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View Full Version : Will Jermaine O'Neal pass up Uncle Reg as the NBA's greatest Pacer?



Shade
01-30-2004, 10:43 PM
When both careers are done, who do you think will be known as Mr. NBA Pacer?

tora tora
01-30-2004, 10:46 PM
Reggie, Jermaine probably won't retire in Indiana....

Hicks
01-30-2004, 10:47 PM
Assuming JO retires here, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he is Mr. Pacer.

bulletproof
01-30-2004, 10:48 PM
If Jermaine leads us to a title, Jermaine. But Conseco will always be the (field)house Reg built.

bulletproof
01-30-2004, 10:54 PM
If Jermaine leads us to a title, Jermaine. But Conseco will always be the (field)house Reg built.

That is not a precise answer. :D


What part of that isn't precise? If Jermaine leads the team to a title, he becomes Mr. Pacer. If he doesn't, Reggie retains that honor. Seems pretty clear to me.

ChicagoJ
01-30-2004, 11:50 PM
When was Uncle Reg ever an MVP candidate? Even if he finishes third, I don't remember Reg ever getting an MVP vote. Another season or two of this caliber play from JO and there will be a lot of "Reggie who?" talk.

Why assume JO doesn't finish his contract? I think he stays.

MSA2CF
01-31-2004, 12:15 AM
I believe Reggie will always be Mr. Pacer. Or maybe he'll become Uncle Pacer and JO will be Mr. Pacer, or Mr. Pacer Junior.

Suaveness
01-31-2004, 12:17 AM
Why not have 2 Mr. pacers :dance:

BigMac
01-31-2004, 12:30 AM
I'm surprised that with this bunch of Pacers fans that no one has said this.

If Jermaine O'Neal eventually passes Reggie Miller and becomes "Mr. Pacer" can you imagine what O'Neal must have accomplished. If he does, the Pacers are in for a world of excitement. And I'm sure Reggie won't mind. That would mean the Pacers are winning which seems to be what Reggie is interested in.

beast23
01-31-2004, 12:50 AM
Another season or two of this caliber play from JO and there will be a lot of "Reggie who?" talk.


Sadly this is true now.

Regardless of the quality of JO's remaining career, you don't seriously think there would ever be a "Reggie who" attitude, do you?

I think talk of that is WAY overboard.

Reggie didn't just earn the moniker because of his on-court accomplishments. He earned it because of his work ethic, the growth in attendance accomplished during his career leading to the new fieldhouse, a growing influence in the community that he has spearheaded while a Pacer, and of course the previously unparallelled NBA success of the team while he was a Pacer.

An NBA title during Reggie's last couple of years would just be icing on the cake.

I'm not saying JO will never earn such a title. Let's just say that he has a long, long way to go. If he does one day earn the title, then I'd say the Pacers and the community have been pretty fortunate.

ROCislandWarrior
01-31-2004, 02:18 AM
Regardless of the quality of JO's remaining career, you don't seriously think there would ever be a "Reggie who" attitude, do you?

I agree with you 100%...x-specialy because I believe the Franchise should offer reggie a place up-top, or maybe even coaching so he can be a part of this franchise for alot longer

ABADays
01-31-2004, 09:21 AM
Reggie who? What idiocy! How many years have the Pacers been in the NBA? There is only one NBA Pacer who is held in the same high regard as those you see on the retirement banners hanging in Conseco. It's Reggie Miller.

There is no question JO is a great player and I love him. But, I agree . . . he has a long way to go to become Mr. Pacer. I also agree that because of the economics of the game there is no certainty JO will spend his whole career here.

Besides, when JO wins a championship . . . Reggie will be on the same team. How is that for optimism :dance:

DisplacedKnick
01-31-2004, 10:29 AM
Well, sorry to say with all the Reggie love that oozes from this place, but my answer is a resounding YES if JO plays at the level he is now for the next 10 or so years - even if the Pacers don't win a title in that period.

It's all generational. I'm sure if you'd asked that question in the 70's folks would have never believed that someone would ever replace Mel Daniels or Roger Brown. Well, someone has - and THOSE players won titles.

I'm sure there are older folks who follow the Lakers (of course they've had a move since then) and were fans in the 50's who still feel that iss George Mikan's team. Celts fans who think of Russell, or Hondo, or ... - but the majority right now would say Larry Bird.

Reggie will go where all great players of the past do - into (fond) memory. Some fans who really follow the team now will always see the Pacers as his team. But the team identity will become JO's team. That's just the way it is - recent memory is much stronger than something that happened 10 or 20 years ago.

