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View Full Version : Ok, let's start to end the week with something bland and agreed upon by everyone....



Peck
06-07-2007, 04:33 AM
I was going to just title this one "where I think the Pacers went wrong", but then I would have been going back to before when a lot of you were born.

So I've gone with the above route instead, I thought it would be good for a laugh anyway. Becuase I have a feeling there won't be much laughing on this thread.

First a disclaimer.

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WARNING, YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER A THREAD THAT WILL CRITICIZE PACERS MANAGEMENT FOR RECENT DECISIONS. WHILE THAT IS POPULAR TO DO ON HERE NOW, THIS WILL NOT BE OF THE "OH THEY GOT SCREWED IN THAT GOLDEN STATE TRADE" VEIN OF THINKING. SO IF YOU ARE A FAN OF THE FOLLOWING (JERMAINE O'NEAL, DONNIE WALSH, HERB SIMON, JAMAAL TINSLEY, STEPHEN JACKSON, RON ARTES OR ANTHONY JOHNSON) YOU WILL WANT TO SKIP THIS ENTIRE THREAD. ALSO IF WHEN I (MEANING ME PECK) POST AND HAVE STRONG OPINIONS AND THIS OFFENDS YOU TO YOUR VERY CORE PLEASE SKIP THIS ENTIRE THREAD AS WELL, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
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Ok, if your still here you either have an open mind, are looking for a fight or just have nothing better to do.

This probably will not be a very long post, contrary to what my above warning indicates but it is going to be filled with very & I mean very unpopular opinions stated by me.

Here goes nothing.

The entire Pacers franchise went to crap on November 21, 2004.

Why November 21 you ask and not November 19? Well one could argue that November 19 was the actual day that it went to crap and I would be hard pressed to disagree however the reason I pick November 21, 2004 is because that is the day that the franchise could have set it all right, they didn't do it and on that day they not only planted the seeds that would turn the fan base against them they watered and fertalized it as well.

November 21, 2004 was the day that Herb Simon could have held a press conferance with a grim looking Donnie Walsh standing behind or beside him. In that press conferance he could have addressed the fans of Indiana and the entire world (because let's face it by that time it was worldwide news) and explained that the Indiana Pacers franchise was not going to tolerate this type of behavior from it's players. He could have announced sweeping suspensions for some of our players. He could have announced massive fines and orders for community service for some of our other players. He could have looked into the camera and told everybody how ashamed he was that our team was involved in this fiasco. Now to be fair he also could have and should have complained about the lack of security from the Palace and he could have even complained about the referee's, Ben Wallace and even the entire NBA's lack of control. I don't think anybody but Piston fans would have faulted him for making those last comments.

Donnie Walsh could have come to the mic and explained that in his 20 plus years with the club that he had never had to deal with this and that he was sorry about this. He could have assured us this would never happen again and that steps were being taken right now to ensure that each and every player who wears a Pacers uniform would understand that there is an acceptable and an unacceptable way of conducting themselves.

Then some designated Pacer (probably Reggie or Croshere) could have taken the mic and said that while they understood the players in question were acting in self defense it was the job of every team member left to compete at their highest level and that they would make sure Indiana fans would be proud of their effort if not their results.

But none of this happened.

Instead we got the "we stand behind our players" talk that has now become so famous here in Indiana.

Now again this is all my opinion and I know most of you will disagree with me on this. But let's just take a jog down my fantasy land lane shall we?

In my mind the Pacers inform the NBA commisioner of this on November 20 a full day before they tell anyone else.

David Stern who is under immense pressure from businesses who advertise with the NBA to put his foot down, now can ease up a little bit. Sure he still is going to have to say that this is the worst thing ever yada, yada, yada and Artest may still get the season long boot.

But if the Pacers orginazation lays the hammer down first he then is under no real pressure to spay an neuter the franchise. In other words he could have just punished the players, but as it was he had to make sure the entire world knew that the team was being punished.

My opinion on this has always been that if the Pacers had shown contricion and a willingness to clean our own house instead of defiance Stern would have lightened up. Do I have proof of this? No, so if you wanna say I'm nuts feel free. Remember this is opinion and mine is no more valid than yours.

Also it would have said to some of our fans, "hey we don't tolerate this ***** either".

Now remember as I've been trying to tell everybody for years and years on here. Ron Artest was far more popular online than he ever was at the fieldhouse. Sure he got some cheers but he also had the catcalls as well for some of his antics (no not like Jackson got, but he got some nonetheless)

While 98% of the fans on this board were ready to fight with anybody who dared question that maybe Ron was wrong, a lot of people around Indianapolis and Central Indiana started talking about "why do they keep these thugs". Thugs being a word used (incorrectly as kegboy will point out) over and over and over in describing our team by people in our own stands.

Now not only could they have told the fans this, the league this, the world this. They also could have told our players this. Had they thrown the hammer down for these incidents my feeling is that some of the follow up b.s. that has happened away from & a few that happened on the court would not have happened.

But instead all we have had for three years now is very very famous Donnie Walsh legal speak. "We are letting the legal system take it's course", "we stand behind our players", etc., etc.

I know that appeals to many of you and that's fine that is your right. But I know a few pacer fans that this does not appeal to.

How do I know? I'm a Pacers fan and it does not appeal to me.

Can you think of how our franchise might have been differant if instead of acting like our players did nothing wrong, if they would have laid the hammer down.

For that matter even if you don't think it would have been that much better, as I beleive, how could it have been any worse?

I've lived here all of my life and as of yesterday I once again am the exact same age as the franchise and I have never heard of local fans hating the Pacers.

I'm not talking about "Oh they're a bunch of losers who cares about the NBA anyway, NCAA is the only true basketball" that we had in the 80's and early 90's.

I'm talking about right now if you mention you are a Pacers fan here in central Indiana you not only get "do you still follow that team" you also get "how can you support a group of thugs, man I just wish they would move on".

How do I know this? I was training a new employee on Tuesday when during the daily routine of just getting to know each other better I mentioned I was a Pacers fan.

