...the more they stay the same. I stumbled across this from 2003. It has some interesting comments to look back on. It speaks of Bender's knee surgery (which some may have forgotten about)
Next are some comments regarding Carlisle's first days as the new Pacer coach. Interesting reading the 4 things he wanted to emphasize way back then. "Sharing the ball" was one of them as was "rebounding".
Lastly, Reggie's statue. It was a hot topic here for a while but it had been a topic before that apparently we all forgot because Reggie spoke on the subject himself and none of us quoted him in the more recent discussion.
Highlights will be by me...
TRAINING CAMP NOTEBOOK
Knee Surgery Sidelines Bender
By Conrad Brunner
Oct. 3, 2003
Jonathan Bender’s first training camp under coach Rick Carlisle ended before it even began.
Bender underwent arthroscopic surgery to relieve persistent swelling in his left knee on Friday, the first day of full-squad practice at Conseco Fieldhouse. With a projected recovery time of four weeks, Bender is likely to miss the entire preseason. The problem was spotted in a routine MRI examination that is part of the pre-camp physical, and the torn cartilage was removed in a procedure performed by team physician Dr. Sanford Kunkel at Ortho Indy Surgery Center.
“It’s a tough break for the team, the franchise and for the kid, obviously,” Carlisle said. “It’s going to set him back some but from what I hear, he’ll be out anywhere from two to four weeks and it’s something that’s not serious. It was something that was starting to manifest that needed some attention, so they decided to do it.”
Bender missed nearly half of last season, a total of 36 games, due to a strained left calf muscle, and wound up averaging 6.6 points and 2.9 rebounds. Both figures represented regression from the 2001-02 season (7.4 points, 3.1 rebounds). The problem arises at a particularly inopportune time with a new coaching staff implementing new offensive and defensive schemes. Bender will miss virtually all of the on-court preparation time.
“He’ll be behind but we’re going to do everything we can, via video and everything else, to keep him abreast of what we’re doing,” Carlisle said. “It makes it tough on him, but not impossible. I’m concerned, but the good news is it’s not a serious injury. It’s been a chronic situation he’s had on and off for a number of years. It was under control but now our doctors are at a point where they want to nip it in the bud and take care of it.”
Veterans Enthusiastic After First Practice
Carlisle’s first practice with the full roster was crisp, fast-moving and vocal, marked by a lot of running and defensive fundamentals.
“We’re going to spend a lot of time talking about defense and working on becoming a great defensive team,” Carlisle said. “We want to play a playoff style, which is a tough-minded style that travels. I believe the four key things are defense, rebounding, sharing the ball and low turnovers. Those are the four simple things we’re going to try to do as the team.”
The players noticed.
“There was a lot of teaching, trying to put in his new system offensively and defensively,” said Jeff Foster. “It was good. A lot of learning went on today.”
So what kind of a first impression did Carlisle make as the head coach?
“I already had a first impression,” said Foster, who was with the Pacers when Carlisle was an assistant under coach Larry Bird, “but it was good to see the amount of detail he put into stuff.”
A Statue for Reggie?
Reggie Miller isn’t ready to retire, let alone be memorialized. But a member of the local media suggested during Thursday’s media day session that the Pacers were planning to erect a sculpture of Miller after he retires.
“Mike (Jordan) has one and Larry (Bird) should have one and Magic (Johnson) should have one. That’s about it,” Miller said. “I’ve done nothing for this organization that anyone else hasn’t done. If they’re going to put a sculpture up, it should be of Roger Brown or Mel Daniels or someone like that.”
Though CEO and President Donnie Walsh said there were no such plans in the works, coach Rick Carlisle said it wouldn’t come as a surprise.
“When it comes to the Indiana Pacers and the city of Indianapolis and Reggie Miller, I don’t have any doubt or any question that there will be a statue at some point,” he said. “There won’t be a lot of metal used for it, but my belief is there will be a statue and it will be appropriate and it will be well-deserved.”