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BillS
07-17-2007, 10:42 AM
I brought this up at the party and a couple folks suggested I post it here. If I don't get a lot of responses I'll take grace's advice and post it under "Ignore This Thread"...

Assume the Pacers are throwing everything away and rebuilding. Knowing that there will be a number of years before a scrapped team can even think about being competitive again, answer the following:

1) How many years do you think the Pacers' fan base can stand being non-competitive before they reject the team?

2) What would you do as team management to try to keep the fans interested and involved so that the impact of uncompetitive years is kept to a minimum?

In particular, for question 1 we are not necessarily assuming that the rebuild starts now, after we have already had some bad years. I'm looking for something more general, though you could feel free to answer both for general rebuilding and for rebuilding on top of disaster.

Question 2 isn't completely a matter of getting #1 draft picks or other actions for which luck plays a part. In addition to the strategy you use to build a team, I'm particularly interested in knowing how you cover all bases if draft picks don't come as expected or if the team doesn't gel as well as hoped in the first season or two.

I ask this as a way to get people to put in positive thoughts about alternative marketing and approaches to NBA basketball in Indiana. We spend a lot of time on other threads talking about how TPTB get it wrong, let's talk about what could be done to get it right.

If you answered this at the party go ahead and put your answer here so that everyone can see it. I think we had a pretty good discussion.

grace
07-17-2007, 10:48 AM
Since you forgot title this "Ignore This Thread About Rebuilding" I might be the only one to read it.

I think my answer at the party was something like the Pacers would have to have the slogan "Mulligan: Rebuilding Starts Now."

Rajah Brown
07-17-2007, 10:52 AM
Define 'competitive' ?

Personally, I think that fans in Indy will support a team that's in
rebuilding mode and that's average or worse (ala say, the 28-36
win range) for a year or two as long as they see an organizational
plan, a coach with some chops, a style of play that's enjoyable
to watch and a bunch of young, developing guys busting their butts
on a nightly basis.

Hicks
07-17-2007, 01:20 PM
At the party one of the things I advocated was initially compiling athletic scoring/shooting players to gain fan interest through entertaining play before trading some of it for defense/rebounding. But then I liked Kegboy's idea better: Draft seasoned, proven college "vets" to compile a Bulls-like team of unselfish, smart, fundamental (and skilled) players. One of the things I really liked about this idea as well is that in theory it should be more affordable to keep the team together since none of them should command a max contract. Either way, I'd still do that and combine it with (again as Kegboy rightly suggested) a no-nonsense coach a la the kind of coaches we used to see in our colleges. Those two things combined would almost certainly produce great appeal among Hoosiers, boosting fan support and attendance.

carpediem024
07-17-2007, 01:35 PM
I wouldn't mind.

Will Galen
07-17-2007, 01:43 PM
I brought this up at the party and a couple folks suggested I post it here. If I don't get a lot of responses I'll take grace's advice and post it under "Ignore This Thread"...

Assume the Pacers are throwing everything away and rebuilding. Knowing that there will be a number of years before a scrapped team can even think about being competitive again, answer the following:

1) How many years do you think the Pacers' fan base can stand being non-competitive before they reject the team?

With the fan base they have now? Not long. This is the "Now" generation, if they don't get what they want they go elsewhere.

2) What would you do as team management to try to keep the fans interested and involved so that the impact of uncompetitive years is kept to a minimum?

I would do what management is seemingly trying to do. Change the culture of the team. Indiana doesn't relate to hip hop. Get players that fans like and ones that try to stay out of trouble.

Roferr
07-17-2007, 01:46 PM
I think a lot depends on just how few wins the Pacers manage in comparison to the Colts. If the Colts challange for another Super Bowl and the Pacers are sucking, I could see the average attendance to hover around 13-14,000.

On the other hand: If the Pacers are really stinking it up but have a no-nonsense coach with players who are willing to give 100% night in and night out, the fan base may remain high. Personally, I can wade through a lot of losses if the players give the effort that Foster does.

Also, I still say the magic word is CHEMISTRY. Fans can sense when there is chemistry and everyone is on the same page and are only looking for what is best for the team. Chemistry begins and ends with unselfishness.....simply no regard for stats, ala Jeff. If we have players who ***** because of the lack of minutes or pout because they aren't getting enough touches, the fans will bail.

Carr, when with the Celtics in his latter years, was mostly a bench player but he was a very vital cog in their championships. He epitomized what a team player should be. We need a whole bunch of his ilk.

However, this probably should be for another post, but I'm still looking for 45-50 wins this season.

Fool
07-17-2007, 01:53 PM
Step 1: Fire Bird and let Walsh retire already
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit!

Will Galen
07-17-2007, 01:53 PM
At the party one of the things I advocated was initially compiling athletic scoring/shooting players to gain fan interest through entertaining play before trading some of it for defense/rebounding. But then I liked Kegboy's idea better: Draft seasoned, proven college "vets" to compile a Bulls-like team of unselfish, smart, fundamental (and skilled) players. One of the things I really liked about this idea as well is that in theory it should be more affordable to keep the team together since none of them should command a max contract.

Then people will say 'management isn't trying to win, they just want to make the playoffs.' They make that statement now and I've always thought it was baloney.

The way the world is today how many people are in a sports organization and don't want to win? I will grant you some people won't take risks to win, but that's not the same as saying they don't want to win.

Kraft
07-17-2007, 02:03 PM
Step 1: Fire Bird and let Walsh retire already
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/dd/Gnomes_plan.png

Rajah Brown
07-17-2007, 02:18 PM
Mal-

I love the way Da Bulls play. But if we happen by a stroke of
luck to have a shot at Gordon or Rose next June, the heck
with the college 'vets'.

