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Pacerfan
10-01-2010, 02:04 AM
From Indystar
http://www.indystar.com/article/20101001/SPORTS04/10010373/
by Mike Wells

Surprisingly-Ford's-still-here

Point guard T.J. Ford thought he was making his last trip inside the Indiana Pacers locker room when he packed up his belongings April 15.

His tenure had been filled with more negatives than positives -- he lost his starting job twice -- and an obvious communication gap with coach Jim O'Brien.

The Pacers clearly felt that way, too. They tried to trade him, then offered him a buyout when there were no takers.

Fast-forward to late September, and here's Ford wearing his No. 5 practice jersey, preparing to be Darren Collison's backup this season.

"I thought there would be more options for me to be traded in the summertime with all the movement going on," Ford said. "There was talk about a possible deal, but it didn't happen and once the deal didn't go through, they started talking about a buyout. That's when I knew I would be back."

Ford was supposed to bring stability to the point guard position when the Pacers acquired him from Toronto in the summer of 2008.

The opposite happened.

O'Brien twice benched him because Ford had difficulty grasping what his coach wants on offense.

"I think he has struggled on the pick-and-roll hitting the roll guy in the past," O'Brien said.

Ford took a lot of heat during the summer for not agreeing to a buyout. The Pacers offered $5 million. Had he agreed, the New Orleans Hornets, who had just traded Collison to the Pacers, were going to sign Ford to be Chris Paul's backup.

"I don't see any reason why I should have to take less money," said Ford, who picked up his $8.5 million player option after last season. "My contract says I'm scheduled to make a certain amount of money, and that's what I expect to get paid."

Ford knew he had to close the gap with O'Brien to earn playing time this season. The two had a lengthy talk over the summer, during which both laid out everything.

"It was a conversation that we needed to have because we had prolonged it for so long," Ford said. "It's not like we didn't like each other; we were both being stubborn.

"At the end of the day, we all need each other. I need the organization. I need coach O'Brien and coach O'Brien needs me. Everybody needs each other to make this a good working environment."

Ford has taken the high road about his benching. He hasn't complained publicly or been a locker room disruption. He competes at practice despite knowing he's not part of the team's future.

"My role here is to be here coming off the bench, creating a spark, playing hard and teaching these young guys," Ford said. "It's a challenge that I'm up for."

Ford has the inside track for the backup job because Lance Stephenson doesn't defend well and A.J. Price is coming off knee surgery.

"It's the last year of T.J.'s contract, so it's not only important for his future, but it's also important for the franchise's future that he succeeds, so if a decision comes where he's involved in a trade we can get maximum value out of him," O'Brien said.

"I believe strongly that he's going to have a successful year. T.J. would figure very heavily into what we're doing and have a big impact on the game if we were going to play today."

Hibbert extended

The Pacers announced they picked up the $2.6 million option on center Roy Hibbert's contract for next season.

Hibbert, a former Georgetown star, is entering his third season. He averaged 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds a year ago.



I really like how he's handling all this and now we finally know what that meeting was about between him and JOB.

imawhat
10-01-2010, 03:14 AM
I wonder what summertime deal he's referring to. It'd be interesting to look at a list of all Pacers trades that fell through.

avoidingtheclowns
10-01-2010, 03:35 AM
I wonder what summertime deal he's referring to. It'd be interesting to look at a list of all Pacers trades that fell through.

This was something David Alderidge discussed in his "Why they did it" analysis of the four team deal to get Collison.


And the deal could have been even larger.

A league source says the Charlotte Bobcats wanted to get involved as well, using the non-guaranteed contract of center Erick Dampier to try and get a point guard. Under one scenario, Dampier would have gone to Indiana, the team that originally drafted him in 1996, with T.J. Ford going to Toronto and the Raptors sending guard Jose Calderon to Charlotte. (The Raptors had agreed to send Calderon to the Bobcats earlier this summer in a deal that would have sent center Tyson Chandler to Toronto, but the deal was scotched at the last minute by Charlotte owner Michael Jordan.)

NBA.com (http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/david_aldridge/08/11/trade/index.html)

I Love P
10-01-2010, 03:49 AM
Not the biggest fan of TJ Ford but I WILL take TJ as the backup.

Collison
Ford
Price
=
Clutch

focused444
10-01-2010, 05:48 AM
"I thought there would be more options for me to be traded in the summertime with all the movement going on," Ford said. "There was talk about a possible deal, but it didn't happen and once the deal didn't go through, they started talking about a buyout. That's when I knew I would be back."

"It's the last year of T.J.'s contract, so it's not only important for his future, but it's also important for the franchise's future that he succeeds, so if a decision comes where he's involved in a trade we can get maximum value out of him," O'Brien said.

This is as honest of an article as I've seen in a while, and I like it.

Hopefully TJ will be motivated by the contract year.

vnzla81
10-01-2010, 06:39 AM
"It was a conversation that we needed to have because we had prolonged it for so long," Ford said. "It's not like we didn't like each other; we were both being stubborn.

Really? no s***







There is the prove to UB that even players think that JOB is stubborn.

Unclebuck
10-01-2010, 08:02 AM
We could spend a week and a day trying to read between the lines in O'Brien's comments.


"It's the last year of T.J.'s contract, so it's not only important for his future, but it's also important for the franchise's future that he succeeds, so if a decision comes where he's involved in a trade we can get maximum value out of him," O'Brien said.

"I believe strongly that he's going to have a successful year. T.J. would figure very heavily into what we're doing and have a big impact on the game if we were going to play today."


