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View Full Version : Star Article, Pollard has something to prove



Will Galen
09-21-2004, 01:42 PM
Veteran is hoping for a fresh start after an unproductive 1st season with Pacers.

6-11 Scot Pollard wants to be more than a niche player kept around to bang with the Pacers' bigger opponents.

By Mark Montieth
mark.montieth@indystar.com
September 21, 2004


Scot Pollard was one of the first Indiana Pacers veterans to report to Conseco Fieldhouse this month. He came in 10 pounds lighter, too.

Personal circumstances demanded the early and agile arrival, but the reserve center/forward hopes it's the first step toward regaining the playing time and pride that was lost last season.

"Hopefully it's a fresh start," Pollard said. "We'll see if things change a little bit."

Pollard is eager for that. After starting the first two games last season, he wound up playing in just 61 and averaging 1.7 points. It was his least productive season since he was a rookie in Detroit in 1997-98 and hardly what he had in mind after five solid seasons as a backup in Sacramento.

Hoping for an enhanced opportunity, he instead felt out of place in the Eastern Conference, out of sync in a slower-paced offense and out of favor playing behind Jeff Foster and Jermaine O'Neal.

He acknowledged all that in his season exit interview with team president Larry Bird, and wouldn't have been surprised to be traded. The Pacers' decision to take yet another center, David Harrison, with their first-round draft pick in June cast further doubt on his status.

Pollard would have had mixed feelings about a trade. He has two years left on his contract, but the collective bargaining agreement expires next summer. Should a lockout occur, this could be his best opportunity to prove himself worthy of the $5.8 million he will earn in the upcoming season.

On the other hand, he considers Indianapolis an elite NBA city. He is more comfortable here than in Sacramento, where he felt a spotlight followed him everywhere he went, and considers it a good place for his family.

"Half of me is going, 'I love living here and don't want to leave,' and the other half is going, 'I've got to get on the damn court,' " he said.

That will be a challenge. Foster and O'Neal return, and coach Rick Carlisle isn't likely to depart drastically from the approach that won 61 games last season. Shaquille O'Neal's trade to Miami in the Eastern Conference brings a small degree of hope, since Pollard -- the Pacers' heaviest veteran -- got most of his opportunities last season against the bigger centers.

The Pacers will face O'Neal four times, twice more than they played his old team, the Los Angeles Lakers, last season.

"He's going to be a very important guy in those four games," Carlisle said. "And there's some other good big people. He's still a very valuable player on this roster."

Pollard wants to be more than just a niche player, however, trotted out against bigger bodies. That's why he is trying to flow with the favorable winds of fate heading into training camp.

He had to return to Indianapolis early from his offseason home in Lawrence, Kan., because his oldest daughter was starting first grade. He wasn't trying to lose weight, but 10 pounds came off during a family vacation cruise for reasons he doesn't understand, dropping him to the 265 pounds he carried in college at Kansas.

"Hey, I'll take it," he said. "It's stayed off, that's the weird thing."

Pollard has a natural nonconformist bent, but not to the extreme of refusing opportunity. He has been on the fieldhouse practice court most of the month for what has amounted to an extended session of show-and-tell with the coaches. Last season they were as new to the team as he was and everyone got acquainted on the fly. Now he believes he has shown them things they didn't know he had.

A midrange jump shot, primarily.

"That's been a pleasant surprise," associate head coach Mike Brown said.

"We think he can step out and hit that 15-foot shot on a regular basis."

Pollard hopes to get the chance. Until then, all he can do is keep working on making an impression.

"Not that I'm trying to wow 'em, but I'm thinking, 'I'm here, why sell out?' " he said. "I don't have that in me. I'm keeping that weight I lost for no reason off and I'm working hard. I'm just taking it as an opportunity to try to get my *** back in the lineup because that's where I belong."

Key dates

Oct. 5: Training camp opens

Oct. 11: Preseason opener vs. Washington

Oct. 29: Final preseason game vs. Denver

Nov. 3: Regular season opens at Cleveland

Nov. 6: Regular season home opener vs. Chicago

sweabs
09-21-2004, 02:05 PM
Pollard has something to prove
:laugh:


Now he believes he has shown them things they didn't know he had.

A midrange jump shot, primarily.
:lol2:

I'm sorry...I couldn't help but laugh...

Kstat
09-21-2004, 02:53 PM
Pollard has something to prove

......like what, that he can walk and chew gum simultaniously?

Slick Pinkham
09-21-2004, 03:03 PM
Pollard...jump shots
pigs...flying
Hell...ice rink
Shaq...modesty
Glenn Robinson...defense
Antoine Walker...shot selection

some things just don't go well together

sweabs
09-21-2004, 03:58 PM
Pollard has something to prove

......like what, that he can walk and chew gum simultaniously?

:laugh:Ahhh...poor Pollard.

TheSauceMaster
09-21-2004, 04:28 PM
Well he still is the Funniest Guy on the Team , Doesn't that Count for Something :confused::confused:

:p:p:p:p

Kstat
09-21-2004, 04:41 PM
Well he still is the Funniest Guy on the Team , Doesn't that Count for Something :confused::confused:

:p:p:p:p

I think that says more about Boomer than it does about Pollard......

une
09-21-2004, 04:46 PM
Oh give the guy a chance.

TheSauceMaster
09-21-2004, 05:01 PM
Well he still is the Funniest Guy on the Team , Doesn't that Count for Something :confused::confused:

:p:p:p:p

I think that says more about Boomer than it does about Pollard......


Oh Boomer ..Sorry how could I confuse the 2 :confused::confused:

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Hicks
09-21-2004, 05:15 PM
I'm not going to laugh at him like many of you are. Just goes too far for my tastes. Anywho, I won't discount the midrange jumper, because Mike Brown chimed in on it, not just Scot. And I did see him nail it when he took it every now and again. Not that I'd want to rely on it, but...

I think he can prove something this year. Not that he's made some dramatic 180 or anything, just that he's worth playing in the rotation.

Bball
09-21-2004, 05:49 PM
Well... after last season of course he has nowhere else to go but up.

I wish him luck. Nothing would be better for the Pacers than him to become at least 'useful' and anything else would be gravy at this point.

-Bball

ChicagoJ
09-21-2004, 05:52 PM
On a matter of principle, when he hits the game-winning seventeen footer at the end of Game #7 of The Finals, I'm still going insist that "he sucks."

:devil:

MSA2CF
09-21-2004, 05:59 PM
Oh give the guy a chance.

Yeah. What une said.

Lord Helmet
09-21-2004, 06:31 PM
I think Pollard can at least contribute.And be funny too.

TheSauceMaster
09-21-2004, 07:37 PM
I am not laughing at Pollard , personally I have always liked Pollard and I think if He would be given a real chance he may improve , but long as he keeps heating the Bench , he will just be the guy people make fun of in the League.

I like Pollard long before he was a Pacer and I really thought he could help the team , I don't think the Kings fans were ever that Hard on Pollard , so Maybe Most Pacer Fans are Spoiled or Expecting too much from a Guy who just entered a whole new System.

I was just trying to lighten up the thread alittle cause I figured it would be a bash pollard thread. :rolleyes:

Roaming Gnome
09-21-2004, 09:16 PM
Oh give the guy a chance.

Yeah. What une said.

Word! :lob:

ABADays
09-22-2004, 09:27 AM
Sorry but I'm still pulling for the guy.