The quotes from above were word for word what he said to me. No this wasn't some 48 year old who is just bitter. This was a 19 year old kid who grew up in Beach Grove.

It just brought it all back to me what I thought then and still think today.

If the owners and the managment had come down on the side of saying this wasn't right and showing the fans here that they didn't like it either, that the Pacers would not have this P.R. mess they have today.

Still 3 years later I have only heard Larry Bird make any comment about being ashamed of what has happened here. I've not heard the Simons, I've not heard Walsh. Now they may be saying these things behind closed doors and to a point I understand that. But as it is to a lot of us they were and still are nothing more than enablers.

Ok, now that I have said all of that I am prepared to face the firing squad.

So in the immortal words of Johhny Storm "Flame On", come and get some.

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The above was the opinion of the author (peck) and does not represent the opinions or positions of the management of this board. The author has the sole responsibility for it's content and freely aknowledges that his opinions are just that, opinions. However the final decisions on opinions is made by God himself and as is a well known fact God is a fan of Pecks writings:-o:angel:

skyfire
06-07-2007, 05:16 AM
I'd go back further to the point that the owners overruled Bird's desire to trade Artest, before the brawl even happened. Everything since then has just been making the best of a bad situation.

DisplacedKnick
06-07-2007, 06:54 AM
I can almost live with their Artest response - but when Steven Jackson had his shootout they repeated basically the same thing? Then Tinsley & Friends in a brawl? At what point do you realize how mcuh that alienates people?

Keep this in mind too - Artest apologization was a long tradition with the Pacers before the brawl. How many times did he pull something, like rip the camera out of the guy's hands at the Garden, or pose for Pat Riley, salute fans, etc., where Isiah came out with a statement of how shocked he was that Artest was suspended - that he hadn't done anything wrong and the Pacers loved his passion? I don't remember if Walsh had anything to say about that but Isiah was still management.

I don't ever remember the Pacers coming out with any sort of statement about how disappointed they were with a player's behavior and how there would be consequences. The response was always what you've outlined. Makes me wonder if DW worked in the White House in the Nixon administration.

Fans aren't that stupid. When things are in disarray, as much as anything they want management to basically come out and say, "We know things are screwed up - we're going to fix it."

Of course I guess the "It's up to us" promotion said that - they just didn't DO it.

indygeezer
06-07-2007, 07:29 AM
There are certain things teams may and may not do in regards to punishment which are dictated by the CBA. There are also legal reamifications involved. I would assume that punishments handed out by the team w/o due process would end up in a player v. team lawsuit. When great sums of cash are involved it is almost a given that a court will be involved.
I'm not condoneing how TPTB handled this, I'm just saying we don't know all of the legal ramifications of them stepping up to the mic and doing what most of us wanted them to do. (we also don't know what they did behind the scenes) But as you say, on the face of it, TPTB said "We ride together".

But that really isn't what this thread is about. I DO want to know your comments on AJ et al that you alluded to in your disclaimer.

MagicRat
06-07-2007, 07:31 AM
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SO IF YOU ARE A FAN OF THE FOLLOWING (JERMAINE O'NEAL, DONNIE WALSH, HERB SIMON, JAMAAL TINSLEY, STEPHEN JACKSON, RON ARTES OR ANTHONY JOHNSON)
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I guess I'm out.

I refuse to read anything deriding Anthony Johnson......


I DO want to know your comments on AJ et al that you alluded to in your disclaimer.

Shirley you have to know everyone's opinion about pretty much everything and everyone by now.....

owl
06-07-2007, 07:34 AM
Maybe TPTB were doing everything in their power to get Reggie a
championship. The talent was there it just blew up in their face.
Thus they overlooked the warning signs and here we are. They hopefully
have learned a very hard lesson.

Unclebuck
06-07-2007, 07:36 AM
Peck, if the Pacers would have done what you are now suggesting (no one was suggesting that at the time) then maybe the relationship between the Indianapolis people and the Pacers might be slightly and I emphasize the word slightly - the relationship might be slightly better than it is right now. But I don't believe it would have made much of a difference.

As I posted several months ago, I think Indianapolis is hard wired to dislike the Pacers and the NBA - only exception being 1994 - 2000 (Peck, you yourself always refer to the 2004 teamn as not very polular)
So I consider what we are going through right now "as the norm" and the only way to get out of the norm is to have extreme success.

So Peck, I don't agree with your thesis.


And as for the notion that TPTB never were critical of the players actions on 11/19 - I don't buy that statement either. I think they were. Keep in mind that 11/19 was on a Friday night, the pacers played a home game 11/20 and Stern's decision was made 11/21 at about 6:00 (I'll never forget where I was) So there wasn't a whole lot of time) But back to my point, I think they were critical - I'd have to do some research to dig up some quotes.

And for the record - I don't care what the Pacers might have done suspending their own players, Stern would not have changed what he ended up doing.

Actions speak louder than words, and the only way the Pacers could have saved their reputation a little is if they would have traded Jax and Artest during their suspensions - now that would have helped the relationship between the team and fans

Alpolloloco
06-07-2007, 08:32 AM
Great post Peck!

As usual I almost agree with you completely, but as UB said I don't think Stern would have been milder on us if TPTB had put the hammer down.

Afterwards it would have been the best decision to trade both Artest and Jackson during their suspensions but we wouldn't have gotten back great value (and some will say we didn't get that afterall either).

Knucklehead Warrior
06-07-2007, 08:53 AM
Hindsight is always 20-20. Looking back knowing what we know today, it would have resolved a lot of problems wouldn't it? I remember though there were many people who stuck up for Ron, even considered him a victim.

I agree the TPTB needed to take a hard stand and do the right thing, but there would have been many fans who would have disagreed with it. This was supposed to have been our championship season. If we had traded away our problems right away, then the fans would have crucified TPTB for throwing away the chance to get those rings. Much easier to lay the blame on Herr Schtern. A few, Peck among them perhaps, would have agreed it was necessary, and the knucklehead warrior debate would have continued.