ChicagoJ
01-31-2004, 11:47 AM
A few more thoughts:

JO, at his young age, is just now growing into becoming a full-time center. Even if he doesn't improve, if he stays at this level for the next six seasons and signs another contract with the Pacers its a done deal. A good center > a great shooting guard.

(OIder posters, who was Mr. ABA Pacer, Mel or Rah-jah? I say Mel's dominance in the paint was even more important than Rah-jah's clutch presence but I'm barely old enough to remember...)

In our "what have you done for me lately" world, its harder to remember the Reggie in his prime that could deliver night in and night out. In my opinion, its been at least six seasons since he's been the "best" Pacers player - he may have led the team in scoring occasionally during that span but the Pacers of the Larry Bird era had a very "balanced" core group of players. I don't believe that the Reggie of 1998-2000 was any better than the Jalen or Dale of 1998-2000 (nor do I believe he was any worse). Our friends that are casual fans are making the mistake of comparing today's Reggie with today's, or the future JO. In one way, Reggie may be hurting his long-term legacy by continuing to play as his skills decline. (OTOH, his commitment to the Pacers and "the game" earns points with me.)

Reggie never led us to a championship in his prime. If JO does, whether Reg is his teammate or not, he will have earned top billing in my book.

Aside: at no time in his career has Reggie ever been my favorite Pacer. Personally, I always liked Chuck, John Long, Tank, Detlef, Mark Jackson, Derrick, Mullin, Jalen and JO better - just my opinion and I know its in the minority. I appreciate Reg's clutch shooting but he's truthfully a one-dimension player.

And let's wait and see what JO's off-the-court/ community contributions are over the next seven years. Reggie's been great but I think JO understands where he fits in on this role, too.

ABADays
01-31-2004, 12:03 PM
I think Reggie Harding was the most valuable ABA Pacer. The only 7-footer to get shot during a breaking-and-entering. A feat that will stand for the ages.

Cannot pick between Mel and Roger because of what each brought to the court.

MSA2CF
01-31-2004, 12:29 PM
In one way, Reggie may be hurting his long-term legacy by continuing to play as his skills decline. (OTOH, his commitment to the Pacers and "the game" earns points with me.)

First off, I don't believe in "legacies." Besides, Reggie could be putting up his "normal" numbers, if he wanted to. He could be scoring 20 a game if he took the iniative and took his shots, but he doesn't. He gets that this is a team game and realizes it's not his team anymore, so I don't understand how he could damage his legacy by being a team player. (Not trying to put words in your mouth Jay, it's just a statement.)

The only statistic that ever really matters is the number of wins versus losses. "Hurting his legacy" won't really matter when it's said and done. If he wins a championship, no one will care that he hasn't put up numbers like he used to.

Michael Jordan's skills declined too, but no one should say he wasn't that good a player because he came back and his skills weren't like they used to be. People are still going to call Jordan the Greatest of All-Time. I think the same thing will happen to Reggie, except Reggie hasn't quit 3 times.

I appreciate Reg's clutch shooting but he's truthfully a one-dimension player.


Did you read that article in the Indianapolis Star about Reggie closing in as the Pacers' all-time leader in assists? Notice that he plays shooting guard. I think that explains why he might be looked upon as a 1D player. He might be, but it's not because he doesn't have the talent to do other things, it's because of his role.

ROCislandWarrior
01-31-2004, 01:12 PM
I appreciate Reg's clutch shooting but he's truthfully a one-dimension player.



Did you read that article in the Indianapolis Star about Reggie closing in as the Pacers' all-time leader in assists? Notice that he plays shooting guard. I think that explains why he might be looked upon as a 1D player. He might be, but it's not because he doesn't have the talent to do other things, it's because of his role.

I remember plenty of times when Miller drove and posted up when it was important. It was almost like the defender thought Reggie was a 1D player and then he burnt them badly in one of those two ways.

beast23
01-31-2004, 02:03 PM
As for the old days, I think Roger was the closest thing we had to a Mr. Pacer. Once Mel joined the Pacers in their second year, it opened up the floor for Roger to work.

It seems like every kid in central Indiana, whether grade shool, junior high or high school, was practicing that little juke-step that Roger used. They were all trying to emulate "the Ra-jah".

No one really chanted names at games back then at the Coliseum. But everyone always looked toward Roger to pull our butts out of the fire late in games.

