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Thread: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

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    Member Ragnar's Avatar
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    Default Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    Why Indy Can and Can't win it all.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/column...ill&id=1710492

    By Bill Walton
    Special to ESPN.com


    The master illusionist, Escher, always inspires us to query "How can that be? or "This can't be real, can it?"

    Those same questions can be asked of this season's version of the Indiana Pacers, a team flirting with the best record in the NBA from the outset of Premiere Week seemingly a lifetime ago.

    This current Pacers squad, despite all the hoopla surrounding the ineptitude of the Eastern Conference, can and should win the NBA championship. This year.

    They have it all and if it doesn't happen they have only themselves to blame.

    They have committed local, loyal and deep-pocketed owners in the Simon Brothers. They have savvy, instinctive, experienced and brazen front-office leadership in Donnie Walsh. They have stature, tradition, pride and a challenging, figure-head front man in Larry Bird. They have a maturing, conservative, patient, humble coach who has been to the top and knows what it takes to get back in Rick Carlisle. They have a perfect building and insatiable fans who will drive the team to unimagined heights.

    But more than anything, the Indiana Pacers have players -- an interesting, compatible and flexible bunch that right now is enjoying unparalleled success.

    And why shouldn't they be atop the NBA? The Pacers are loaded with a trio of young, dynamic stars in Jermaine O'Neal, Ron Artest and Al Harrington. These guys set the tone, attitude and self-disciplinary atmosphere needed to win big each and every time. They are big, athletic and increasingly versatile. They can swing with ease between being primary or complementary players. They can score, defend, rebound, pass, dribble, create and lead -- both on and off the court.

    Most importantly, they believe that they can do all this against anybody.

    The Pacers also have the complementary players needed to become champions. Point-guard play has come alive with the return of Jamaal Tinsley. He is adequately backed up by Anthony Johnson (There is no way New Jersey could have ever used this guy?) and the born-again Kenny Anderson.

    They also have the necessary veteran skills and leadership in Reggie Miller, who, even though the numbers are not there anymore, I defy anyone to ignore or leave him open.

    They have a combination of big guys that enjoy the physical game and bring more than enough in statistical productivity in a center-less era -- Jeff Foster, Austin Croshere and Scott Pollard. Together, they contribute a collective sense of consistent effort, heart and skill to a team that when all else fails can always fall back on Jermaine in the middle of their small lineup.

    Deep down the rotation are a couple of ever-ready guys who are salivating to establish themselves as real NBA players in Freddie Jones and Jamison Brewer. Freddie -- with all due respect to Steve Jones and Danny Ainge -- is easily argued as the best player to ever come out of the state of Oregon. Jamison brings so much unbridled enthusiasm on a regular basis that it is amazing that Carlisle can continue to ignore him.

    The Pacers have the size, strength and athleticism to get it done. They have individual stars at the big, small and in-between positions. They are rough and tough-minded enough to wear down, if not intimidate the opposition. They have the necessary discipline to hold up under the pressure and scrutiny of being the best. They have the level of perceived craziness that puts fear in the heart of the other team.

    Their stars do it at both ends and are complete players -- not specialists. Their top players are the best on offense as well as defense. Their elite guys relish the dirty work and the opportunity to go head-to-head against the best that the rest has to offer. And when all else fails -- Artest, O'Neal and Harrington -- can win the game by themselves, regardless of what the other team or Carlisle does to them.

    Print the banner ... right now!

    But then again, Escher has shown us that everything is not always as it seems.


    Reggie Miller's leadership helps the Pacers, but his declining skills at 38 hurts them, too.
    What happens when the Pacers have to play the big, bad bruisers from the West? Or Jason Kidd for that matter? Why does Carlisle slow it down so much? If you have the best team and players, speed it up and ensure victory.

    Larry Bird is too aloof and remote, spending far too much time scouting in Florida. Donnie Walsh is going home to work with Isiah Thomas and perfect the pick-and-roll play with their newest savior Stephon Marbury and the rebuilt Knicks.