Later perhaps, jax2 could have fired his gun in SanFrancisco instead of here, and those who think integrity is better than wins could have gloated.

I'm quite certain the judge was lenient with me, when at the age of 16 appearing in traffic court, my dad told the judge he had taken away my license for 30 days.

BillS
06-07-2007, 09:12 AM
Can't disagree with most of Peck's post.

<i>pause while world ends in flaming glory</i>

Some points would be:

- there is a difference between the way they could have handled the Brawl (which was clear to pretty much everyone) and how they had to handle the SJax/Tinsley club incidents. In the latter case, I think "waiting for the justice system" was the correct (and legal) way to go - especially as the last incident seems to have fizzled out as nowhere near what it was originally made out to be. Reacting radically to first reports would have put the franchise itself in a heap of trouble and might have been just as bad PR wise.

- as have others, I must point out that Stern would still have felt the need to emasculate the Pacers. I still have it in my head that if Jax was playing for the Pacers while being tossed out of 2 playoff games he'd have been under suspension for the rest of the series. No way to prove it, but that's the way I feel.

- The actions of management show that they finally listened to the fans about the appeal of players being equally important to their abilities. IF (and I agree, it is a HUGE if) we can get through a year - even of mediocre play - as good citizens (getting rid of Tinsley or at least curbing the club scene during training camp and the season would help immensely) then I think the "thug" attitude will diminish. I don't think it will ever go away because the NBA is more of a street culture (for better or worse, I don't argue either way) than most traditional basketball fans in Indiana would prefer. That, however, is not something TPTB can affect unless they want to reject most (if not all) of the top players now or in future.

- Communication is the key, but (as we've seen in the past) it is not the strong suit of this franchise. When they tried it (with the "it's up to us" campaign), the players blew it up in their faces. Imagine what the view of the franchise would be had the club incidents not happened on the heels of that PR move. Wouldn't that have moved us into a better place? Now, though, they have to clean up the mess and wait for a while without incident before something remotely like that would work.

- Finally, I would remind long-time denizens of the Donnie Debate that taking these kind of franchise-risking actions is exactly what some advocated and some warned against. Failure in taking such a risk was always seen as a player not panning out - many saw Artest as a danger but no one really thought he would out-Rodman Rodman (heck, he almost out-Roddyed Roddy Piper). A GM and organization not normally risk takers simply weren't prepared for an explosion of this magnitude. It really just goes to show that even successful people can make major blunders - one just hopes they learn from them.

MagicRat
06-07-2007, 09:49 AM
Now remember as I've been trying to tell everybody for years and years on here. Ron Artest was far more popular online than he ever was at the fieldhouse. Sure he got some cheers but he also had the catcalls as well for some of his antics (no not like Jackson got, but he got some nonetheless)

While 98% of the fans on this board were ready to fight with anybody who dared question that maybe Ron was wrong, a lot of people around Indianapolis and Central Indiana started talking about "why do they keep these thugs".

I would almost argue that Artest was closer to folk hero status than hated by the start of the next season. He was coming back as a 270 pound Paul Bunyan of a small forward. He got a huge ovation at the Fan Jam.

He may have been despised by the wine and cheese crowd in the lower and club levels, but I think he had the balcony dwellers.......

Naptown_Seth
06-07-2007, 10:09 AM
Ok, if your still here you either have an open mind,This following that disclaimer is some of the most clever irony every penned. Genius sir, pure Faulkner-esqe genius.
;)


Rat is 100% right about Artest. After the brawl he was still viewed as unfairly punished. Nearly everyone put more blame on Jackson, certainly on Stern who was soundly BOO'D the previous spring when he attended the DET/IND playoff game in Conseco, and on Detroit fans and security.

Ron totally lost the locals when he took that Fan Jam love and spit on it a few months later by going to the press to ask for a trade...so he could SHOOT MORE no less. He mentioned himself in the same breath as Kobe Bryant.

And that was the end of that. It wasn't the antics, it was his attitude toward the team itself. Antics with his output people were fine with as long as he was on "our" side in the battle. When he went rogue he turned his LOCAL image into the national version - psycho jerk.



And for the record - I don't care what the Pacers might have done suspending their own players, Stern would not have changed what he ended up doing.Totally agree.
Peck, this view is like the wife saying "he wouldn't beat me if I hadn't burnt his toast and ruined the eggs". It's not management's fault that Stern used them as the fall guy, he had to have someone punished in order to assure his money-base that the NBA wasn't out of control, thugs, and outright dangerous.

Notice that DET did very little to punish the people involved on its side of the matter, meaning they didn't ramp up security or even install the protective tunnel covers that were "required". Did Stern ever punish them for that aspect? Did he ever punish them after the bomb threat game (which in fact featured a FIGHT in the stands between fans) or the AI-coin throw game? No, he went with "my hands are tied".

Indy was a good scapegoat because he could safely reach out and hurt the players and thus maintain his image of control.

Of course a few years later and his control went over wonderfully in Vegas, proving his actions have had zero impact and that he is totally out of touch with where the NBA is at right now.


I will agree on one thing, the brawl did destroy this team. The emotional baggage it left them with was just too much. Plenty of teams have players that don't get along, have power squabbles about touches and playing time, and guys getting techs (um, the Pistons have a ring, right).

Those teams typically don't have to deal with the repeated association with the brawl every time one of those issues comes up, that's the difference. If Ray Allen and Lewis argue in the locker room or yell at the coach, they don't have that issue blown up to 100 because of "the brawl" over and over.


And let's remember this, the fan-player physical interaction started when a drunk guy with a rap sheet threw something at a sober guy without one. If that happens at your local bar there's only 1 guy going to jail that night (and sometimes its not even fair).

RWB
06-07-2007, 10:49 AM
- Communication is the key, but (as we've seen in the past) it is not the strong suit of this franchise.


I agree, but it does appear there has been an effort to change that recently and I think the Ps are on the right track with being more open with the fans.