I personally think that Ford will be out of the rotation by mid December. Really though I would expect it by Thanksgiving, but i'll give Price another 2 or 3 weeks to recover from his knee surgery. I won't suggest that Jim is agreeing to play Ford to increase his trade value, but if Lance isn't ready and price is still recovering, sounds like Jim will play him. But none of O'Brien's words can be seen as a ringing endorsement of Ford

DrFife
10-01-2010, 08:21 AM
From Indystar
http://www.indystar.com/article/20101001/SPORTS04/10010373/
"It's the last year of T.J.'s contract, so it's not only important for his future, but it's also important for the franchise's future that he succeeds, so if a decision comes where he's involved in a trade we can get maximum value out of him," O'Brien said.

This part really sticks out to me, as in "Everyone knows we're doing everything we can to trade TJ, so I'll just state the obvious by pointing out that it'll happen sooner rather than later if TJ plays as well as he can."

QuickRelease
10-01-2010, 09:21 AM
This was something David Alderidge discussed in his "Why they did it" analysis of the four team deal to get Collison.This (but the deal was scotched at the last minute by Charlotte owner Michael Jordan) is starting to become an all too common refrain with MJ.

dohman
10-01-2010, 10:07 AM
Say what you want to about ford. But they guy has been through hell and back. From being a playoff type point guard.. to having his head ripped out almost. then the battle between him and calderon for the starting spot. Then everything that has happened here.

The guy continues to be up beat and carries his head high. He is the definition of class. How many other players would take to being benched so easily. He may not be a good fit here but I am glad he has been here over some of the others we have had in the past.

Brad8888
10-01-2010, 11:29 AM
Until Price gets lift back on his jumper and gets back in game shape, Ford will get 15 minutes a night, unless Stephenson ends up being available. Then, Ford would have a difficult time because Stephenson is an excellent dribble penetrating scorer which is a point of emphasis in the O'B way.

Or, will we see the dreaded small ball return with a vengeance as an even smaller version with Collison, Ford, Dunleavy/(Rush when he returns, or Stephenson if available), Granger, and McRoberts / Foster (if Josh doesn't get enough boards) due to Roy somehow not progressing as much as we have been led to believe?

I need to stop this train of thought because the Dark Side within is quickly strengthening and I am scared that it shall resume its death grip on my basketball fundamental loving soul...............Must..............Resist....... ........Uggggggggghhhhhh...Whimper...



No!

The Pacers have made us Promises that they are supposed to Protect or something, haven't they???

O'Brien wouldn't do that to us after all of his talk of things changing! There WILL be a lineup of Collison (who WILL reduce turnovers and not simply be used as a plug in replacement of all pgs before him), Dunleavy (who WILL be his old pre-surgery self), Granger (who WILL play defense and shoot better), McRoberts (who WILL have his game focus on passing and explosive moves to the rack coupled with opponent disrupting defense and hustle), and Hibbert (who WILL be quicker, have improved footwork on both ends of the floor, and be more agressive in going after rebounds)! Also, Rush WILL be more assertive offensively after getting his personal life straightened out!

So, the Pacers WILL have wild success, the negativity WILL subside within us, and there WILL be peace and harmony amongst the vast majority of the membership of PD as we all revel in the successes that WILL surely follow these changes, with the end result being a full admission that most here have been wrong about O'Brien and that he has been exactly the coach the organization needed all along.

Oh, I almost forgot. The last two paragraphs should have been a different color, either green or purple, or a combination of both. Unlike Lebron, however, I couldn't Decide...

Drat. The Dark Side is back firmly in control...

Hicks
10-01-2010, 11:43 AM
Lance isn't playing over Ford unless his defense gets noticeably better or TJ just completely falls flat (*knock on wood, given his past, but obviously I meant that figuratively*).

Brad8888
10-01-2010, 11:47 AM
Lance isn't playing over Ford unless his defense gets noticeably better or TJ just completely falls flat (*knock on wood, given his past, but obviously I meant that figuratively*).

Unless, of course,

Drumroll please...





Stephenson hits 3's at such an astonishing rate when compared to TJ that it overcomes O'Brien's aversion to playing rookies.

PaceBalls
10-01-2010, 12:11 PM
I've always liked TJ. He is saying the right things, and it's nice to see him being so frank and open.
He gets a bad rap here and I think that mostly stems from the way our coach tries to play him. Granted, TJ should be able to adapt to whatever role is needed, but it has always been the same thing with our coach, not making a gameplan conducive to his players strengths, and forcing them into his "system". (or focusing on the wrong players strengths -Troy Murphy /cough)

If you guys remember the only bright spot of last season, the 5 game win streak right at the start of the season, TJ played a huge role in that, so did DJones. Two guys that are now the two least liked players, generally speaking. That was the only time last year that the team showed any competitive spirit over any length of time. I think there is something to it.

P.S. That 5 game win streak team was epic awesome ;)

Sookie
10-01-2010, 02:16 PM
We could spend a week and a day trying to read between the lines in O'Brien's comments.


I personally think that Ford will be out of the rotation by mid December. Really though I would expect it by Thanksgiving, but i'll give Price another 2 or 3 weeks to recover from his knee surgery. I won't suggest that Jim is agreeing to play Ford to increase his trade value, but if Lance isn't ready and price is still recovering, sounds like Jim will play him. But none of O'Brien's words can be seen as a ringing endorsement of Ford

I really really hope you're right.

I still think Ford will start at some point. But I do agree with you, I think he'll be out of the rotation by December, because that'll be about JOB's breaking point with him.

JOB could be considering playing Ford to increase his trade value, but really..last season it seemed like TJ would decrease his trade value every time he was on the court. Part of the problem is, even if TJ tries hard, his skillset just does not fit JOB's offense.

Here's to hoping he's traded quickly. :P