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Unclebuck
08-16-2004, 06:18 PM
I am moving this weekend and in the process of clearing out and throwing away I uncovered an Indianapolis Star article from 8/8/99. About 6 weeks after the Pacers drafted the kid.

Things I find interesting today:

Pacers did not bring Bender in for a predraft workout because the trade with the Raptors came together until the night before the draft. None other than Bob Hill who coached Bender the prior year on a touring team gave Mel Daniels a glowing endorsement of Bender. Pacers also wore out the McDonald's all American game tape in which Bender scored 31 points.

Sonny Vacaro told Walsh that in all his years of watching high school players only three had excited him, Kobe, KG and Bender.

Here is a quote from Vacaro, "I told Donnie, this kid is never going to be a problem. And if things go well he's going to be an allstar. He's of the mind-set to be great. Nothing less than being an allstar in the next 3 or 4 years will satisfy his desire. It's just innate ability. Usually those things don't fail you. If you're born with a gift, it's there."

What impressed Walsh were the reports he had been hearing from the teams that did workout Bender. The Bulls who had the number #1 pick had Bender in twice and were going to take him, but they decided against it because they did not want to wait on a HS kid. .

Walsh learned that the Suns and Lakers were making serious efforts tto move up to take Bender.

Here is a quote from Walsh, "when you hear of all these teams going after this kid, and they all were, there's a reason for it."

Toronto if they had kept the pick would have taken Bender, but they had two budding stars in T-Mac and Carter, so thery were in a win now mode.

Here is a quote from Rick Carlisle who worked Bender out for about an hour in late July. "A great athlete, a great shooter with amazing range, a skilled ballhandler, a work worker. From what I saw he has a high level of skilland athletic ability and an unbelievable amount of upside. To say he is intriquing would be an understatement."



Bender weighed 175 lbs in the summer before his senior year in high school, but then one year later he weighed 207 when he was drafted. (That is what I have meant for 5 years when i said he was just growing into his body) .





________________________________________________


Just found this article interesting after 5 years.


.

Hicks
08-16-2004, 06:27 PM
For me, this is Bender's first time to have not just have minutes, but a clear, defined, and most importantly, big role in the team's rotation. Before he was always filling in for someone else. Now he is expected to fill Al's shoes. I honestly won't be that surprised if he fills them. I think now, with the past years to build on, with a large role to play night in and night out, he will finally produce. I'm not saying All-Star. I'm not saying "knock your socks off". Just solid, good production, enough that most of the *****ing about him might even die down.

I will be watching him closely and can't wait to see what happens.

My only concern for Bender is his health. If he can be pretty durable this year, it will be a great sign for his future.

SoupIsGood
08-16-2004, 07:17 PM
If Bender does indeed fill Al's shoes at not only SF, but PF also, I like our chances of winning a championship, hell, we'd probably be the favorites. We would of basically acquired Jax while losing nothing down low.

I think our season hinges on Jackson and Bender to come through. And we just can't get screwed on what happens with Artest.

ROCislandWarrior
08-16-2004, 07:35 PM
For me, this is Bender's first time to have not just have minutes, but a clear, defined, and most importantly, big role in the team's rotation. Before he was always filling in for someone else. Now he is expected to fill Al's shoes. I honestly won't be that surprised if he fills them. I think now, with the past years to build on, with a large role to play night in and night out, he will finally produce. I'm not saying All-Star. I'm not saying "knock your socks off". Just solid, good production, enough that most of the *****ing about him might even die down.

I will be watching him closely and can't wait to see what happens.

My only concern for Bender is his health. If he can be pretty durable this year, it will be a great sign for his future.

I couldn't agree more about how having a defined role will only help Bender...if he is ever going to be a good player, he will show something this season.

I think he will become better and better as the year goes on...IF he is healthy. But now that the team needs him, I think Bender will realize he has to play through the pain. He can't take those IR vacations again this year or we will be hurting off the bench.

By the end of the season, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Bender put up 20-25 Pts 6-8 Rebs 2-3 Blks in a few games

Kegboy
08-16-2004, 08:37 PM
I'll never forget the first time I saw Bender play in person, against Cleveland in December. I believe all I could say was, "Wow."

Lord Helmet
08-16-2004, 08:49 PM
Bender could be the 6th man of the year next year.IF he can stay healthy.

ROCislandWarrior
08-16-2004, 09:12 PM
Notice a theme here...

"IF he can stay healthy"

:pray:

Bball
08-16-2004, 09:44 PM
Let me talk to a pessimistic angle...
Reading this one also could get the feeling that the Pacers jumped the gun on this one. Maybe got burned by a little of their own game (people feigning interest in a player they have no interest in so they keep others from their real guy).

Let's remember Walsh just saw Camby destroy us in a fluke loss in the ECF's. I to this day think he saw Bender as the next Marcus Camby (long and athletic) and saw that as the future of the NBA. Our own X Factor.

Bender's McD's All Star game could be deemed a fluke at this point. A fluke that moved his name up. And at a late enough date that the Pacers didn't truly do their homework.

In other words.... They got smoked.

Maybe they'll get the last laugh but at this point I just hope Bender can be a 6th-7th man with more of a team attitude than Al ever brought.

Superstar? Probably a pipe dream for only the most overly optimistic homers among us. A player that can fill a role? Maybe... if he can stay healthy and listen to his coaching staff (I do get the idea he will listen to the coaching staff... Staying healthy? Dunno there...).

