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beast23
06-27-2008, 02:45 AM
My apologies for posting a novel, but it has been a while since my last meaningful post and an even longer time since I have been this excited about the Pacers.
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For those who don’t remember me as FBOF or Beast23, I have been a Pacer fan since their first ABA season. My total investment in the team (season tickets and memorabilia) - 40 years, > 1000 games attended and embarrassingly > $100K spent.

I was not a “fanatic” poster but was a frequent poster on the Star board and on Pacers Digest until about 16 months ago. At that time, I simultaneously became fed up with my team, took a couple of contracts out of state and also underwent personal and family health issues. A few members inquired through PMs, I politely answered, but I rarely posted.

It was a common theme that has been reflected in the observed drop in attendance. It seems that what I perceived to be the value system of my team’s players was in direct conflict with my own. And, the face (or culture) of the league, although changing little by little toward a direction that I just couldn’t understand or appreciate, seemed to change overnight for the Pacers once Reggie retired.
From my perception, first Rose, then later Artest and Tinsley (and eventually Al) had to go. Harrison and Williams were wearing thin with me. Daniels I just haven’t figured out yet. And to gain any hope of significantly improving the team’s personnel, JO had to be traded.

Then the unthinkable hit me squarely in the face. Being very close with a number of people who both know the Simons and do business with them on a daily basis, I was informed that Mel and Herb were about to “retire”. The last remaining chip to be decided was how to deal with the transition of the Pacers. A decision had to be made. Let the Pacers be passed on to David with the real estate holdings, and there was a reasonable probability that the “local” future of our team would be in question; ownership being maintained by Mel and Herb would maintain the status quo… at least for the time required to attempt to change things.

To regain solid footing, the team has to find ways of reconnecting with their fans. And that has to be done immediately, not a year or two down the road. That’s obviously why we’ve seen a transition from Walsh to Bird. Donnie built this franchise, but he was also very patient with his players and perhaps paid too much (at least for our market) in retaining their services from one contract to the next. Larry, on the other hand, if recent occurrences are indicative of what we can expect, will much more outspoken and will be much less tolerant of players who disappoint his expectations of them.

But to get to the bottom line, unlike many of you, I sit here tonight with hope for the future. And, more importantly, I’m back as a fan.

The JO trade has been made. Turn the clock back a year or two and I’d be very disappointed in what we got for JO. But, right now, I’m very optimistic with our new Pacers. Here’s a summary:

∑ TJ Ford - a capable starting PG with exceptional speed/quickness
∑ Maceo Baston - a solid role player in the frontcourt
∑ Rasho Nasterovic - a contributor and a sizeable expiring contract
∑ Roy Hibbert – a promising player viewed to be the future starting center and missing post defender / rebounder that we need
∑ Reduced salary, expiring contracts and better trade flexibility

Before the draft was over, a second trade had already been completed. Most on the forum apparently didn’t like the trade. I loved it. Based on no personal knowledge, just what has been reported by others, Bayless would have been a very good player. Not a franchise player, but certainly a good rotational player (and possible future starter) for our team. We also included Ike, a player that I personally didn’t think was a good fit for our needs. In return we got the following:

∑ Josh McRoberts – a player Bird seems to like. I have my doubts.
∑ Jarrett Jack – a capable player that many on the forum have wanted for 1-2 years.
∑ Brandon Rush – IMO a very, very good player (see below).

I was lucky enough to fall into 4 tickets to the NCAA finals this year. I came away very impressed with the obvious players – Rose, Westbrook, Love and Douglas-Roberts. But what I enjoyed most was watching the defensive efforts of the Kansas guards and the offensive work of Brandon Rush. For a very good summary of Rush’s abilities, I suggest you read Thunderbird’s excellent summary from a few days ago.

All I can say about Rush is that if one can accept the fact that there will only be one and only one Reggie Miller, then you should be able to appreciate Brandon Rush… because coming out of college he is about as similar to Reggie in the way that he approaches offense as you are going to get.