Later, I think that changed. Once McGinnis joined the Pacers. George had become a legend at Washington High School, being considered the best high school player in the country. George felt a lot of self-imposed pressure to perform, and at times snapped back at the press as they started using the moniker the "Baby Bull". It quickly got changed to "Big Mac".

But the thing is that these old-time players had their flaws in being considered for a rep of "Mr. Pacer".Roger, for example, was a very quiet, rather shy individual, and had a pretty low profile within the community. George, although one hell of a competitor, was also somewhat shy, and not well-spoken. It took McGinnis several years of maturing before he gained an ability at public speaking that eventually led to a part-time career as an analyst/commentator during basketball telecasts.

But throughout their history, the Pacers have never had a player that enjoyed as much popularity and admiration both on and off the court as Reggie. I think that is how a player becomes a "Mr. Pacer". Reggie has basically been the consensus favorite for about 13-15 years running.

It will take JO quite a while to overcome that, especially among the over 50 crowd.

ABADays
01-31-2004, 02:39 PM
Forgot to mention - Harding was shot while climbing through a window. 7 feet climbing through a window - not the brightest guy.

Arcadian
01-31-2004, 03:52 PM
I agree that JO will go down as the more talented player; I'm not sure though that JO will ever be as popular with the local fans or national media as Reggie was.

Being Mr. Pacer is a multi-talented job. It's not just being the best it also involves being charismatic, entertaining the masses. JO has a long way to go in that regard to replace Reggie as Mr. Pacer.

Also historically gaurds are more popular than big men. So the deck is stacked agaionst JO in that regard. I'm not sure that JO is the most popular Pacer on this team and certainly he is far second in media attention.

ChicagoJ
01-31-2004, 08:33 PM
In one way, Reggie may be hurting his long-term legacy by continuing to play as his skills decline. (OTOH, his commitment to the Pacers and "the game" earns points with me.)

First off, I don't believe in "legacies." Besides, Reggie could be putting up his "normal" numbers, if he wanted to. He could be scoring 20 a game if he took the iniative and took his shots, but he doesn't. He gets that this is a team game and realizes it's not his team anymore, so I don't understand how he could damage his legacy by being a team player. (Not trying to put words in your mouth Jay, it's just a statement.)

The only statistic that ever really matters is the number of wins versus losses. "Hurting his legacy" won't really matter when it's said and done. If he wins a championship, no one will care that he hasn't put up numbers like he used to.

I appreciate Reg's clutch shooting but he's truthfully a one-dimension player.


Did you read that article in the Indianapolis Star about Reggie closing in as the Pacers' all-time leader in assists? Notice that he plays shooting guard. I think that explains why he might be looked upon as a 1D player. He might be, but it's not because he doesn't have the talent to do other things, it's because of his role.

:cool:

I don't remember that IS article so I'll go find it...

In my haste to finish my post before running off to a lunch appointment, I failed to expand:

In one way, Reggie may be hurting his long-term legacy by continuing to play as his skills decline. (OTOH, his commitment to the Pacers and "the game" earns points with me.)

To say:

(OTOH, his commitment to the Pacers, "the game", and his role on the team earns points with me.)

I'm not saying Reggie is hurting his legacy with me, I'm saying casual fans and Johnny-come-lately fans aren't going to remember the Reggie that could dominate a game with his shooting. He many never have been my favorite player (and I left Byron and Vern off my list by mistake) but I'll always appreciate everything he's done over his entire career for the Pacers. However, he led the Pacers to exactly zero championships in his prime, so in my book he will be replaced by the guy who does lead us to that championship, whenever it is. Who's "Mr. Spur?" George Gervin, Tim Duncan or David Robinson? I don't know.

I also should have said that Reggie's one dimension was offense - I was including his patented floater move in the one dimension. I didn't mean to infer that the one dimension was the catch-and-shoot three-point shooting role he is now graciously accepting, but I think that's how some of you read my comment and I can understand how you made that conclusion (again, sloppy editing since I was in a hurry).

However, I believe he's never been better than average as a defender, rebounder, or passer. DW built this team of the 1990s to exploit Reggie's strengths and hide his weaknesses. In other words, Reggie was always just a "role player" - it was his role to get open, take, and hit shots, including clutch shots.

JO is a more complete player among scoring, defending, and rebounding. Where JO has room to improve is in subtle sub-categories (passing out of the double team, blocking out, stong-side post defense, those types of "little things.").