    Can the Pacers control the tempo against the best? Can they defend, rebound and get to the foul line on the road?

    None of their games are ever easy, so by playoff time they are worn down and out. Is Tinsley for real? Isn't he awfully short and slow? And his shooting sure seems suspect -- at best.

    If the Pacers are so good why didn't it work for Isiah Thomas? The coach can't make that much of a difference, can he?

    The bench -- outside of Harrington -- is perceived as soft, undersized and non-creative. Reggie is too old. Who is going to provide the necessary outside shooting? Their backcourt can't guard anybody. Who's going to listen to a guy who can't get it done anymore?

    They overpaid a bunch of limited role players forcing them to ultimately give away an All-Star center in Brad Miller. They acquired Scot Pollard in return who seems to have retired without telling anyone.

    Artest is a loose cannon rolling around on the deck of a listing ship -- a short fuse searching for a spark. Artest is playing out of position up front so that Reggie can keep playing.

    O'Neal beats up on undersized and unskilled big men in the East but can't get it done against Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Shaquille O'Neal.

    This team is made up of a bunch of blow-hard bullies who can't back up the talk.

    Who is going to score at the end against a dug-in defense and an expiring shot and game clock?

    Hustle and determination only gets you so far. This team plays to its potential in the regular season but can't ratchet it up any higher in the playoffs.

    The people of Indiana are too nice to create a hostile environment and an unbeatable home-court advantage.

    The bench is fraudulent, there are no game breakers there.

    Foster is a nominal performer, just trying to bide time until Harrington gets in there.

    Croshere was a flash of light in the NBA Finals run four years ago and now they're stuck with him and his huge contract.

    Anthony Johnson and Kenny Anderson have failed at every previous stop -- why should we believe now.

    Freddie Jones and Jamison Brewer can't shoot. Who needs to guard them?

    Jonathan Bender has been the worst move in franchise history.

    Scot Pollard is not healthy, happy and can't play in cold weather.

    This team is destined for its fourth consecutive first-round playoff exit.

    The championship history of the NBA goes through the games' best players, like Duncan and Shaq -- not merely an amalgamation of good ones.

    Like Escher, this picture demands another look. am pro-choice and I love this game!

    Bill Walton, who is a regular contributor to ESPN.com, is an NBA analyst for ESPN. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    That was true Walton at its worst.

    Why can't he ever call it like it is? Why does he insist on the two extremes? Either he's glowing in his praise for a team or player or he's cynical to the point of naseua. Where's the middle ground.

    Bill Walton, AKA the "Big Bipolar".
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaa

    They have committed local, loyal and deep-pocketed owners in the Simon Brothers.
    ed:

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaa

    They have committed local, loyal and deep-pocketed owners in the Simon Brothers.
    ed:
    Yeah, that was my favorite comment as well.

    If they were so "deep-pocketed," why should have spent that EXTRA few million to keep Brad Miller....

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

    Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
    Conference Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
    NBA Champions 1989, 1990, 2004

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    Member Ragnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    "If the Pacers are so good why didn't it work for Isiah Thomas? The coach can't make that much of a difference, can he?"


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    Grumpy Old Man (PD host) able's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    I am pretty neutral on Walton, I am not paying for anything on the web to read, so i hardly ever come accross him, and as you know, I don't have the games on TV in the UK and if I had it would not be Walton commenting

    When I read the the article I can see what he's saying, the first part is what we are trying to sell and get accross, if sustained we can indeed take it all this year, the second part could be cut from this or another forum, opinionated stuff, that can be proven right in the second half, but ideally is proven wrong, they are the extremes of thoughts on the P's.


    As it is, read over old posts (ooops, ok on the Star board then) and find almost ALL of the remarks in the second part back and find they are often defended with gusto. the first part is what we like to read, but wait, till we loose.... not to the Spurs, but to a .350 team.