HERB SIMON

I honesetly don't have a problem with the way the Simons have handled the team. I prefer the owner that stays out of the way and hires supposed experts to take care of the team. The Pacers have had one of the highest payrolls in one of the smallest markets. The brothers have paid out the cash and I'm not sure what more we could ask of them? They're smart business men obviously, but I wasn't aware they had to be basketball gurus.

Hicks
06-07-2007, 11:32 AM
There are certain things teams may and may not do in regards to punishment which are dictated by the CBA. There are also legal reamifications involved. I would assume that punishments handed out by the team w/o due process would end up in a player v. team lawsuit. When great sums of cash are involved it is almost a given that a court will be involved.
I'm not condoneing how TPTB handled this, I'm just saying we don't know all of the legal ramifications of them stepping up to the mic and doing what most of us wanted them to do. (we also don't know what they did behind the scenes) But as you say, on the face of it, TPTB said "We ride together".

But that really isn't what this thread is about. I DO want to know your comments on AJ et al that you alluded to in your disclaimer.

But indygeezer, since when does a franchise have to wait for the legal system to punish an individual before they can punish someone on their team? If David Harrison smashes another picture in the Fieldhouse, do the people involved have to file charges to the police, what for the penalty to be handed down, before they as the management of the Pacers can punish him? I don't believe so. So why would it be any different with the Brawl?

Sure with the stuff that happened outside of anything NBA-related you have to wait, but the Brawl was on video tape and happened while they were in uniform in an NBA arena.

Hicks
06-07-2007, 11:51 AM
HERB SIMON

I honesetly don't have a problem with the way the Simons have handled the team. I prefer the owner that stays out of the way and hires supposed experts to take care of the team. The Pacers have had one of the highest payrolls in one of the smallest markets. The brothers have paid out the cash and I'm not sure what more we could ask of them? They're smart business men obviously, but I wasn't aware they had to be basketball gurus.

Well considering that, as I understand it, the Simons are the reason we didn't trade Artest for Stojakovic during the summer of 2004, someone should tell them that they aren't basketball gurus.

RWB
06-07-2007, 12:09 PM
Well considering that, as I understand it, the Simons are the reason we didn't trade Artest for Stojakovic during the summer of 2004, someone should tell them that they aren't basketball gurus.

Maybe they learned from that mistake and is why they didn't re-sign Peja during the summer of 2006. ;)

beast23
06-07-2007, 12:39 PM
Wow.

You know, it's funny in a way. From the mid-90's through prior to last season, I was totally wired with the Pacers. With the contacts that I had and the contacts that my circle of acquaintances had, there weren't many things that went on in Pacer-land that I didn't know about. I didn't always know exactly what was going to happen, but I almost always knew that something was about to happen.

But since that time, the best contacts that I had are no longer associated with the Pacers. And, I was contracting out of state most of last season and was not able to speak with many of my game-night contacts that are still with the organization.

But a couple of years ago, I had PM'd Bball and a couple of others with what I was told about what was going on.

After the brawl, I can tell you that the Simons, Donnie and Larry were ****ed. Extremely ****ed.

The Simons were receiving calls from everywhere, including state and local government officials asking what the heck was going on and how was it that we arrived at this point. After all, our politicians were working their butts off to bring business to Indiana and Indianapolis, and they didn't need any negative publicity regarding the city and the state, even if it only pertained to a local sports team.

I can also tell you that Owl is spot on.


Maybe TPTB were doing everything in their power to get Reggie a championship. The talent was there it just blew up in their face.

That is exactly why no harsh corrective action was taken in reaction to earlier warning signs. Because we were totally focused on getting Reggie back to the finals. As you recall, we had just been through a season that was foiled due to Detroit's late acquisition of Rasheed. Had that trade not happened, there is more than ample reason to believe that we could have reached the finals, possibly culminating in a championship. Going into the "season form hell", we still had all the pieces in place that we needed. We knew it would be a battle with Detroit, but we believed that we had a reasonable shot at getting past them and into the finals.

Walsh and Bird really thought that, as long as a little extra care was provided, that they could keep Artest in check. Unfortunately, on 19Nov they learned that in the time it takes to snap one's fingers, that Artest can explode and the reputation of an entire franchise can be trashed.

I think most assume that anyone having anything to do with the Pacers was firmly in poor Ron's corner. I don't think anything could be further from the truth. And here's where the rub comes in with Peck's premise.

Business is business. There are multiple way of looking at any problem. There is reacting to the problem in the way that Peck has mentioned, which in hindsight probably would have been the smartest.

But then another possiblity is to evaluate how best to maintain value in your asset (Artest) so that you can get as much as possible for him when you do trade him. Right or wrong, the Pacers decided to support Artest, at least outwardly in an attempt to do what they could to diminish his bad-boy image.

They eventually provided Stern with information that enabled Stern to conclude that it would be in Artest's and the Pacers best interest for Artest to begin practicing with the team during his suspension. And by season's end, the Pacers thought that maybe their problems with Artest's antics might be behind them... so much so that they passed on a couple of decent opportunities to trade him.

I don't really know whether the Pacers considered publicly condemning Artest to the extreme that Peck suggests. If they did, I think it could have gone a long way towards putting the Pacers in a better position with their fans. But I also believe that our ability to obtain decent value in return for Artest would have eventually been lost.

But I believe one thing is certain. Had we condemned Artest, what has happened since the brawl would have been substantially changed. Even without a change in fan sentiment, many of the trades probably never would have happened... because that initial trade of Ron for Peja and utimately losing Peja probably never would have occurred.

Trader Joe
06-07-2007, 12:48 PM
Peck I actually agree with you on the idea that the franchise could have avoided stiff penalties from the NBA if they had stepped up and disciplined our own players.

I also agree that the Pacers have lost quite a bit of the 18-30 age group in Central Indiana. Few people in that age group truely follow the team now and probably won't come back to the team until they start to win a lot and I mean A LOT more games or get a big time name in a draft. Until then this age group is probably lost to the Pacers IMO.