RWB
07-17-2007, 02:20 PM
Two years max finishing out of the playoffs. Years 3 and 4 better be playoffs and sniffing later rounds. Year 5 we need to be convinced the Pacers are legit title contenders.

Second part of the question is keep the ticket prices low. Keep the players names out of the papers for bad things, but make sure their names are in for good things.

Finally, know things do run in cycles and as the Colts start losing if the Pacers start winning all will be ok.

P.S. Did I mention keep the ticket prices low? :p

P.S.S. Just watched the 93/94 playoffs game 3 sweep of the Magic. I was there and remember the place going crazy but people actually ran onto the floor in celebration. This happened because we finally made it into the second round. It make take a few more mediocre years before we get that enthused again.

Shade
07-17-2007, 05:48 PM
Mal-

I love the way Da Bulls play. But if we happen by a stroke of
luck to have a shot at Gordon or Rose next June, the heck
with the college 'vets'.

QFT

There aren't too many "college vets" because these days most of the best college players come out early.

Hicks
07-17-2007, 06:05 PM
I'm not stupid enough to only draft 4-year players.

Shade
07-17-2007, 06:17 PM
I'm not stupid enough to only draft 4-year players.

It's too bad you're not in TPTB's FO. :-p

Infinite MAN_force
07-17-2007, 09:34 PM
You know, the colts sucked for a really long time. and before the 90s, the pacers sucked for a really long time. Soooooo... I hardly think a few years of sucking is going to be the end of the world, or that the team is just going to up and leave. Most teams go through sucky periods, im pretty sure its unavoidable.

Shade
07-17-2007, 09:37 PM
I would trade our entire team for Javaris Crittenton. He is so awesome (only his friends can call him "J-Crit") that we don't need any other players. Except Stanko, of course.

Immediately, sales would be through the roof. Even Kegboy and grace would invest in season tickets again.

Hicks
07-17-2007, 09:56 PM
Not many are willing to put real thought to a long response it seems. That's sad because we got a lot of nice thoughts going at the party over this very question.

Kegboy
07-17-2007, 10:32 PM
Not many are willing to put real thought to a long response it seems. That's sad because we got a lot of nice thoughts going at the party over this very question.

Well you stole my thunder. Plus, I was waiting for the thread name to be changed. :blush:

LoneGranger33
07-17-2007, 10:38 PM
1) After the past couple of seasons, I'm not sure if rebuilding would be more readily accepted or less so. I mean, if I'm Joe Fan I'm getting tired of the current bunch (if not already totally disgusted). At this point, any change would be welcome change. Then again, there is the fan who loves a certain player and have kept following the Pacers despite the tough times because he is still on the team. For many people, I think Jermaine is that player. A lot of other people like Foster. Me and MagicRat like Tinsley. It doesn't necessarily mean that we wouldn't be fans without them, but perhaps a little less interested. For many fans, you'd be cutting away their connection to the franchise. We only have a handful of players left from the old days - can you really get rid of everyone in so short a time? Who knows. I think things would get real bad if the team didn't rebound in 2 or 3 years (and by rebound I mean playoffs). I know all of us will be around no matter how long it takes, but we can't expect everyone else to be so stupi...err, loyal. :)

2) Well, I'm told the Fieldhouse is beautiful, so there is really little to be done there. You have to aim for hustle players in the second round - let's be honest with each other, they are few and far between in the first round. Also, take a couple hometown heroes - IU guys or what not - onto the team, unless the talent gap (between that player and the person you have to give up to get him) is too much. Advertise, advertise, advertise! Make Danny the face of the franchise. He might be the most likeable guy we've ever had. Even Knicks fans like him. Avoid bad publicity by avoiding "bad" personas - people known to be knuckleheads for one reason or another. Don't take an Artest because he has the talent. Leave him be. Learning from our mistakes would be a great first step in the right direction.

And don't ever make the mistake of getting an announcer like Mason. :puke:


Oh, by the way, I dedicate this post to Hicks.

grace
07-18-2007, 12:43 AM
Even Kegboy and grace would invest in season tickets again.

I would?

DisplacedKnick
07-18-2007, 07:17 AM
I brought this up at the party and a couple folks suggested I post it here. If I don't get a lot of responses I'll take grace's advice and post it under "Ignore This Thread"...

Assume the Pacers are throwing everything away and rebuilding. Knowing that there will be a number of years before a scrapped team can even think about being competitive again, answer the following:

1) How many years do you think the Pacers' fan base can stand being non-competitive before they reject the team?


Well, being as you're probably bottom 10 - maybe bottom 5 - in the league in talent and top-5 in having a screwed up, inflexible cap situation, I think you'll have the opportunity to find out.

IMO, the fans who were still coming to games at the end of last season will continue to come to games. Between the brawl, Jackson's shooting act and last year's bad season, I think you've already driven off most casual fans. You may lose some more by continuing to be bad for what I think is a minimum of 2-3 seasons but I think that'll be marginal. The folks left after last season are the hardcore fans - and despite the woeful prospects offered by a team that went 6-19 after a major midseason trade, I think most of them will stick around and you can get 13-15 thousand fans as regulars.

Since those are mostly hardcore fans your retention will be better IMO if you tear it down and start from scratch. Those folks will hang around 2-3 years if they just get the idea that TPTB recognize that the ship has sunk and are willing to go in a new direction. But I don't think you'll lose many of those even if you keep going in the direction you are now - trading lottery picks for players that won't help you, trading talented, reasonably paid players for less talented, overpaid players, etc. The folks left at the end of last season will be here a while even if management continues being as completely screwed up with their decision-making as they have been the last 3 years.