The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

A quick note to new members: Your posts will not immediately show up when you make them. An administrator has to approve at least your first post before the forum software will later upgrade your account to the status of a fully-registered member. This usually happens within a couple of hours or so after your post(s) is/are approved, so you may need to be a little patient at first.

Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
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NBA} Bigger-than-life Manu Ginobili has Argentina following his every move

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  • NBA} Bigger-than-life Manu Ginobili has Argentina following his every move

    Bigger-than-life Manu Ginobili has Argentina following his every move

    Johnny Ludden
    Express-News Staff Writer

    BAHIA BLANCA, Argentina — Manu Ginobili climbs the steps to the second deck of the tour bus and drops into the seat next to his wife, Marianela. Tired, but still wearing a smile, he kisses her on the cheek, then gently leans his head on her shoulder.

    It is a brisk July afternoon, one of those south-of-the-equator winter days, and Ginobili has come home to this port city roughly 400 miles southwest of Buenos Aires. The Spurs' guard has spent the previous hour at Hospital Municipal de Agudos Dr. Leónidas Lucero, distributing gifts to children, posing for photos with staff and visiting one terminally ill patient who asked to be transferred here to meet him. After a quick lunch, Ginobili will conduct a basketball clinic for 300 orphans at his old gym, then head to a local mall for a pep rally in his honor.

    The previous four days proved dizzying enough.

    After making the 16-hour trip from San Antonio to Buenos Aires, he gave three welcome-home news conferences; attended a cocktail party for the start of the NBA's Basketball Without Borders Americas camp; met with Argentina's president and other dignitaries; coached his team of campers; unintentionally inspired a near-riot during a visit to an under-funded hospital; dined at a reunion for Argentina's gold-medal winning Olympic team; dedicated a new reading center at an elementary school; and joined Spurs coach Gregg Popovich at a tango show.

    Now, more than 300 of the town's 300,000 citizens have filled the narrow road outside the hospital to see Ginobili off to his next stop. They are singing the same song that has trailed him everywhere, Olé, olé, olé ... Manu, Manu!

    As the bus begins to roll, Ginobili presses close to the window and waves to the crowd. One middle-aged man holds up a homemade sign. Written in blue marker on a piece of cardboard, it states the obvious: MANU ES MUY GRANDE.

    Yes, Ginobili is big. Bigger than anyone in this fútbol-mad country ever thought a basquet player could become. The same too-skinny teenager who grew up dribbling around chairs in his home has grown into a national hero.

    The day after Ginobili met Argentina President Nestor Kirchner, a picture of the two ran in the Buenos Aires Herald underneath the caption, "Who's that next to Ginobili?" Susana Gimenez, the nation's top talk-show host, wanted to book him immediately after the NBA Finals.

    ESPN Deportes La Revista, the new Spanish-language version of ESPN The Magazine, chose Ginobili for its inaugural cover after placing him atop its list of the 101 most-influential Latino athletes. One of Argentina's national magazines proclaimed him, simply, "El Nuevo Fenómeno ." The New Phenomenon.

    Even Diego Maradona, whose wizardry on the soccer field earned him Argentina's worship, asked Ginobili to autograph a jersey for his daughter.

    "He has become one of the greatest athletes in Argentine sports," said Horacio Moratore, head of Argentina's basketball federation. "To this moment, there are only five: Maradona in soccer, Guillermo Vilas in tennis, (Juan Manuel) Fangio in Formula One (racing), Roberto De Vicenzo in golf. Now one more — Ginobili."

    Quite a run

    The rise of El Nuevo Fenómeno began in 2001, two years after the Spurs used the 57th pick of the NBA Draft on Ginobili, a reedy Argentine guard whose hard, if not also reckless, play in Italy had caught the team's attention.

    Unsure whether they would ever see any return from their low-risk investment, the Spurs left Ginobili overseas to develop. After improving under the guidance of Ettore Messina, one of Europe's top coaches, he led Kinder Bologna to the 2001 Euroleague title.

    At the world championships the next year, Ginobili helped Argentina become the first country to beat a U.S. team made up of NBA stars. If not for a disputed call at the end of the championship game against Yugoslavia, Argentina likely would have won the gold medal.