Dr. Goldfoot
06-07-2007, 01:59 PM
I would almost argue that Artest was closer to folk hero status than hated by the start of the next season. He was coming back as a 270 pound Paul Bunyan of a small forward. He got a huge ovation at the Fan Jam.

He may have been despised by the wine and cheese crowd in the lower and club levels, but I think he had the balcony dwellers.......


I agree w/ MR on this. Many saw Ronnie as a martyr as the following season opened. He was gonna come back and show the world. It was after his trade demand that many soured on him.

ajbry
06-07-2007, 02:04 PM
Some of y'all bring up some valid points.

But there were also a large contingent of us who wanted to give the team as many chances as we possibly could simply due to the talent and the championship aspirations (and legitimate possibilities).

I wanted to keep JO/Jack/Ron together until there was absolutely no choice. It seems real flawed and ended up killing the franchise's chance at greatness in a big way - but some of us held out hope that the trio could get back on the floor together and all of the other issues would fall to the wayside and the winning would eventually put those issues in the back of our minds.

RWB
06-07-2007, 02:11 PM
I also agree that the Pacers have lost quite a bit of the 18-30 age group in Central Indiana. Few people in that age group truely follow the team now and probably won't come back to the team until they start to win a lot

I believe there is some truth to that, but the biggest factor is the Pacers can't compete with what's important in life. In that age group what is more important the Pacers or a car, or a lady, or college, or apartment, starting a family, ect?

Seems the pendulum swings dramatically at an earlier age and then later in life.

Dr. Goldfoot
06-07-2007, 02:16 PM
I think Geezer has a pretty good point...guaranteed contracts. It may make some of the fans happier if they would've just shown some of these guys the door but the reality of the situation is they still have to pay them, they still count against the cap and nobody wants to come play for a team that does that to it's players. Who's to say the players around the league wouldn't rally behind these guys who were "wronged" and refuse to come play here. There would be legal ramifications, the team would take a popularity hit with the players around the league and who knows how that would affect the players on the roster.

I also ask you to think back about how you really felt in the few days after the brawl. The overriding sentiment at the time was WTH just happened. Most people felt the Piston fans were in the wrong, including the national media originally. I think the length of the suspensions came as a shock to everybody following the story. If Artest was only suspened half the season and the other guys suspensions were still relative to that we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

The Pacers of the late 90's early 00's were good. It's not like they were running a dynasty. Those guys all left and the team Walsh put together to replace them was also very talented. I think Rick Carlisle wasted the talent he was given. He did exactly the opposite of what is expected of a NBA coach. He divided, alienated and played mind games with fragile minds. He should have found a way to get those players united, caressed those in need and communicated with his guys.

This franchise took a nosedive under Rick Carlisle's watch. I've never seen so many former players take cheap shots at a former coach. Rick Carlisle is the reason this team failed.

Bball
06-07-2007, 02:24 PM
This franchise took a nosedive under Rick Carlisle's watch. I've never seen so many former players take cheap shots at a former coach. Rick Carlisle is the reason this team failed.

A big part of the problems is that some players found it easier to take a potshot at Rick Carlisle rather than just looking in a mirror.

-Bball

indyman37
06-07-2007, 03:20 PM
1) I personally think people wouldn't be so upset with the Pacers if they didn't pull out that b.s. statement whenever one or more of our players have gone out and done something idiotic. For once, I would like to see the organization take a stand and say that they will not take this and that there will be consequences.

2) I for one, have never really come to like college basketball. Don't get me wrong, I love the sport of basketball an everything about it. But professional basketball is my true love. Most people think I'm crazy when I tell them this (and even crazier when I tell them that I love the Pacers), but I cannot help it. Sometimes I even prefer to watch international basketball or even the WNBA rather than the collegic level.

3) Peck, I agree with absolutely everything in your post 100%.

Lord Helmet
06-07-2007, 03:42 PM
Nice post, Peck, as always.

Stern probably still would have thrown us under a bus, though. But, I think if the Simons and co. would have done a meeting saying how they won't tolerate these types of actions, I think it would have made things a little better, but we'll never know.

But, what really upsets me is people not hating the Pacers, or just disliking how they are now, it's the sad people that say things that wish they would leave town. It's just a stupid comment, IMO, and these people with those thoughts are the ones that will be right on the bandwagon if we start looking good again.

:unimpress

Arcadian
06-07-2007, 04:16 PM
I don't think any amount of PR could have undone the damage done by the brawl. If Ron were suspended for less time would we have been in better shape? The problem wasn't the brawl and its aftermath; it was Ron.

If we are playing the 'should have" game we should have shipped Ron out that summer. The beginning of the end came when we gambled on Ron not when we lost that bet.

ABADays
06-07-2007, 04:39 PM
Peck - I think you should say something when you use one of my PMs to you.

I totally agree with Peck. In the scenario you describe, words could have just been words but at least they would have been spoken. I admit I was livid about the Artest suspension - but not for his sake. I saw it as something done to the Pacers - my team. It was mind-boggling that Stern went so far beyond precedent.

Standing by your players is one things. Standing by your players who continue to act like idiots is another.

I disagree with UB in one aspect. Maybe the decline would have resulted in the waning fan interest this year. But I think if the front office had taken the stand Peck described, maybe this slide wouldn't have happened.

By the way, what does Beech Grove have to do with his thinking - huh? Like being from Beech Grove limits your scope. Huh? Huh?

Great post.

beast23
06-07-2007, 04:41 PM
I don't think any amount of PR could have undone the damage done by the brawl. If Ron were suspended for less time would we have been in better shape? The problem wasn't the brawl and its aftermath; it was Ron.

If we are playing the 'should have" game we should have shipped Ron out that summer. The beginning of the end came when we gambled on Ron not when we lost that bet.I'm not even a religious sort of fellow, but I'll give you an "Amen" on that one.

Everyone will make mistakes in some of their decision-making. The trick is to not compound those mistakes by building upon them with additional mistakes.

