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Frank Slade
07-24-2006, 06:14 PM
Strong Veteran Leader
Armstrong Brings Positive Energy To Pacers
By Conrad Brunner
July 24, 2006

This being, in all likelihood, the final season of Darrell Armstrong's career, the veteran guard isn't interested in going quietly.
That simply isn't his style.

Acquired from Dallas along with young forwards Josh Powell and Rawle Marshall Monday in exchange for Anthony Johnson, the veteran point guard fully intends to bring the Pacers everything he's brought his other NBA teams, namely energy, enthusiasm and leadership in large quantities.

"I'm going to tell you right now: when I come in, I'm going to be myself," Armstrong said by telephone from Orlando, where he's conducting an annual basketball camp to benefit his foundation.

"I love to bring my energy early in the morning. I know guys are going to get tired of hearing me. I just love to play the game. I love to come to practice. I love to come to work. I'm going to bring my leadership, I'm going to bring my hard work.

"I always try to lead by example first. When it's time to be vocal, I'll say what I have to say and I'll let it go from there. The biggest thing is leading by example. When guys see you playing hard, when they see you picking up 94 feet up the floor pressuring guards and making things happen, they're going to do the same thing.

That's where the leadership has to start. When it's time to be vocal, you've got to know how to talk to guys and know what to say to 'em. You can't always yell at guys because sometimes it's going to turn them off."

Armstrong, 38, averaged 10.0 minutes, 2.1 points and 1.4 assists in 62 games with the Mavericks in 2005-06. He has career averages of 10.1 points and 4.4 assists. Though he played a secondary role on the court, Armstrong was an important part of the team chemistry of the Western Conference champions.

Coach Avery Johnson's faith in Armstrong's leadership was demonstrated in January. On the flight back to Dallas after a 117-115 loss in New York, Johnson summoned Armstrong to the back of the plane and suggested he conduct the next day's film session. No coaches would be present.

The Mavericks promptly won 13 in a row and 19 of 20.

"He knew I had the leadership," Armstrong said. "He knew the guys responded to me, so he had me do the film session the next day without the coaches. It was fun. It was something new, something different for me and I think it instilled something into me because it showed me I do have the ability, once I finish this game, to coach somewhere in this league or around the world."

Armstrong will have to wait to begin his coaching career. The free agent reportedly signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract to facilitate the sign-and-trade deal and believes he still has plenty to offer the Pacers in a reserve role.

"It's an exciting time in my career," he said. "When teams say they need your leadership and they need you to come in and mentor these young guys, that's great. I think Indiana realized I can still play this game. I still play with the energy I need to play with. I'm not going to play 40 minutes but I can play 10, 12, 15 and do my part. I'm just delighted to have the opportunity. I always felt like this team was a good team and I still feel that way. This is a good opportunity and a good place for me to play basketball."

Though the Pacers have undergone quite an offseason face lift already, including a previous trade with Dallas that netted Marquis Daniels in exchange for Austin Croshere, Armstrong isn't boarding the train of thought that the team is rebuilding.

"They have a lot of transition going but they still have a foundation in Jermaine O'Neal, in Jamaal Tinsley and in Stephen Jackson," he said. "I like the transition. It's not about starting new. It's just about continuing to add pieces to the puzzle. Hopefully everybody can connect at the right time, especially when you get to the playoffs and compete for the championship."

Pacers.Com (http://www.nba.com/pacers/news/armstrong_060724.html)

Sounds like Armstrong is not afraid to speak his mind, when the time is right, with Reggie and Croshere gone another veteran with a great work ethic is certainly a big plus for all the young players to emulate.

jjbjjbjjb
07-24-2006, 06:18 PM
Positive Energy! Wooo, I love it.

Mourning
07-24-2006, 06:34 PM
That's exactly why I wasn't as opposed to the deal as some seemed to be. In all honesty I would like us to atleast TRY one of the other two fellows we got from Dallas to see what EXACTLY we got.