He didn’t create many of his own shots, but like Reggie he definitely grasps how to effectively use screens or even an opposing player to rub off his man. He gets his shot off quicker than Reggie and his form is much better. He was the fan favorite of most of the Kansas fans, and after focusing on him off-and-on for 2 games, I’m definitely a fan.

As rookie, we’ll get on him about his defense, but we will definitely appreciate his offensive contributions. He’s got a lot of offensive smarts. The confidence and willingness to take “the shot” is not going to be a problem with Rush, at any range and at any time during the game. Sounds a lot like Reggie, doesn’t it?

What many of you overlook is that it didn’t matter who we ended up with – Bayless or Rush. Either player as a rookie was going to come off the bench. I personally believe that the trade landed us a capable PG in Jack that will see more court time behind TJ Ford than Bayless would have received as a rookie. At the same time, with Rush it also brought in a perimeter shooter better than any we have on our roster. If by some miracle McRoberts pans out 2-3 years down the road, then I think this trade will go down as more than just a good one; it would prove to be an absolute steal.

To complete my hope for the future, I recall that Bird’s comments earlier this week served notice that the coming season’s roster will not include Tinsley and Williams. I was surprised to read that Bird appears to actually have Shawne at the top of his s***-list, somehow pushing Tinsley to a mere #2.

So, it’s pretty obvious that our roster will continue evolving before next season. I've come full circle and renewed my vows. I've regained faith in my team and its management and believe that many former fans will take pride in the players that will be on the roster and take the floor.

It’s been a while, but in closing all I have to say is:

GO PACERS!

Los Angeles
06-27-2008, 04:41 AM
Welcome back, Beast23.

It's been far too long. :cheers:

cramerica
06-27-2008, 06:09 AM
Good post and I agree with everything you said. I am too very optimistic and I actually like what Bird is doing. I liked Bayless, but on the other hand I really liked Rush too.

I am not crazy about Jack, but that may change when I see him in blue&gold and it'll be interesting to see what McRoberts contributes.

I share the same sentiments with you about this team.

Will Galen
06-27-2008, 06:19 AM
Welcome back young'un!

As for Rush and Hibbert, I think Bird is trying to somewhat duplicate his 2000 team. Can you visualize Rush coming around a pick set by Hibbert and launching a three before anyone can get to him? BOOM BABY!

Add that to Dan and Dun, and the improved perimeter defense and I believe were going to have something sooner than anyone thinks.

owl
06-27-2008, 07:48 AM
Will, you bring up a good point about Hibbert. I remember Bird commenting on Hibbert and
saying that some of the players they had in were more athletic than what could be seen in
regular season games because of the style of play. I believe he was specifically talking
about Hibbert. They also looked at Hibberts ability to help on the perimeter to see if he had the
quickness to do it. Hibbert will do several things for the Pacers. He will facilitate the offense
with passing, setting picks and he will rebound, score a little and block an occasional
shot. He does not have to dominate the ball to be effective.

ChicagoJ
06-27-2008, 11:41 AM
My apologies for posting a novel, but it has been a while since my last meaningful post and an even longer time since I have been this excited about the Pacers.


:buddies:

Old friends are crawling out of the woodwork this week.

Unclebuck
06-27-2008, 11:43 AM
:buddies:

Old friends are crawling out of the woodwork this week.

Yes and it is great.

Overall it has been the best week in the forum - in about 3 years

Raskolnikov
06-27-2008, 11:56 AM
Great post, beast.

And I agree, it's been a while since the main forum has been this interesting (aside from the "OMG we totally screwed up" posts). It's making me post here again.

Harddrive7
06-27-2008, 12:29 PM
It does finally look as if the Pacers are getting back on track. Discipline seems to be in full force and I can see a team for the future for the first time in a long time. Seriousness seems to be a good word to describe it.

Great post Beast!!!

Hey, did I really see TWES on here one day recently?

JHcutt18
06-27-2008, 12:35 PM
Did I really see Mike Green's name in the "undrafted" category? He played really well at Butler, very surprising to me.

2minutes twowa
06-27-2008, 12:50 PM
Did I really see Mike Green's name in the "undrafted" category? He played really well at Butler, very surprising to me.