But had I been in charge, I would have had my Artest blinders on as well, and would have probably gambled on him due to his overall skills and our need of a premier perimeter defender.

I was an Artest supporter, and you can make a joke about that any way you choose. But I've learned to accept that I was also an idiot.

OnlyPacersLeft
06-07-2007, 06:01 PM
hahah couldn't get past the first few lines before posting.
Are you nuts? you wanted donnie and co to suspend our own players for what happened at the palace? That was a team that was on it's way to the conf. finals if not the nba finals! The whole city felt that we were done wrong. Sure jackson went into the stands. Sure ron did...But ben wallace started that whole mess. Throwing things and acting like a jackoff...Then the beer came into play and all hell broke loose. I Originally thought in the mess jackson probably thought someone was going to hurt ron so that's why he clocked that kid with the glassess! plus the dude had just thrown another beer in ron's face. So i figure it's justified...If you can't see that our players were trying to help each other defend themselves vs the piston fans/players then you are crazy.

I don't think ANY of our players deserved to be suspended more then a few games. Hey Ben Wallace got only 5...and he still thought he was mr bad *** on the court. You could tell he didn't give a damn about what happened...and his fat brother clocking fred jones was even more funny.

And THUGS? please that is some really racist crap right there. Ron Artest is not a THUG because he went into the stands after being hit with a beer...We all would do the same thing. And anyone who says diff...well...your kidding yourselves...F Professionalism...When someone just trys to break my neck and i'm trying to let it be and some jack off throws a towel and is egging on the fans an dthey toss a beer at me? Oh it's deff on...does that make me a thug? if so...so be it.

Ashamed? Ashamed of what? because our guys tryed to protect themselves? because we clocked a few piston fans who deserved it? You can't tell me each fan that got decked DIDN'T deserve it. Of course if that's ok...and throwing things and what not is totally fine then yes we should suspend OUR guys and not stand behind their actions. Because THEY WHERE WRONG...no one else...them! the pacers where wrong...am I right? it's their fault for not being professional and going into the stands. Sounds like some ESPN flip flop bullsh*t if you ask me.

beast23
06-07-2007, 06:28 PM
OPL -

Without reliving every detail, obviously the situation escalated out of control.

But the end result is that a player is totally out of line by going into the stands. Being doused by a beer is certainy a degrading thing, but it is not life-threatening. Now if several fans would have come after Artest immediately after the beer was thrown, that would be a different story. But since Artest was so quick to react, we have no way of knowing whether that would have happened.

As far as the label "thug" goes, whether it is racist or otherwise, I along with countless other Pacer fans would probably currently classify Artest, Jackson and Tinsley using the sterotype of "thug".

That doesn't make it right. But whether it is politically correct or not, it is reality. And the present reality is really hurting the Pacers in fan attendance.

The only remedy to attendance is to win games and to listen to what the fans are saying. With the Arteste and Jackson trades, I would say that the Pacers have listened and are making every attempt to build a team of players whose values reflect those of the community.

I will echo the same statement once Tinsley is traded.

Hicks
06-07-2007, 07:32 PM
OPL, I suggest first of all to be very careful before throwing out accusations of racism. Secondly, re-read what he wrote. He didn't say they were thugs and even acknowledge passed debates where it was relatively "agreed" that it's an inappropriate label.

beast23 I'm probably the 353245th person to be the one to go into it, but the "thug" label isn't really appropriate for these guys. Thugs are far worse people.

OnlyPacersLeft
06-07-2007, 07:43 PM
yeah well i don't know where you get the idea that the general consensus was that "Why don't they get rid of those thugs?"

Hicks
06-07-2007, 08:27 PM
yeah well i don't know where you get the idea that the general consensus was that "Why don't they get rid of those thugs?"

I don't think it's the general consensus, but I do know a lot of people (who don't really care much about the Pacers but sometimes pretend that they do to be social) who have similar thoughts along those lines. It doesn't make it right (or accurate).

ChicagoJ
06-07-2007, 10:11 PM
You haven't gone far enough back in time.

The franchise took a horrible turn for the worse when they traded for Ron Artest.

Word in Chicago was always that the only way the Bulls were wiling to take on Jalen's contract was to stick us with Artest.

At the very least, the team needed to change coaches immediately upon trading for Artest. The appropriate candidates would all have PhD's dealing with mental health patients.

My hunch is that we'll never see an NBA team win anything with a m#n+&lly (m#n+@lly) !ll member of its starting five.

His health (mental) has never really been a secret.

That's just not something you do to a team in a team sport, no matter how talented the individual is. And you sure as hell don't do it to a team that isn't properly equipped to handle the accompanying distractions - not knowing whether it will be a "good day" or a "bad day" and if its a "bad day" how will it manifest this time - challenging teammates to fistfights? throwing a treadmill at the coach? going awol from practice? committing a flagrant foul less than thirty seconds into a game when you've already got so many flagrant fouls you'll automatically be suspended?

And with the benefit of hindsight, this team had plenty of players with fragile enough egos that they couldn't handle the special treatment that was given to the guy that probably needed even more special treatment than he was actually given.

How long was Artest here? Almost four years? It will take that long, if not longer, to clean out all of the contanimation he caused to the franchise.

ChicagoJ
06-07-2007, 10:19 PM
yeah well i don't know where you get the idea that the general consensus was that "Why don't they get rid of those thugs?"

Would you settle for "why don't they get rid of those guys"?

Same thing.

And quite true.

Granted, Sassan and the Pacers marketing machine attempted to make a martyr of Artest. Which, unfortunately reached its easy-to-see conclusion a few months later when Artest demanded a trade. He didn't deserve the misguided support he received. But he was a popular icon to rally around in light of Stern's harsh (but deserved) statement that players can't fight with fans.

OnlyPacersLeft
06-08-2007, 01:06 AM
Ron demanded a trade...yeah so did kobe. Rons unstable...sure...But ron's passionate about this game. He doesn't think before he does things...which unfortunetly is his downfall.

avoidingtheclowns
06-08-2007, 11:57 AM
I'd go back further to the point that the owners overruled Bird's desire to trade Artest, before the brawl even happened. Everything since then has just been making the best of a bad situation.