I agree that this is truly a generational thing. I know for some of the older guys, including my Dad, "Mr. Pacer" will always be George, Mel or especially Roger. Up until that dark day in September 1992, I assumed the "Mr. Pacer" of my generation would be Chuck. And for the next two years, I thought it might be Detlef. A lot of current Pacers fans didn't jump on the bandwagon until those two were gone, and don't remember the days when Reg was probably the fourth best option at clutch time (Chuck was the clutch three-point shooter, Micheal Williams was cat quick and a better FT shooter than Reggie, and Det could create his own shot). And to some young whippersnapper who's just tuning in, "Mr. Pacer" might turn out to be JO or perhaps Ron.

ChicagoJ
01-31-2004, 08:44 PM
I agree that JO will go down as the more talented player; I'm not sure though that JO will ever be as popular with the local fans or national media as Reggie was.

Being Mr. Pacer is a multi-talented job. It's not just being the best it also involves being charismatic, entertaining the masses. JO has a long way to go in that regard to replace Reggie as Mr. Pacer.

Also historically gaurds are more popular than big men. So the deck is stacked agaionst JO in that regard. I'm not sure that JO is the most popular Pacer on this team and certainly he is far second in media attention.

JO, age 24, twice voted by the fans as an all-star game starter. Twice named third-team all-NBA by the national media.

Reggie, age 38, once voted by the fans as an all-star game starter, Three times voted third-team all-NBA by the national media.

I respectfully disagree with your first two paragraphs.

The big-man vs. guards phenomena is an interesting one, however. Its definitely true since that Jordan bum came into the league that the little guys are more popular with most fans, but generally everybody still agrees that a quality "big men" is more valuable.

ABADays
01-31-2004, 08:53 PM
Wow Jay. We just don't agree at all. Reggie was playing the same position as Jordan. Who would you think the fans would vote for? That same comparison could be made if JO were playing in the same conference and time as Chamberlin or Russell. JO wouldn't have gotten a sniff as good as he is.

I look beyond Reggie's "limitations". He put Indy on the NBA map. He had an enormous impact on this city and it's people. It's going to take A LOT to move past him as Mr. Pacer.

able
01-31-2004, 08:59 PM
I respectfully agree with jay

JO is certainly nation wide far more popular then Reg, who in most cases is a recognizable name, but usually draws comments like " is that old geezer still playin?"

Please also keep in mind that JO is 24 years of age, nad has another 10-14 years to go, IF he stays with the P's he will no doubt be the all-time score and rebound leader which will settle a lot in most eyes.

For me (and consideringhis contract management of the P's agrees on that)he already is THE franchise player.
His commitment to the community only adds to that.

Reggie will never be forgotten by P fans anywhere in the world, but a "Mr.Pacer" should always be on the team, and JO is taking over that banner quite nicely.

ChicagoJ
01-31-2004, 09:19 PM
Wow Jay. We just don't agree at all.

-snip-

I look beyond Reggie's "limitations". He put Indy on the NBA map. He had an enormous impact on this city and it's people. It's going to take A LOT to move past him as Mr. Pacer.

We do agree on that point, all I've done is define "A LOT" as leading the Pacers to a championship.

I only threw the All-star starts in there since Arcadian mentioned the fans and the national media - but the fact that JO is being talked about nationally as an MVP candidate is, IMO, a really important point for this thread.

I'm not as sour on Reggie as my posts probably read, but I think a lot of people - even some on this board - don't fully appreciate how dominant JO already is at such a young age. In my opinion, some of them don't want Reggie to slide from #1 to #2 its that whole nostalgia thing, so they are denying/ ignoring what JO is already doing. Again, I'm not saying Reggie's not "Mr. NBA Pacer" right now - clearly he is and he's earned it - but I don't believe he's permanently earned that title.

Arcadian
01-31-2004, 09:21 PM
Using fan voting as a gage for popularity is misleading. How many times would JO have been voted in if he were in the West? Also as ABAdays pointed out Reggie was in competition with Jordan.

Its fine if you disagree. Popularity is a hard thing to wiegh but fan voting in the all star game isn't that realible of a measurement.

As far as popularity goes I'd guess that Artest is more popular than JO on this current team.

ChicagoJ
01-31-2004, 09:29 PM
Using fan voting as a gage for popularity is misleading. How many times would JO have been voted in if he were in the West? Also as ABAdays pointed out Reggie was in competition with Jordan.

Its fine if you disagree. Popularity is a hard thing to wiegh but fan voting in the all star game isn't that realible of a measurement.

As far as popularity goes I'd guess that Artest is more popular than JO on this current team.