    As an NBA rookie, Ginobili served as the Spurs' designated energizer off the bench, sparking the team to the 2003 championship. At last summer's Olympics in Athens, he led Argentina to the gold medal, beating Team USA in the semifinals. He won his second NBA title in June, four months after being named an All-Star for the first time, and finished one vote shy from sharing the Finals MVP award with Tim Duncan.

    Few players have ever enjoyed a more productive five-year run than Ginobili, and in Argentina, like much of the rest of the planet, everyone loves a winner.

    "Manu has brought Argentina to the world and the world to Argentina's doorstep," said Guillermo Vecchio, a former head coach of Argentina's national team. "Who has done more in basketball?"

    While soccer remains the sport of choice for most of Argentina, Ginobili's appeal to the masses has less to do with what game he plays than how he plays it. He is fearless and, above all else, passionate, a trait long used to describe his countrymen as a whole.

    If there is a lasting image of the Spurs' most recent championship, it just might be that of Ginobili screaming and flailing his arms in excitement as teammate Sean Marks unsuccessfully tries to hold him back moments after Game 7 concluded. Ginobili's long, stringy hair is flying in every direction, joy covering his face.

    "I don't play like this because I want to look pretty," Ginobili said last season. "I think people can really see I love the game."

    From his one-handed skip passes to the over-the-shoulder, off-the-glass, no-look bank shots he makes look routine, Ginobili has applied the same creative flourish to basketball that Argentines have always brought to their national pastime. (A few critics also argue his alleged flopping was gleaned from soccer playgrounds.)

    Ginobili spent most of his time in the gym at the basketball club his father presided over, but, like most of his peers, he grew up watching Maradona, whose celebrity remains the standard by which Argentine athletes are measured. Ginobili remembers jumping off the couch with his brothers, Leandro and Sebastian, when Maradona almost single-handedly won the 1986 World Cup for Argentina. He also frequently watched highlight tapes of Maradona playing for his Italian team in Naples.

    "I admire him probably the same way I did with (Michael) Jordan," Ginobili said. "But the difference was he was representing me with the Argentine jersey. That changes everything."

    Global appeal

    Ginobili's own jersey now hangs next to that of Maradona in storefronts of Buenos Aires' shopping districts. He has done TV commercials for Gatorade that run regularly in Argentina. Less than two weeks after the Finals, he signed an endorsement contract with Argentine cell phone company Movistar.

    Ginobili's agent, Herb Rudoy, said he has had conversations with a handful of other companies interested in using him as a spokesman. Though only recently appearing on the U.S. radar, Ginobili had already established himself as a star in Italy in addition to South America.

    "We've been pushing that Manu is certainly the only athlete that crosses Anglo, Hispanic and European lines," Rudoy said. "He covers everything — he can do his commercials in three languages. Our pitch is the fact that he appeals to all."

    Including more than a few of his peers.

    During last season's All-Star weekend, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant called Ginobili his favorite player to watch. Denver coach George Karl recently admitted he, too, is a fan, saying his public criticism of Ginobili during the opening round of the NBA playoffs was only an unsuccessful attempt at rattling him.

    Ginobili's nice-guy image and humbleness have enhanced his appeal, perhaps more so in a country that endured Maradona's numerous missteps. Because San Antonio ranks among the NBA's smallest TV markets, marketing analysts think it's a reach to expect him to become a household name in Iowa or Nebraska. But they also say U.S. companies have more reason to value Latino endorsers after a June Census Bureau report estimated Hispanics now account for one-seventh of the U.S. population, making them the country's fastest-growing minority group.

    "The average sports fan wouldn't put him in their day-in, day-out top 10, so he might not become the megastar in the United States the way he is in his own country," said Marc Ippolito, senior vice president of Burns Entertainment and Sports Marketing, an Illinois-based firm which pairs companies with celebrity endorsers.

    "But he still has the potential to do very well. It makes perfect sense for any league sponsor to want to tap into his stardom."

