Dear Donnie, Larry and the Simons:
In many ways this is a great opportunity for the Indiana Pacers franshise. Whether you wanted it or not, the franchise stands at a crossroads, that goes much deeper than just Ron Artest. Now is the time to change the entire makeup of the Pacers team.
Yes Artest has forced your hand, but please don't stop at just trading Artest. For the past 4 years or so the approach was to win with talent. Talent first, character second. Well that has not worked as well as I thought it would. So please trade Artest but also trade Tinsley, Jackson and Harrison. Now is the time to re-make the whole team with players who are completely committed to the "team" Right now there is a unique opportunity that does not come along very often. The Pacers fans will understand a complete make-over and if that means taking a small step back in order to cleanse the franchise, I myself as a season ticket holder will support you.
This quote by Saras sums it up rather well, "We have five guys on the court who really want to play, who are excited about being on the court," said point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius, who took just two shots but passed out a game-high eight assists. "The guys want to help each other defensively, they want to share the ball on offense."
I implore you to re-think the entire team, please do not try a patchwork approach to changing the team. Please acquire players who are team first players and winners, players who are selfless.
I would recommend keeping players who perhaps have less talent, but are totally committed to the idea of playing team ball. That includes players such as Anthony Johnson, Saras, Danny Granger, Jeff Foster, Austin Croshere, and Jermaine O'Neal. Players who only judge themselves on whether the team wins or loses.
Please include David Harrison in one of the two or three trades that need to be made. He simply won't fit into the "new Pacers". Yes he is talented, but we need to cleanse the franchise of any problems or possible problems.
I can only speak for myself when I say this, but I will support the franchise during this very difficult time, and I realize a step back my be necessary. The Pacers might not be able to challenge The Pistons or the Spurs this season, but that is OK. Remember be bold and creative. The entire scab needs to be pulled. Complete reconstructive surgery is needed.
Donnie you have re-made the franchise before and you can do it again, what makes it more difficult is you must remake it during the season.