-Bball

sixthman
08-16-2004, 11:03 PM
Bender could be the 6th man of the year next year.IF he can stay healthy.

I kind of think it will be S-Jax. JB might be 7th man of the year. :)

Young
08-16-2004, 11:04 PM
To me Bender is the most interesting Pacer on the team.

He doesn't really need to improve his game, as far as working on shooting and ball handling. He already is a good shooter and can put it on the floor and is terrific at coming and helping on defense and swating shots.

His weaknesses are:

- Health
- Consistanty [Hard to be consistant when your not healthy though.]

I hope he was in the weight room this summer. I think if he has put on 10-15 pounds, bringing his weight to 230-235 he would be in good shape as far as health goes. And if he is healthy I bet you he would improve his consistantisy.

Anthem
08-16-2004, 11:24 PM
Bender could be the 6th man of the year next year.IF he can stay healthy.

I kind of think it will be S-Jax. JB might be 7th man of the year. :)


Actually, I'm kind of hoping that Reggie will be the 6th man.

I know, I'm dreaming.

Bball
08-16-2004, 11:31 PM
Ok... I must add this...

Some of you who have such high hopes for Bender and what he means to the team should look to the US Olympic team for some insight. There's more to the game than being able to jump and be 7' tall.

-Bball

Young
08-16-2004, 11:36 PM
Ok... I must add this...

Some of you who have such high hopes for Bender and what he means to the team should look to the US Olympic team for some insight. There's more to the game than being able to jump and be 7' tall.

-Bball

Yeah like shooting, Bender is a good shooter, atleast one of the better ones on the team, IMHO.

SoupIsGood
08-16-2004, 11:53 PM
man im bout to nut myself just thinkin of how many people hes gonna make look stupid next year

:o When I thought I'd heard it all..

Lord Helmet
08-17-2004, 07:20 AM
Lets just hope he stays healthy.

indygeezer
08-17-2004, 07:33 AM
"Garnett like impact" quote Geezer

"My only concern for Bender is his health. If he can be pretty durable this year, it will be a great sign for his future." quote Hicks

Harddrive7
08-17-2004, 07:41 AM
man im bout to nut myself just thinkin of how many people hes gonna make look stupid next year


Let's try to tone that down a bit please.

Hit send too quick there. Funny I haven't heard of Bender being at any certain workout so far this summer. Has anyone heard of him being anywhere?

I'm thinking that he could be down in Florida.

Unclebuck
08-17-2004, 10:10 AM
man im bout to nut myself just thinkin of how many people hes gonna make look stupid next year


Let's try to tone that down a bit please.

Hit send too quick there. Funny I haven't heard of Bender being at any certain workout so far this summer. Has anyone heard of him being anywhere?

I'm thinking that he could be down in Florida.





Check out Mark Monteith's latest Q&A, there is something in there about Bender and his workouts. Should be easy enough to find there are two threads on MM latest Q&A

sixthman
08-17-2004, 11:00 AM
Bender could be the 6th man of the year next year.IF he can stay healthy.

I kind of think it will be S-Jax. JB might be 7th man of the year. :)



Actually, I'm kind of hoping that Reggie will be the 6th man.

I know, I'm dreaming.

I share your dream, but I recognize a dream when I see one. Reggie will start, I'd imagine.

McKeyFan
08-17-2004, 12:20 PM
Bender can shoot? Sort of.

The real test for shooting, IMO, is when the pressure is on. From my perspective, every shot Bender has taken that had some kind of import during a game not only missed, but bricked badly.

Conversely, someone like Artest or AJ may have similar or worse shooting stats in general, but when it counts, they can be quite dependable. (Please, don't focus solely on Artest in the ECF. I'm talking about in general, over the past three years. There's no one on the team I'd rather have the ball at the end of the game than Ron or JO.)

I heard the other day that Danny White and Roger Staubach had similar stats. Dallas Cowboy fans know the difference, however. Staubach showed up when it counted. Danny White completed lots of passes until the end of games.

I have very, very little confidence in Bender. I don't think he has what it takes mentally. Even if he finds a way to put up stats this year, he will not be helpful at the end of games.

Trust me, I hope more than the rest of you that I am dead wrong.

Kegboy
08-17-2004, 01:38 PM
Bender can shoot? Sort of.

The real test for shooting, IMO, is when the pressure is on. From my perspective, every shot Bender has taken that had some kind of import during a game not only missed, but bricked badly.

Conversely, someone like Artest or AJ may have similar or worse shooting stats in general, but when it counts, they can be quite dependable. (Please, don't focus solely on Artest in the ECF. I'm talking about in general, over the past three years. There's no one on the team I'd rather have the ball at the end of the game than Ron or JO.)

I heard the other day that Danny White and Roger Staubach had similar stats. Dallas Cowboy fans know the difference, however. Staubach showed up when it counted. Danny White completed lots of passes until the end of games.

I have very, very little confidence in Bender. I don't think he has what it takes mentally. Even if he finds a way to put up stats this year, he will not be helpful at the end of games.

Trust me, I hope more than the rest of you that I am dead wrong.

When has Bender been in these pressure situations you speak of? The only time I can think of was against Milwaukee at the end of the '02 season, where he ended up playing major minutes of a must-win game because Al was hurt and Ron was in foul trouble. People forget, but he just owned Glenn Robinson that night.

McKeyFan
08-18-2004, 11:13 AM
I can't give you exact games and dates. But whenever he is in the game in the late stages and buckets really count, it always seems to be a clank.

Not just a miss, but a clank. Sometimes a near air ball.