    Much of San Antonio knows Ginobili is "still a Time Warner customer" because the cable provider has prominently featured him on local billboards and in TV commercials the past two years. Nike officials also met with Ginobili in Argentina shortly after the Finals to discuss how his role with the company could expand.

    "We want to identify areas where we can grow in Latin America behind him," said Dale Allen, a Nike player relations manager who works with Ginobili. "Basketball is slowly getting accepted there because of Manu's stardom. He's not just an international player anymore. He speaks basketball. He speaks very well for the company, he speaks very well for the NBA, and he speaks very well for the game."

    No one needs to tell NBA commissioner David Stern how much Ginobili has helped the league's popularity increase in South America.

    More than 20 years ago, Stern sold the league's Argentine TV rights to a soccer analyst for $2,000. This year, Game 7 of the NBA Finals drew a 15.1 household rating in Buenos Aires. When the ratings peaked at 24.7 in the final quarter, almost 800,000 of the city's 3,172,100 TV households were tuned into the broadcast.

    "We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a local player like Manu in the league," said Arturo Nuñez, vice president and managing director of NBA Latin America.

    Since the start of the playoffs, the NBA Store has experienced a 41 percent jump from last year in online orders shipped outside the United States — an increase league officials partially attribute to Ginobili's rising popularity.

    Of course, those sales also figure to soon slow, given the increasing difficulty in finding a No.20 Spurs uniform in North America. An employee at the Spurs' fan shop in the SBC Center said the store is sold out of Ginobili's authentic Reebok jerseys and likely won't have any in stock until the start of next season. The NBA Store doesn't have a single Ginobili jersey, in any style, available on its Web site.

    "I think the major indicator of (Ginobili's impact) is how many kids are out there playing basketball," Nuñez said. "We know if we see a kid with a basketball in his hands, he's going to be a future viewer, he's going to be a purchaser of the gear, he's going to be a participant in the sport. That's the best way we feel to measure our growth."

    The fifth Beatle

    Ginobili's success has made fans of the young and old. Results of a recent newspaper poll showed 93 percent of Argentines could recognize him.

    "My mother watched the NBA Finals, and she doesn't know basketball," said Hernán Sartori, a reporter for Clarin, Argentina's largest daily newspaper. "But she knows Manu."

    So, it seems, does everyone else. One NBA official compared Ginobili's five-day goodwill tour here to the Beatles returning to England. Houston center Dikembe Mutombo likened it to visiting China with Yao Ming. A security official assigned to protect Ginobili said he has seen only the pope draw a more fervent following.

    TV stations broadcast his public appearances live. His initial visit to the Buenos Aires hospital was almost cut short after the crowd overwhelmed more than 100 police officers, many of whom were trying to get Ginobili's autograph for themselves.

    At future stops, steel barricades were used to keep the throngs at bay. In Bahia Blanca, nearly 100 people braved 30-degree temperatures for three hours late one night to see him leave a restaurant. Having heard the crowd chanting for him outside, Ginobili autographed a stack of pictures for his father to distribute.

    "Right now, you can't go out with Manu," said Detroit guard Carlos Delfino, who played with Ginobili on Argentina's national team. "If you go out, 100 people follow you. So we tell him to go over there, and then we go a different way."

    Ginobili said he's still learning to adjust to the attention.

    "The thing that really helps me is my normal life is very relaxed, calm," he said. "I stay at home with my wife, visit my parents. But when I do want to go out, it is different. I have a wedding of my friends, and they are worried about what can happen. Things you never expect to happen, now you have to start thinking about."

    Shortly after Ginobili signed his new contract with the Spurs last summer, Argentine authorities foiled a plot to kidnap one of his family members. Though ransom kidnappings have become an increasing problem for celebrities in Latin America — Argentina has only recently begun to recover from the 2001 collapse of its economy — Ginobili said he now feels significantly better about the safety of his parents, who continue to live here.

    That willingness to cling to his roots, to embrace his role as an ambassador for Argentina has further endeared El Nuevo Fenómeno to his countrymen.

    "We are a special country, and the people need something nice," said Vecchio, the former national team coach. "The economy is down. A lot of things are bad. But now everybody is 'Manu! Manu!' It's unbelievable.

    "It's great for basketball. It's great for the country."