ChicagoJ
07-24-2006, 06:45 PM
If he thinks that's a "foundation," he's in for a big surprise. Of course, he's saying the right things to get those three clowns in line with his leadership.

aero
07-24-2006, 07:53 PM
This guy seems like a class act. Im looking forward to seeing what he can do for us in the lockeroom(event though i wont be in here:() I just hope it translates on the court to positive attitudes and chemistry

Peck
07-24-2006, 08:54 PM
I remember when Armstrong led a mismatched undermanned team of Magic to the playoffs. When they were elemenated he cried like a baby in the locker room & litterally begged on tv for management to not make the big changes that were to come.

I knew right there & then that this is a guy you would really really want on your team & to be your team mate.

He's 38 years old so I just regret that it took us this long to get the guy but this is honestly a true warrior in small form.

A.J. was too, but I think I get what they are trying to do.

tora tora
07-24-2006, 08:55 PM
when they see you picking up 94 feet up the floor pressuring guards and making things happen, they're going to do the same thing.


Not if :carlisle: has anything to say about it...

Putnam
07-24-2006, 10:23 PM
I've got a bad feeling about this. Is Armstrong really going to change this team's character? That is the coach's job, and I don't believe that any third-string point guard in NBA history could come to a new team and make any difference.

The Pacers have had good luck with getting leadership from elder statesmen in the past. Byron Scott and Chris Mullin both came to the team late in their careers and brought a lot of stature. But they didn't come at the age of 38, admitting they are going to retire at the end of this season. And neither Scott nor Mullin came to a team like this one. Their challenge was getting good teams to play great -- not solving serious knuckleheadedness.

I don't think Armstrong will get enough minutes to show any zest in games. And I don't think Carlisle is going to want him to take over very many practices or film sessions.

Does anyone really believe in this talk of locker-room presence? I picture a dozen guys sitting around in various stages of dress and undress, some of them getting rubbed down or taped up or whatever, different guys walking in and out, some going out early to shoot, some arriving late, and loud hip-hop music playing all the while. Armstrong could give the most rousing speech since Henry V's "Band of Brothers" and I don't think it would make any difference.

I hope I'm wrong.

circlecitysportsfan
07-24-2006, 10:50 PM
Well on the bright side, you know he won't be in the stands swinging....;)

Arcadian
07-24-2006, 11:06 PM
Armstrong and Al are better leaders than anyone we had on our roster last year. When I think Cro I think professional not leader.

Naptown_Seth
07-24-2006, 11:14 PM
If he thinks that's a "foundation," he's in for a big surprise. Of course, he's saying the right things to get those three clowns in line with his leadership.
Which is what makes a good leader. Even he said that you can't just always yell at people, that they will tune you out. You have to know how to listen and say the right things, how to push buttons.


But let's get on to the most important point here - how great is it that Conseco has a STARBUCKS in it! This is a freaking match made in heaven between DA and the Pacers. Think of the sponsership deal, dude could walk right from the Starbucks to the court.

:havecoffe
He will be kicking butt all hopped up the way he likes :woohoo:


PS - I propose that the :havecoffe smiley be renamed the Armstrong smiley. :D

Peck
07-24-2006, 11:33 PM
Which is what makes a good leader. Even he said that you can't just always yell at people, that they will tune you out. You have to know how to listen and say the right things, how to push buttons.


But let's get on to the most important point here - how great is it that Conseco has a STARBUCKS in it! This is a freaking match made in heaven between DA and the Pacers. Think of the sponsership deal, dude could walk right from the Starbucks to the court.

:havecoffe
He will be kicking butt all hopped up the way he likes :woohoo:


PS - I propose that the :havecoffe smiley be renamed the Armstrong smiley. :D

If you really wanted to do that right you would get a Hershey's kiss smiley. :D

Naptown_Seth
07-24-2006, 11:37 PM
If you really wanted to do that right you would get a Hershey's kiss smiley. :D
:censored: :duh:

Also I missed the better smiley... :morning: