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Thread: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl.../1088/SPORTS04

    Jeff Foster no longer is the Indiana Pacers' "old man." That honor now belongs to Maceo Baston.

    Foster, 31 and two years younger than Baston, is their longest-tenured player, however. He has the gray hair and battle scars to prove it.


    "Obviously things haven't gone the way many people expected since the brawl and Reggie (Miller) retired," Foster said recently. "You would see that by how we played and the lack of support we got from fans."

    The Pacers made the playoffs in each of his first seven seasons, including the 2000 NBA Finals. The culture inside the locker room suffered the past two seasons, when they missed the playoffs.

    Foster insists better days are ahead. The roster transformation is almost complete. More players have spent the summer in town, working out at Conseco Fieldhouse. All-Star Jermaine O'Neal has been traded, albeit perhaps a couple of years too late.

    "It was tough because Jermaine really didn't want to be here the last couple of years," Foster said. "It was tough to become a team when your best player did not want to be on the team."
    Foster and Jamaal Tinsley are the only holdovers from the 61-win team of 2003-04, and Tinsley isn't expected back.

    Foster is entering his 10th season with the Pacers in part because he thrives in a role few want: He does things that often go unnoticed, from blocking out and diving for loose balls to being a presence in the locker room.

    Team president Larry Bird has noticed.

    "He's a glue guy to your team," Bird said. ". . . He's going to come in here and give you everything he's got."

    Training camp is seven weeks away, but Foster started noticing a change shortly after the Pacers acquired seven players in a two-day span in late June. Even the tone of fans' questions has improved. Instead of asking about Pacers' questionable actions off the court, they're asking about playoff seeding.

    Foster isn't calling the Pacers contenders, but he likes the motivation. Players such as T.J. Ford and Roy Hibbert have something to prove. Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy are trying to show they can lead a playoff team.

    "There are a lot of guys that are new to this and want to be part of the culture change," Foster said. "You have holdovers that are hungry . . . There's been a black cloud over us the last few years. We're ready to have a nice sunny day."


    Yea, I know there are other things in this article. But I think the fact that a team mate is now openly stating what we all have known for awhile.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff
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    "It was tough because Jermaine really didn't want to be here the last couple of years. It was tough to become a team when your best player did not want to be on the team."
    Ouch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    But I think the fact that a team mate is now openly stating what we all have known for awhile.
    This sentence is confusing me.
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raskolnikov View Post
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    Ouch.


    This sentence is confusing me.
    He means Foster is just saying what was already known about JO.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    He means Foster is just saying what was already known about JO.
    My own opinion is this is going to be a good TEAM.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    He means Foster is just saying what was already known about JO.
    I got that, just thought the fact that he didn't finish his sentence properly....wait for it....was funny.

    Anyway, Jermaine didn't want to be here the last couple of years, and many of us wanted Jermaine traded the last couple of years. Wouldn't it have been neat for everyone if it had happened sooner...
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    Get well PG! QuickRelease's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raskolnikov View Post
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    I got that, just thought the fact that he didn't finish his sentence properly....wait for it....was funny.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Foster is doing more than talking. He is working and leading.

    Yesterday he was working in the Pacers' practice gym around noon when I passed by there. The others were McRoberts, Rush and Hibbert: three new guys . . . plus Foster, working as hard as the rest.

    Foster was working at one end of the court with Hibbert and I'm not sure which assistant coach. Foster was directing it, mostly, and he and Hibbert were both sweating up a storm.

    Rush was at the far end of the gym raining 3s from everywhere. McRoberts was getting in his daily 200 free throws, with Larry Bird tossing them back to him.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
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    But they never had much use for me
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Foster is doing more than talking. He is working and leading.

    Yesterday he was working in the Pacers' practice gym around noon when I passed by there. The others were McRoberts, Rush and Hibbert: three new guys . . . plus Foster, working as hard as the rest.

    Foster was working at one end of the court with Hibbert and I'm not sure which assistant coach. Foster was directing it, mostly, and he and Hibbert were both sweating up a storm.