    The first part is the current truth (his, if the comments on his game comments are correct), the second part a reflection, I like it, he has a point

    Let's see what he has to say once we're in the finals
    So Long And Thanks For All The Fish.

    If you've done 6 impossible things today?
    Then why not have Breakfast at Milliways!


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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaa

    They have committed local, loyal and deep-pocketed owners in the Simon Brothers.
    ed:
    You think they are deep-pocketed when it comes to this team?

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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    They are not like Portland, NY, or Dallas but the payroll is up there. Its not like Donald Sterling owns the team.

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    Rebound King Kstat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaa

    They have committed local, loyal and deep-pocketed owners in the Simon Brothers.
    ed:
    You think they are deep-pocketed when it comes to this team?
    You think they're not?
    *cough* Brad Miller *cough*

    It wasn't about being the team everyone loved, it was about beating the teams everyone else loved.

    Division Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
    Conference Champions 1955, 1956, 1988, 2005
    NBA Champions 1989, 1990, 2004

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    Wasting Light Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaa

    They have committed local, loyal and deep-pocketed owners in the Simon Brothers.
    ed:
    You think they are deep-pocketed when it comes to this team?
    You think they're not?
    *cough* Brad Miller *cough*
    Wow. I'm not even going to get into it then. Just keep thinking they're cheap *******s. Wait till their son takes over, and then you'll finally see what a cheap ownership is like.
    Maybe, but I'm thinking the same way Kstat is here. A truly "deep pocketed" owner would pay up for a pretty darn good Center in a near-centerless league.

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    Member rabid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaa

    They have committed local, loyal and deep-pocketed owners in the Simon Brothers.
    ed:
    You think they are deep-pocketed when it comes to this team?
    You think they're not?
    *cough* Brad Miller *cough*
    Wow. I'm not even going to get into it then. Just keep thinking they're cheap *******s. Wait till their son takes over, and then you'll finally see what a cheap ownership is like.
    Maybe, but I'm thinking the same way Kstat is here. A truly "deep pocketed" owner would pay up for a pretty darn good Center in a near-centerless league.
    Explain to me why they have to keep one of the consistently highest payrolls in the league, in one of the smallest revenue generating cities, if they're just sitting around keeping the payroll as low as possible so they can make money? Why have a 65 million dollar payroll in one of the 4 smallest media markets in the league where only one or two games has sold out this year? I can't wait until the younger Simon takes over and a lot of people finally see that the current Simons are some of the most dedicat4ed owners int he league.
    Ditto that. We're spoiled, folks. We have the nicest arena in the league (by far), a legit max-contract player, a HOF SG, the league's best defensive player, one of the league's best coaches, one of the league's best GMs (Donnie), another HOF GM with local roots (Larry), and a bunch of hard-nosed, dedicated local role players.

    And, as btowncolt mentioned, one of the higher payrolls in the league in one of the smallest market.

    And one of the best teams in the NBA.

    So quityer*****in already.

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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaa

    [quote="Ragnar"]





    [size=18:22a45e2875]Their stars do it at both ends and are complete players -- not specialists. Their top players are the best on offense as well as defense. Their elite guys relish the dirty work and the opportunity to go head-to-head against the best that the rest has to offer. And when all else fails -- Artest, O'Neal and Harrington -- can win the game by themselves, regardless of what the other team or Carlisle does to them.[/size]



    I could not agree more. And it is really an excellent point. One thing that bugged me about the teams from 1998-2000 is the Pacers best offensive players were not good defender and the best defenders were not good offensive players.

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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    It is the stories re: the Simon Jrs. that have led me to predict that LArry Bird will eventually own the team.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    It is the stories re: the Simon Jrs. that have led me to predict that LArry Bird will eventually own the team.
    If Junior is a tight-***, I sure hope Bird gets it instead (assuming Bird isn't)

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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    I can't believe people are deciding that the Simons are cheap based on one personal move. One of the constant criticism of Donnie is that he over pays players how does he do that with cheap owners?