Well considering that, as I understand it, the Simons are the reason we didn't trade Artest for Stojakovic during the summer of 2004, someone should tell them that they aren't basketball gurus.

excellent points...a very important decision was made the summer before the brawl to hang on to artest and hope for the best and i think you can pinpoint that as the real shift in fortunes for the franchise. yes this team had championship dreams but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have traded artest following the playoff meltdown. honestly i don't fault them for the initial artest trade. isaiah wanted jalen gone, we got artest and brad miller out of it. and for a while, artest wasn't terrible. but slowly he started losing it. and given his history, the meltdown in the playoffs should have been clear indication that it could get a lot worse before it gets any better.

Naptown_Seth
06-08-2007, 01:48 PM
Ron Artest is not a THUG because he went into the stands after being hit with a beer...We all would do the same thing.
I have to agree. Seriously.

Look, from my generation and especially my father's, the old "stand up for yourself" machismo and the resulting bar room brawls were considered positive qualities in a man. The bar room brawl in the western was basically required, and the reason was that it had such a positive resonance with male society.

If it's Hopalong Cassidy or even Burt Reynolds in Cannonball Run then we laugh and love the character for "mixing it up" and "not taking any s***". Seriously.

Films (and books) reflect our moral code back on us, they don't invent it. If a good guy is depicted doing something you truly have a distaste for then you don't see him as the good guy anymore. But I'll be damned if John Wayne was typically considered a bad guy because he knocked someone into the dirt when they had it coming.

Maybe in the hyper-sensitive PC era of the post-80s this view is changing, but the world anyone over 30 grew up in wouldn't have blinked an eye.

Or were Larry Bird and Nolan Ryan "thugs" rather than glorified for their physical retaliations?

Naptown_Seth
06-08-2007, 01:56 PM
a very important decision was made the summer before the brawl to hang on to artest and hope for the best
Let's not forget that there was a reason for this thinking. Whatever issues he'd had in his final year with Isiah were LONG GONE under Rick. He spent an entire season virtually clean. He missed 1 game due to flagrant points. His only other suspension was for stepping quite literally 3 steps off the bench before turning himself around (no one restrained him in any way) vs Boston when Stern decided to prove a point (as he did with Amare).

He was an AS, DPOY and it seemed as though under Rick's coaching he was learning to play with some discipline. 1 minute before the brawl no Pacers fan was saying "we need Ron gone now". If you say you were then I need some documented proof. As that season started it appeared that the ship was adjusted and right on track to get back at Detroit.

Everyone acts like the brawl came on the heels of his spring meltdown under Isiah, but it didn't.

And save the Rip thing as part of Ron acting up, IMO that was a massive flop by Rip as Ron didn't extend his arm nor did Rip fall back away from the direction of contact, but instead flopped to the side...and oh by the way only after clearly hitting Ron in the crotch intentionally shortly before that (but getting no foul call, nor a fine from the NBA or any outrage at all).

Since86
06-08-2007, 01:57 PM
Larry Bird or Nolan Ryan didn't take it off the court/field.

:twocents:

Hicks
06-08-2007, 02:11 PM
NO. We would NOT all do the same thing in Artest's situation. Not even close. If you're a hot-head, maybe. If you're of the mindset that you have to "get back" at anyone who wrongs you, then maybe. But far from ****ing everyone. That's a huge cop out. Especially when the guy in question was un-injured and a 6'7" 260lbs chiseled man.

Hollywood reflects the ideals of a certain number of people, NOT everyone. And it varies with every piece of work.

RWB
06-08-2007, 02:24 PM
Maybe in the hyper-sensitive PC era of the post-80s this view is changing, but the world anyone over 30 grew up in wouldn't have blinked an eye.


Don't forget the dope smoking coke snorting 70s where people were a little spent after Vietnam.

Since86
06-08-2007, 02:31 PM
Maybe in the hyper-sensitive PC era of the post-80s this view is changing, but the world anyone over 30 grew up in wouldn't have blinked an eye.

I would bet money that more people over the age of 30 were digusted at what took place than the 15-30 y/o range.

Who does/did the defending for Ron that night? *raises hand*

The further you get into the hip-hop culture that glorifies violence, the more defenders of Ron you'll find, and it's usually teens to mid-20's that make up the hip-hop culture.

Dr. Goldfoot
06-08-2007, 02:41 PM
Not necessarily 86. I'm in my 30's, live in the suburbs, married w/ children and I'm a bass player in a country band. I'm about as far away from hip-hop culture as is humanly possible. I still defend Ron Artest.

Since86
06-08-2007, 02:48 PM
Which is why I didn't use absolute terms. :wink:

There were several over 30 posters on the board that defended him, and some still do, but I would say the majority are going to be more in my age bracket.

Slick Pinkham
06-08-2007, 02:52 PM
as we end the week, here's something everyone can agree on,

that this is just precious:

http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.tmz.com/media/2007/06/0608_paris_car_cry_inf.jpg

Poor Paris


:cry:


They should make her share a cell with Stephen Jackson.

beast23
06-08-2007, 02:57 PM
I defend Artest to the extent that I do not believe that his intent was to go into the stands and pummel anyone. I think he went into the stands intending to grab the guy who threw the beer, enabling his own size and obvious anger to totally scare the living bejesus out of the fan.

But Artest obviously did not consider that others might get involved, so all hell broke loose. Ron is like most others, in anger we rarely consider the alternatives nor the consequences.

I'm 55, nearly 6-2 and 275. I haven't had a lot of confrontations in my adult life. I've found that humor will usually disperse confrontation. But when I've had to hit something, I can say that it "stays hit".

But I never would have considered going into the stands. We had already totally embarassed the Pistons on their home floor. A fan hits me with a beer because he's ticked that I've just shredded his beloved Pistons, all I'm going to do is point at the scoreboard and start laughing at him.