    Rush was at the far end of the gym raining 3s from everywhere. McRoberts was getting in his daily 200 free throws, with Larry Bird tossing them back to him.
    Cool, thanks for sharing, Putz
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Foster is doing more than talking. He is working and leading.

    Yesterday he was working in the Pacers' practice gym around noon when I passed by there. The others were McRoberts, Rush and Hibbert: three new guys . . . plus Foster, working as hard as the rest.

    Foster was working at one end of the court with Hibbert and I'm not sure which assistant coach. Foster was directing it, mostly, and he and Hibbert were both sweating up a storm.

    Rush was at the far end of the gym raining 3s from everywhere. McRoberts was getting in his daily 200 free throws, with Larry Bird tossing them back to him.
    Sounds like some good signs. Intersting that Foster of all people would verbalize the JO thing when seemingly nobody wanted to admit it or just come out and state the obvious for two years. I suppose being essentially the last guy from that group he feels as if a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders.
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    Lifer 2minutes twowa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    I guess this answers the "Will Foster be traded" question. After all that Larry has said, he'd look pretty foolish trading his "glue" guy.
    Turn out the lights, this party's over!

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    Member LoneGranger33's Avatar
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    He's been known to look pretty foolish.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2minutes twowa View Post
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    I guess this answers the "Will Foster be traded" question. After all that Larry has said, he'd look pretty foolish trading his "glue" guy.

    That really doesn't answer anything. Granted Foster isn't going to be traded for the sake of trading him, but if the right trade comes along he will be traded. There are NO untradeables on this team if the right trade comes along, and that includes Granger, Dunleavy, etc.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    McRoberts was getting in his daily 200 free throws, with Larry Bird tossing them back to him.
    This is what caught my attention. I like the fact that Bird was working with the players instead of sitting up in the corporate office of the "puzzle palace." He needs to be involved on an elbow rubbing daily basis with the players.

    Who knows maybe McRoberts has something Bird likes to be working with him, or he's evaluating him to see if he's a keeper instead of having to look for another "big". Whatever, I just like that Bird is doing it.

    Thanx for posting your enjoyable observation it is appreciated.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Thanks Putty, your observation has been the most informative thing I have read on the Digest in about a month.

    ...Boy, that feels good!

    It is getting pretty easy to feel good about this team. Record wise we won't be a contender, but management is improving this team!
    Last edited by Roaming Gnome; 08-27-2008 at 09:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Putnam View Post
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    Foster is doing more than talking. He is working and leading.

    Yesterday he was working in the Pacers' practice gym around noon when I passed by there. The others were McRoberts, Rush and Hibbert: three new guys . . . plus Foster, working as hard as the rest.

    Foster was working at one end of the court with Hibbert and I'm not sure which assistant coach. Foster was directing it, mostly, and he and Hibbert were both sweating up a storm.

    Rush was at the far end of the gym raining 3s from everywhere. McRoberts was getting in his daily 200 free throws, with Larry Bird tossing them back to him.
    You might recall me posting a photo of Foster working on his game the summer of the Al trade. I poked around one day when we were wondering about "Al at Conseco" rumors and saw Jeff with a trainer working hard. That would have been around the same time in the summer.



    As for JO, it's been frosty between he and Bird for some time. One of the posters at Star ran into him and heard his displeasure straight from JO's mouth a few years ago. I don't let Bird off the hook totally on this issue, it's on both of them. Larry tried to push JO in the press and I think JO resented Larry for the Isiah thing, plus the Ron thing, and lots of other issues I'm guessing.

    Possibly JO didn't want to be in Indy for some of the same reasons fans didn't want to watch the team also. Obviously the water hole was so poisoned by the end that it was just pointless to go on. I wonder how much Walsh influenced the situation and kept it lingering? I also wonder just how much this affected JO's health, though I would suggest that money and the ability to be moved to another team would keep JO trying hard rather than faking/amplifying his injury.

    Uninspired, sure. Frustrated, no kidding. But I think he really was injured and if he plays better in Toronto it will be due to healing enough much more than being inspired again. I think Toronto was taking a legit risk in trading for him, it's not going to be a simple as "now he's happy" to get the deal to work out on their end.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    You might recall me posting a photo of Foster working on his game the summer of the Al trade. I poked around one day when we were wondering about "Al at Conseco" rumors and saw Jeff with a trainer working hard. That would have been around the same time in the summer.
    Yes, I do. In fact, I've been conscious from time to time of looking for you around there, though I know you don't make a regular summertime habit of checking out the practice court. I know what you look like from the forum party photos, so I could spot you first and assume a defensive posture.
    Last edited by Putnam; 08-27-2008 at 11:00 AM.
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    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Possibly JO didn't want to be in Indy for some of the same reasons fans didn't want to watch the team also. Obviously the water hole was so poisoned by the end that it was just pointless to go on. I wonder how much Walsh influenced the situation and kept it lingering? I also wonder just how much this affected JO's health, though I would suggest that money and the ability to be moved to another team would keep JO trying hard rather than faking/amplifying his injury.
    I really suspect that this is one of THE main reasons why JONeal was still on the roster. I think that DW tends to be more pragmatic when it comes to valueing ( or overvalueing ) his players and was always looking for the best deal to move him.

    The second I found out that DW was leaving and that Bird was taking over completely.....I immediately thought that JONeal was going to be shipped out. We have always heard that JONeal and Bird did not get along.....or more specifically a key "Decision Maker" in the Franchise did not get along with the recognized "Franchise Player".....you have to wonder why Bird didn't try to move him earlier.

    BTW....I really hope that Bird's comments about Foster means that it would take a lot for TPTB to move him...as well as intending to resign him next season for the next couple of seasons.
    Last edited by CableKC; 08-27-2008 at 10:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by D-BONE View Post
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    Sounds like some good signs. Intersting that Foster of all people would verbalize the JO thing when seemingly nobody wanted to admit it or just come out and state the obvious for two years. I suppose being essentially the last guy from that group he feels as if a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders.
    I'm reminded of the end of the 2006-2007 season when the Pacers were so close and yet so far from making the playoffs. When they needed a strong, encouring voice it wasn't JO who spoke up. It was Croshere!

    I knew then that something was wrong in the locker room...just didn't want to admit it to myself.

    Perhaps the person Bird hinted at being the team's new leader (in the locker room) IS Jeff Foster.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by NuffSaid View Post
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    Perhaps the person Bird hinted at being the team's new leader (in the locker room) IS Jeff Foster.


    That could be! But, leader or not, we can be sure that Jeff will continue to be a good-*** teammate.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneGranger33 View Post
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    He's been known to look pretty foolish.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Quote Originally Posted by intridcold View Post
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    Larry doesn't look particularly happy to be there at that photo shoot!

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Happy or not it [Donnie] made him look like a fool in hindsight.

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Isn't Jermaine O'Neal a Raptor? I'm confused. Why are we talking about him? What about Ron Artest? Isn't he a Rocket? And I'm pretty sure Donnie Walsh is a Knick.

    Can we move on? It's weird. We expect the "common fan" to move on and accept this team but we, the hardcore fans, still talk about the same stuff over and over again and don't seem to move on at all.

    How about the fact that three of our young guys are working out in Indy right now-and looking good...or the fact that we're all developing UB-size crushes on Foster?

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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    There have been quite a few "skeptical" references made by both Peck and I concerning JO. Foster's statement about JO not wanting to be here the past couple of years only solidifies my feelings. And the guy had the nads to ask Kravitz if he thought his number would get retired. His head was into JO and not the team.
    Last edited by ABADays; 08-27-2008 at 12:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Foster say's O'Neal did not want to be here the last two seasons...

    Rexom
    The topic came up and I divulged. The fact is we still have Bird here. He is connected to Walsh and JO. If you want closure to JO on this team you will not get it. Because if the Pacers ever fail to live up to standards, everyone will bring the skeletons out. It may not be positive, but the last time I checked this is not Pacers.com.

    While some may see topics like this a negative, I see it as a positive. Chemistry is not overrated in the NBA. And if JO, who has been known to be dogging it and still getting the franchise tag, is gone. You will have to acknowledge that the team atmosphere is better than it has been in a lonnnnngggg time.

    That is exciting.

    Now to my SI photo. I was merely a joke.

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