51 AM
Bender's just not ready yet (mentally) to let go. Reading this, and knowing what we already knew before today, it's clear it's a matter of retire now, or try to play and lose the ability to function normally in day to day life because of even MORE injury, and then have retirment knock you on your ***. The only option is to walk away now, and sooner or later he's going to realize it. He can take his time as far as I'm concerned. It's his life, and it's not effecting the team.

pacerwaala
01-14-2006, 12:01 PM
[b]Bender faces quandary

Bender, who turns 25 on Jan. 30, entered the NBA as the fifth overall draft pick in 1999. He has shown flashes of brilliance in his six-plus seasons with the Pacers, but played just 76 games over the past three-plus seasons because of knee-related injuries.



Flashes of Brilliance? WTF?

probably, the writer should have added "in practice".

Bender is a bonafide bust.

Unclebuck
01-14-2006, 12:16 PM
I saw the flashes of brilliance. I guess the key word was flashes, but some of his individual plays were the most memorable to me over the past 5 years or so.

Jon Theodore
01-14-2006, 12:44 PM
Hey MunciePacerbabe, ive been looking for a girl to watch Pacer games with for sometime now

I think if we met wed fall in love

IM ME?

AIM: Jdogjent

DisplacedKnick
01-14-2006, 12:58 PM
I saw the flashes of brilliance. I guess the key word was flashes, but some of his individual plays were the most memorable to me over the past 5 years or so.

My problem is, I saw some spectacular plays from him.

I can't recall a single really good basketball move from him when he was closely guarded by a decent (not great - just decent) defender.

I'm sure there have been some but everything I remember - a 3, a monumental swoop to the hoop and throw down - came when he was left free, or came free because of a defensive rotation/screen.

I did see him try some turnaround jumpers in the post while guarded from time to time - but I don't remember any of those where he didn't look awkward doing it, even when the ball went in.

edit: I'm trying to remember the Christmas Game but that was so long ago.

Hicks
01-14-2006, 01:04 PM
Hey MunciePacerbabe, ive been looking for a girl to watch Pacer games with for sometime now

I think if we met wed fall in love

IM ME?

AIM: Jdogjent

That's just sad, dude.

MunciePacerBabe
01-14-2006, 01:29 PM
That's just sad, dude.



:-o :-o :-o :lol: :lol: :lol2: :lol2:
Thanks for the invite, Jonny Boy, but my husband might have a say in that!!!!
Besides, don't let the Babe part of my name fool you. I'm probably old enough to be your mom ;)

Hicks, don't much like the insult, however! I'm not quite sure what you meant by that. I haven't posted much on here, because I feel like nobody cares what I say. That might have just put the icing on the cake. :( I'll probably just keep lurking and keep my questions and opinions to myself. And to think I almost insisted that my husband and I go to the forum party.

Peck
01-14-2006, 01:35 PM
Uncle Buck & Jon Bender will forever be one of life's great mystery's to me.

If I didn't know better I would think he likes him just to be contrary to me:-p

He is everything you hate in basketball but yet you have always professed love for the guy.:shrug:

Oh well, probably no worse than what you think of me & Foster.

Well since I'm the resident conspirocy person I don't want to dissapoint anyone so here is today's question.

Why in the name of God did the Pacers wait till after the season started to have an MRI of Jon's knee???

I understand why they don't just do routine MRI's on everyone but with Jon I would think that this would be something they would do before ever allowing him on the floor.

This is probably a question for Kaufman, can you explain is there a risk reason why they wouldn't do this?

On another front, PacerMuncieBabe is right. If Jon is going to continue to take the money then he really should be up here doing with the team.

Peck
01-14-2006, 01:41 PM
:-o :-o :-o :lol: :lol: :lol2: :lol2:
Thanks for the invite, Jonny Boy, but my husband might have a say in that!!!!
Besides, don't let the Babe part of my name fool you. I'm probably old enough to be your mom ;)

Hicks, don't much like the insult, however! I'm not quite sure what you meant by that. I haven't posted much on here, because I feel like nobody cares what I say. That might have just put the icing on the cake. :( I'll probably just keep lurking and keep my questions and opinions to myself. And to think I almost insisted that my husband and I go to the forum party.

I'm not sure Hick's saw this but I thought I better jump in on this.

He was not insulting you at all. If anything he was talking about JonTheodore.

I've met Hicks & trust me the last thing he would want was for you to be insulted by this remark. He is quite a nice young man and would probably be hurt if you quit posting over this.

I hope some day to meet you & your husband at the party, is he a big fan btw?

Please, if anything, post more often.

Jermaniac
01-14-2006, 01:41 PM
That's just sad, dude.Really sad.

DisplacedKnick
01-14-2006, 01:48 PM
:-o :-o :-o :lol: :lol: :lol2: :lol2:
Thanks for the invite, Jonny Boy, but my husband might have a say in that!!!!
Besides, don't let the Babe part of my name fool you. I'm probably old enough to be your mom ;)

Hicks, don't much like the insult, however! I'm not quite sure what you meant by that. I haven't posted much on here, because I feel like nobody cares what I say. That might have just put the icing on the cake. :( I'll probably just keep lurking and keep my questions and opinions to myself. And to think I almost insisted that my husband and I go to the forum party.


That's just sad, dude.

I am 100% certain that what Hicks said wasn't directed at you but at a poster on this board propositioning women as if this was some sort of internet singles cafe.

SoupIsGood
01-14-2006, 01:49 PM
My question still stands:

Why is he not sitting on the bench with the team like he still belongs to the Pacers? I think it seems weird that he isn't part of the team. Jamaal sits with the team, doesn't he? Ehat makes this situation different? I have been curious for a long time.

Good question.


Where does Jon go nowadays?!

SoupIsGood
01-14-2006, 01:51 PM
Uncle Buck & Jon Bender will forever be one of life's great mystery's to me.

If I didn't know better I would think he likes him just to be contrary to me:-p

He is everything you hate in basketball but yet you have always professed love for the guy.:shrug:

Oh well, probably no worse than what you think of me & Foster.

Well since I'm the resident conspirocy person I don't want to dissapoint anyone so here is today's question.

Why in the name of God did the Pacers wait till after the season started to have an MRI of Jon's knee???

I understand why they don't just do routine MRI's on everyone but with Jon I would think that this would be something they would do before ever allowing him on the floor.

This is probably a question for Kaufman, can you explain is there a risk reason why they wouldn't do this?

On another front, PacerMuncieBabe is right. If Jon is going to continue to take the money then he really should be up here doing with the team.

Bball might ya there.

Bball
01-14-2006, 03:58 PM
I'm confused to whether Bender could ever be part of a trade. If he could then I understand this a little... assuming you don't take what he says about returning literally. But then saying anything at all about maybe coming back wouldn't help even if he could be traded and another reap the reward of a salary dump.

So I am going to take it at face value and just say Bender is being selfish... if not flat out contrary.

He's not that good if healthy... let alone injured. IOW, even at 100% he isn't much (certainly not 'superstar') and if he can never be 100% then he's worthless because his athleticism was all he ever had for a game anyway.

I'd say he could retire and do the Pacers a favor, and then if in a few years a miracle occurred and it appeared he could make a comeback, he could do just that. But I suppose he knows deep down, once he leaves the NBA, NOBODY is going to grease the skids for him like the Pacers have. He'd have to EARN his way back into the NBA. It would likely never happen for him. The first summer league game he decided to sit out, or just leave entirely, would be 'it' for him. The first icebag on a knee would likely doom him. That's assuming someone would even give him a shot in summer league a few years from now.

I will forever see Bender as the symbol of why Donnie Walsh's team have trouble getting over the hump. It's loyalty to a fault... It's overpaying our own... It's refusing to admit a mistake and holding on too long... It's stubbornly refusing to 'cut our losses' and just move on.

-Bball

Bball
01-14-2006, 04:05 PM
:-o :-o :-o :lol: :lol: :lol2: :lol2:
Thanks for the invite, Jonny Boy, but my husband might have a say in that!!!!
Besides, don't let the Babe part of my name fool you. I'm probably old enough to be your mom ;)

Hicks, don't much like the insult, however! I'm not quite sure what you meant by that. I haven't posted much on here, because I feel like nobody cares what I say. That might have just put the icing on the cake. :( I'll probably just keep lurking and keep my questions and opinions to myself. And to think I almost insisted that my husband and I go to the forum party.