In that event, if you've successfully goaded the fan into coming onto the floor swinging for you, you've earned the privilege of sending him airborne back into the seats.

RWB
06-08-2007, 03:13 PM
Not necessarily 86. I'm in my 30's, live in the suburbs, married w/ children and I'm a bass player in a country band. I'm about as far away from hip-hop culture as is humanly possible. I still defend Ron Artest.


The Bar Brawlers


What a surprise...:devil: ;)

Peck
06-08-2007, 10:24 PM
Let's not forget that there was a reason for this thinking. Whatever issues he'd had in his final year with Isiah were LONG GONE under Rick. He spent an entire season virtually clean. He missed 1 game due to flagrant points. His only other suspension was for stepping quite literally 3 steps off the bench before turning himself around (no one restrained him in any way) vs Boston when Stern decided to prove a point (as he did with Amare).

He was an AS, DPOY and it seemed as though under Rick's coaching he was learning to play with some discipline. 1 minute before the brawl no Pacers fan was saying "we need Ron gone now". If you say you were then I need some documented proof. As that season started it appeared that the ship was adjusted and right on track to get back at Detroit.

Everyone acts like the brawl came on the heels of his spring meltdown under Isiah, but it didn't.

And save the Rip thing as part of Ron acting up, IMO that was a massive flop by Rip as Ron didn't extend his arm nor did Rip fall back away from the direction of contact, but instead flopped to the side...and oh by the way only after clearly hitting Ron in the crotch intentionally shortly before that (but getting no foul call, nor a fine from the NBA or any outrage at all).

Raises hand. All you have to do is go back in time to read any post, thread or thought I ever made on Ron Artest even going back one year before the brawl and you will see my name ranting and raving against him.

However I am a rank amatuer. Go back to the day we made the trade for him and you will see Jay ranting and raving against him.

Also you can view posts by Bball, Skaut Ech and even a few by Hicks prior to the brawl.

There were plenty of us that wanted him gone and there is great documentation of it on here.

Now I admit we were in the vast minority, but we were a vocal minority. Just ask Uncle Buck. He and I used to go at it over him all of the time.

Trader Joe
06-08-2007, 10:40 PM
OPL, I suggest first of all to be very careful before throwing out accusations of racism. Secondly, re-read what he wrote. He didn't say they were thugs and even acknowledge passed debates where it was relatively "agreed" that it's an inappropriate label.

beast23 I'm probably the 353245th person to be the one to go into it, but the "thug" label isn't really appropriate for these guys. Thugs are far worse people.

Yeah I gotta agree the way "thug" is sometimes thrown around here is slightly off base IMO.
<FORM name=entry action=/cgi-bin/dictionary method=post><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 border=0 valign="top"><TBODY><TR><TD><INPUT type=hidden value=thug name=hdwd><INPUT type=hidden value=Thug name=listword><INPUT type=hidden value=Dictionary name=book></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></FORM>Main Entry: thug http://www.m-w.com/images/audio.gif (javascript:popWin('/cgi-bin/audio.pl?thug0001.wav=thug'))
Pronunciation: <TT>'th&g</TT>
Function: noun
Etymology: Hindi & Urdu thag, literally, thief
: a brutal ruffian or assassin

Last I checked Tins, Artest, and Jack don't really meet that definition. Particularly Tins. Now did Jack and Ron perhaps act "thuggish" on 11/19? Yeah I can see that, but I don't see how they are thugs.

avoidingtheclowns
06-08-2007, 10:51 PM
Yeah I gotta agree the way "thug" is sometimes thrown around here is slightly off base IMO.
<form name="entry" action="/cgi-bin/dictionary" method="post"><table valign="top" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td><input value="thug" name="hdwd" type="hidden"><input value="Thug" name="listword" type="hidden"><input value="Dictionary" name="book" type="hidden"></td></tr></tbody></table></form>Main Entry: thug http://www.m-w.com/images/audio.gif (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:popWin%28%27/cgi-bin/audio.pl?thug0001.wav=thug%27%29)
Pronunciation: <tt>'th&g</tt>
Function: noun
Etymology: Hindi & Urdu thag, literally, thief
: a brutal ruffian or assassin

Last I checked Tins, Artest, and Jack don't really meet that definition. Particularly Tins. Now did Jack and Ron perhaps act "thuggish" on 11/19? Yeah I can see that, but I don't see how they are thugs.

you know who is a thug? mark madsen

OnlyPacersLeft
06-09-2007, 01:07 AM
tins is not a thug either...because he smokes weed? WoW...then I bet A LOT of people are thugs. you can't classify where people grew up or some off court incidents making them thugs.

DisplacedKnick
06-09-2007, 07:18 AM
Raises hand. All you have to do is go back in time to read any post, thread or thought I ever made on Ron Artest even going back one year before the brawl and you will see my name ranting and raving against him.

However I am a rank amatuer. Go back to the day we made the trade for him and you will see Jay ranting and raving against him.

Also you can view posts by Bball, Skaut Ech and even a few by Hicks prior to the brawl.

There were plenty of us that wanted him gone and there is great documentation of it on here.

Now I admit we were in the vast minority, but we were a vocal minority. Just ask Uncle Buck. He and I used to go at it over him all of the time.

Dunno what it's worth to beat this to death but there was a LOT of discussion the summer before the brawl about trading Ron - the deal that most often came up was Ron for Peja.

Now the general consensus was that wasn't good enough but while it's a minority, I don't know if I'd even call it a vast minority. In my non-Pacer fan case I didn't think that was good enough, not because of talent but because of overall team "fit" of the two players but after the ECF flagrant I thought Ron should have been kept on a short rope - and the request for a month off to promote his album less than 10 games into the season was enough for me - and I wasn't the only one. That's not much before the brawl but it is before it.

There was growing evidence that what you had was a psycho-nutjob-fruitcase-loonie and once you start viewing him that way rather than as a basketball player there's really no going back. Some people just came to that realization quicker than others.