I would've loved to see the Pacers invite him to camp, but I doubt he would have much of a chance with the amount of guards we have already. If we could move Diener, I would love to have a guy like Green on the bench.

Unclebuck
06-27-2008, 01:47 PM
To complete my hope for the future, I recall that Birdís comments earlier this week served notice that the coming seasonís roster will not include Tinsley and Williams. I was surprised to read that Bird appears to actually have Shawne at the top of his s***-list, somehow pushing Tinsley to a mere #2.





I think you misinterpreted what Larry was trying to say.

Larry said Shawne is on thin ice. And he said Tinsley was just below that, meaning that he was falling through the ice, so Tinsley is #1 on his s*** list.

ABADays
06-27-2008, 01:55 PM
Nice post Beast. Not many of us go back to franchise game #1.

NuffSaid
06-27-2008, 10:49 PM
Welcome back, Beasty. :) And thanks for the vote of optimism at the very least.

TripleThreat
06-27-2008, 10:53 PM
i can honestly say that I haven't been here or over at RATS for some time, and quite frankly, I had pretty much lost interest in the NBA game as a whole. If the Pacers weren't worth watching, I wasn't going to find another team to root for...i just couldn't do it.

I've posted more here tonight than i've posted in MONTHS...

I'm excited again. Ready for the NBA season, ready for the Pacers to come to Houston so I can go to the game and heckle RocketsFan, ready to see what the future holds for this new crew.

Jose Slaughter
06-27-2008, 11:06 PM
Thanks for coming back to us, we're a better forum for it.

As for your thoughts, I'm right there will ya.

Welcome back ol' man.

Naptown_Seth
06-27-2008, 11:09 PM
Hey TT, I've been so swamped this week I don't think I got back to your PM. Good to see you over here or back as it were, and same to Beast.

I really have an H'town trip as a goal, maybe I can make that a Pacers day trip this year and hit Pappasitos with you TT. :)



Rush is a great kid, one of my Pacer targets from way, way back this year. Of course back then he was my "trade back into the 2nd and get Rush, take Love with the 11th"...and at the time that was the projection on those guys.

Bayless is very talented and should be a pretty big impact guy IMO. It's a loss to give him up but they got a nice chunk of talent back in return, so I call it a wash or a fair trade.

The big key to me is that it was finally really exciting to be interested in the Pacers again. I'm so die hard that none of these problems have slowed me down. I went to more games in person this year than I had in maybe any season, simply because of the lower cost.

But there is no denying that the buzz of draft night was a lot more like classic Pacers times than we've had for some time. I would like to interject one thing and that's that people low ball just how great the 2003 team was to root for. I was at those playoff games and the place was electric, especially during the destruction of Boston and Miami. And they were buzzing again the next year after going up 2-1 on Detroit with the underdog brawl team.

But this felt even more like family and hope. I don't know if this roster will work out, I just know that I'm excited to be hoping they do and excited to watch this thing evolve into something new.


Just keep in mind that this team might still struggle early on, it's unlikely that it's all okay right now. But then that just means another exciting draft and perhaps a really big step forward as Danny and Rush progress and Ford/Jack stabilize at the point to go along with yet another solid pick. If Hibbert pans out then so much the better.

Next stop, online broadcasts of Orlando summer camp ball. :D

LoneGranger33
06-27-2008, 11:18 PM
Next stop, online broadcasts of Orlando summer camp ball. :D

Not if you want to see Rush or Hibbert, unfortunately. See "When will these players be ours?"

TripleThreat
06-28-2008, 08:58 AM
I really have an H'town trip as a goal, maybe I can make that a Pacers day trip this year and hit Pappasitos with you TT. :)


I'm actually flying in to Indy on the 11th of July. I saw that the Forum Party was on the 12th, but I'm flying in for a Family Reunion, and I'll most likely be out with my brothers that night. We'll see, though.

If you come down for the P's game here in Houston this year, Pappasito's definitely sounds like a plan. (I'm still a Chuy's man myself, though)