I thinkg that if there's one thing the fan voting measures, it is popularity.

How else do you explain Vince Carter's selection as a starter the past two years? His current on-the-court play doesn't merit an all-star start. Two words: he's popular.

I'll shut up here... reasonable minds can agree to disagree.

ABADays
01-31-2004, 09:37 PM
reasonable minds can agree to disagree.

You can do that on this board? :D

beast23
02-01-2004, 12:59 AM
I think one thing that some of you overlook is that it really doesn't matter how popular JO is with fans NATIONALLY.

Fans sitting 500 miles outside of Indianapolis just don't talk about the Pacers in that fashion. They aren't concerned about "Mr. Pacer".

A "Mr. <insert team moniker>" is almost always a local thing. I'd venture in most cases, it has a lot to do with the sportscasters who are broadcasting the game over local TV and radio. Boyle, Leonard, Kellog, Albert. It's kind of like Kellog's "chicken-wing", and "squeezing the orange" or Bobby's "boom-baby". Others that probably helped with the moniker through the years were sportswriters like Benner and Robin Miller.

Reggie gained a certain fan following and admiration by the local fans and the next thing you know the sportscasters start referring to him as "Mr. Pacer."

I think Able was right when he said "Reggie will never be forgotten by P fans anywhere in the world, but a "Mr.Pacer" should always be on the team". But that does not mean that every Pacer team will have a "Mr Pacer".

It's a moniker that will be vacated for a few years, waiting to see if Jermaine can assume it.

For me right now, JO isn't anywhere close. I suppose everyone has some mental notion of what that would take. For me, it takes building history, continually being the go-to guy and hitting the game-winning shot, being strong in the community.

And perhaps most importantly, it will take my appreciation of JO the player, the man and the community contributor in the present being able to compete with my admiration of Reggie in the past.

And it will take a building public awareness and willingness to bestow the moniker. I've been to a lot of games through the years. Probably well over 500. I don't believe I've heard a single "J.O." or "Jermaine" chant yet. When that starts happening on a regular basis, then I'd admit that at some point in the future, JO has a chance of earning the title.

Arcadian
02-01-2004, 01:36 PM
Using fan voting as a gage for popularity is misleading. How many times would JO have been voted in if he were in the West? Also as ABAdays pointed out Reggie was in competition with Jordan.

Its fine if you disagree. Popularity is a hard thing to wiegh but fan voting in the all star game isn't that realible of a measurement.

As far as popularity goes I'd guess that Artest is more popular than JO on this current team.

I thinkg that if there's one thing the fan voting measures, it is popularity.

How else do you explain Vince Carter's selection as a starter the past two years? His current on-the-court play doesn't merit an all-star start. Two words: he's popular.

I'll shut up here... reasonable minds can agree to disagree.
So it is a safe statement to say that JO right now is more popular than Reggie ever was because JO was voted into the All star game more times than Reggie?

ChicagoJ
02-02-2004, 01:13 PM
Using fan voting as a gage for popularity is misleading. How many times would JO have been voted in if he were in the West? Also as ABAdays pointed out Reggie was in competition with Jordan.

Its fine if you disagree. Popularity is a hard thing to wiegh but fan voting in the all star game isn't that realible of a measurement.

As far as popularity goes I'd guess that Artest is more popular than JO on this current team.

I thinkg that if there's one thing the fan voting measures, it is popularity.

How else do you explain Vince Carter's selection as a starter the past two years? His current on-the-court play doesn't merit an all-star start. Two words: he's popular.

I'll shut up here... reasonable minds can agree to disagree.

So it is a safe statement to say that JO right now is more popular than Reggie ever was because JO was voted into the All star game more times than Reggie?

I'm replying just to give you my opinion of the answers to your questions.

First, I'm not arguing your point that all star game voting is not a perfect measure. But I can't think of any other tools to use here... I suppose if we had jersey sales stats those might be useful. Since I've done financial consulting for the owners of professional sports teams, I might be able to track something down (but it might not be in the public domain?)

Worldwide? Casual basketball fans? Serious fans of other teams? Relative to the popularity of all the other current players? Probably yes in all those demographics. With serious, dedicated, long-term Pacers/ basketball fans? Probably not.

The title of Reggie's book, "I Love Being the Enemy" speaks volumes. If people weren't cheering for the Pacers/Reggie then they generally didn't like/ respect Reggie. We all do, so we look at him through rose colored glasses. Well, Reggie forced the Knicks fans to fear him, but they still didn't like him.