    Not being wasteful with money doesn't make one cheap. NY, Portland and Dallas throw money out there but not one has won a championship because of it and all I can gareentee regret at least two of thier signings. This isn't baseball payroll doesn't win championships.
    "They could turn out to be only innocent mathematicians, I suppose," muttered Woevre's section officer, de Decker.

    "'Only.'" Woevre was amused. "Someday you'll explain to me how that's possible. Seeing that, on the face of it, all mathematics leads, doesn't it, sooner or later, to some kind of human suffering."

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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    That was true Walton at its worst. Why can't he ever call it like it is? Why does he insist on the two extremes? Either he's glowing in his praise for a team or player or he's cynical to the point of naseua. Where's the middle ground.

    Bill Walton, AKA the "Big Bipolar".
    That my friend was a classic. Bill Walton ...The Big Bipolar.

    Especially after that article.

    Well done.

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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    The Simons have been and are still great owners. I believe Donnie told them that Brad wasn't worth that much money, if Donnie would have insisted I think the Simons would have payed.

    I believe it was more than just the money, Brad has a history of not working hard and coming into camp out of shape.

    Based on his play this year it was a bad move, only time will tell if if was a bad move for the future.
    "Just look at the flowers ........ BANG"

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bill Walton article on the Pacers Bill Walton????? Waaaaa

    That was the greatest article in the history of Western Civilization!

    We all know Walton will be on the bandwagon come Finals time. He's the biggest bandwagon-rider I've ever seen. Hell, he switches teams 5 times per game. ed:

  19. #19

    Default I'll just let me user name speak for me.

    Bill Walton is a twit.

    I know that some people like his "humor". Gross exaggerations
    and hyperbole can be funny occasionally. But not on every
    play.

    "He (fill in the random player name) is playing one of the best games in history!"

    "They (fill in the random team name) are shooting/rebounding/passing/etc better than any team in recent memory!"

    Neither part of his article is true. Both parts of the article show both extremes of interpretation of the Pacers. Where is the truth? Hopefully, more towar the first section, but that is besides the point.

    Give me Clark Kellogg any day.

    Kill Bill (Walton)

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    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'll just let me user name speak for me.

    Bill Walton is a twit.

    I know that some people like his "humor". Gross exaggerations
    and hyperbole can be funny occasionally. But not on every
    play.

    "He (fill in the random player name) is playing one of the best games in history!"

    "They (fill in the random team name) are shooting/rebounding/passing/etc better than any team in recent memory!"

    Neither part of his article is true. Both parts of the article show both extremes of interpretation of the Pacers. Where is the truth? Hopefully, more towar the first section, but that is besides the point.

    Give me Clark Kellogg any day.

    Kill Bill (Walton)
    Will you be my friend?

    Or at least my accomplice?

  21. #21
    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: I'll just let me user name speak for me.

    Give me Clark Kellogg any day.


    Are you kidding me? Now that's an announcer that I can't stand. I guess he is articulate and has cute little sayings like "squeeze the orange" and all ... but you'd rather listen to Mr. "96 wins in four NBA seasons"? Ok, you'll probably want to blame that on his lousy teammates? Don't forget that Clark, Herb and Granville combined to go 9-9 against the Big Ten [size=9:2f8f091c00]no wonder they couldn't team up to win more than 26 games in a season in the pros[/size].

    I can't wait for Al Albert or somebody at CBS to say, "Clark, you were an expert on losing. How could Ohio State/ the Pacers blow this opportunity to win the game?" Then maybe he could give an insightful answer.

    Not everyone may like Walton's style, and sometimes I don't. But there is a deep knowledge of championship basketball in his acid-fried brain, still trying to get out. More often than not, if you look beyond his style problems he is usually making a better observation than just about any other commentator. Keep in mind, though, that Bill is better on a three-man team in which the third man (Snapper) is strong enough (and a good enough friend of Bill's) to keep him from exagerating out of control.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
    Life itself, the wind in black elms,
    Life itself in your heart and in your eyes, I can't make it without you


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