I'm sure Hicks' "insult" wasn't directed at you. I feel quite confident he felt Jon Theodore's comment might've made you uncomfortable or insulted you and that was his point. He didn't want you thinking this place was full of stalkers and perverts and was afraid you might take JT's comment that way.

So IOW his comment is having the absolute opposite effect than what he intended. He wanted to defend you so you wouldn't leave by not feeling comfortable here.

-Bball

Will Galen
01-14-2006, 04:05 PM
MunciePacerbabe, I care, and your opinion is just as good as anyone else's as far as I'm concerned!

I concur with the guys that say Hicks wasn't insulting you. If fact when I first read your post I thought you were saying that Hicks didn't like you being insulted by Jon. I read it that way because it just never occurred to me that Hicks would insult someone. I don't know him personally except for on here, but I've read thousands of his posts and he's not a person that insults people.

Keep posting please! I like reading what the distaff side has to say about the Pacers.

Will Galen
01-14-2006, 04:17 PM
As for your question about Bender, the Star said he was going to announce his retirement and then before it could happen the Ron mess happened. So like has been said, I think it has been put off until Artest is traded. The Pacer's know this so there is no reason for him to sit on the bench if he doesn't want to, since he will never play again.

As for Jon Theodore, if he was serious about falling in love, more power to him. However, he should have messaged you privately.

Bball
01-14-2006, 04:37 PM
My question still stands:

Why is he not sitting on the bench with the team like he still belongs to the Pacers? I think it seems weird that he isn't part of the team. Jamaal sits with the team, doesn't he? Ehat makes this situation different? I have been curious for a long time.

I'm hoping it means 'because the Pacers finally realized he was a bust and was in fact a distraction himself'. For whatever reason, players had to wonder/worry about their own roles when/if Bender declared himself ready for his 15 minutes. It was obvious Bender was going to get the chance to prove his contract and all this time (and money) wasn't a waste.

I think towards the end there was a change... Bender dressed and Carlisle still didn't put him. All of a sudden he was getting treated the way he deserved (he couldn't keep moving ahead of players in the rotation and then declaring himself 'injured' for a game or two (or more... many times many more) and then expect to get his spot back. It's an impossible situation for everybody).

So I think TPTB finally said "enough".

I'm just starting to think Bender isn't ready to say "enough" and I'm unconvinced he isn't doing this out of spite. If that is true that would really be selfish because this organization did WAY WAY WAY more for him than any other NBA team ever would've. He would never have gotten an extension anywhere else.

He could've been Marcus Haislip. He probably should have been.
For that matter, I would have rather had Marcus Haislip all these years over Bender.

FWIW... I'm HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY that Bender isn't on the bench. If he can't play consistent games, if his future role with the team is a giant question mark, then we're better off without that distraction.

In other words (by retiring due to injury):

Bender still has one last opportunity to finally make a real contribution to this team, to pay back their loyalty, and he isn't doing it.


-Bball

Hicks
01-15-2006, 12:09 AM
Thank you all for supporting me correctly on this. MPB, I was referring only to Jon asking you out, I was in no way attempting to insult you, and I'm sorry if you felt that I was. Hopefully no harm done. :)

RWB
01-16-2006, 09:15 AM
MunciePacerBabe, if you and your husband are Pacer fans then you need to make it to a forum party. It is not a singles meet or anything remotely like that.

I can tell you this....There have been fathers and sons there, boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, and every person has been respectful because first and foremost they are good people who enjoy the common love for the Pacers. Hopefully one of our youngest female members will be able to come to the party with her family. Also it has been mentioned BillS plays on making it to the next party with his wife.

P.S.... Hicks, I understand perfectly what you were trying to say and if someone was trying a pickup line with my wife I would appreciate what you were trying to do.....And Jon, that's not a put down toward you. You didn't know, but a good example on how things can get misconstrued easily.

DisplacedKnick
01-16-2006, 09:44 AM
And Jon, that's not a put down toward you. You didn't know, but a good example on how things can get misconstrued easily.

Personally, IMO asking someone out should be done privately, which is why there's a Private Message feature on this board ...