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Thread: Post season wrap up...

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    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Post season wrap up...

    Well as you may remember from earlier this summer I said I wanted to do a series of posts venting about everything from the past so that by the time the season came around I would never feel the need to talk about them again.

    I made a total of two of those posts. One about the brawl and one about Artest.

    After that I just dropped it. Oh I tried a few times but to be frank with you it felt more like I was forcing it than anything else. You see the bitterness if prtty much gone.

    So while I really truely have about a 100,000 word post in me about Donnie Walsh and his tenure here I just don't have the heart to do it anymore. Frankly I actually feel very sorry for Donnie. I know it did not end the way he wanted it to end here in Indiana and right now it seems as though he is trying to force himself into his job in N.Y. From what we have read it seems to me like this just won't last that long.

    Then throw in the health scare and well let's just say that I really don't have the heart to go at his time here. I will just say it is in the past and hopefully we can move on.

    Brad Miller was another topic I wanted to talk about but then Brad goes and get's busted for pot and well, let's be honest the last thing we need on this team is any more off court distractions. I still say it was a horrible horrible trade (yes, it was a trade) but I just don't have the energy to argue with those who want to disagree.

    I really wanted to post something about how I thought the 61 win season was really a fluke, but at the end of the day it was still a 61 win season and the only proof I would offer to rebutt that would be to offer my opinion of how it was a house of cards built on a foundation of sand. But again that would just be my opinion, the statistical facts would prove me wrong. So again I don't have the energy to argue with people who disagree with me.

    So I actaully had an "odd thoughts" post all worked up in my head tonight to start the new season with. I wanted to talk about players and who we thought would do what and how often they would do it. I still plan on doing that post this week.

    However as I sat down to type this I perused the star to see the new Pacers articles.

    Lo & Behold the first article I come across was "Bird says team poised to fill leadership void"
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...TS04/809300383

    As I'm reading this article along comes this quote.

    Just because you make the most money doesn't mean you're the leader," Bird said last month. "A lot of guys didn't want to step on toes. Not only here, but other places I've been at. They'd say, the guy makes the most money, that means he's the leader. That's not the case. The leader comes from the guy doing the right thing, the guy that's going to be there every day at practice, the guy that plays through pain without complaining. They do the necessary things to prepare themselves.

    All of a sudden I developed Energy Legs as though I had drank Rawberry to actually go at the Jermaine O'Neal posse'.

    Ok, maybe I'm reading what I want to read here but then maybe I'm not.

    To me Larry Bird is actually saying that Jermaine O'Neal did not prepare himself and would not play through pain. But wait, I can already hear the keyboards clacking somewhere up in Chicago and down in Cincinatti. Jermaine O'Neal shot freethrows left handed after getting his shoulder seperated and we have video that shows his leg bent backwards and he came back and played.

    Yes, yes we have all seen that.

    But let's look a little deeper about leadership and how that plays into what we are talking about here.

    Nobody can deny either of the above, also no one can deny that many times over the years he has come back and played sooner than expected and often times sooner than he should have.

    However what also can't be denied is that the seasons he did that in the Pacers were either considered legitimate playoff teams or a couple of years high playoff contenders.

    But over the past two years when the team has not been so good, the returns have not been so fast. The time away has been more.

    The old saying "it's easy to lead in good times but true leaders emerge from bad times" comes to my mind here.

    Again, I may just be reading what I want to, but I think the real true shot across the bow at O'Neal comes from the part about not being there every day at practice.

    We never really found out if he came to practices last season or not, did we?

    If he did not, then does everybody realize that he never practiced with Troy Murphy or Mike Dunleavy. That would be one half of the remaining starting five that he never practiced with. Is it any wonder why the team never gelled?

    Rick Carlisle did not make Jermaine O'Neal practice his last season here, this comes from both J.O. and Carlisle btw.

    How can you lead the team when you don't practice?????

    Now some are ready and willing to give J.O. a pass over the past couple of seasons for not wanting to be here because, (how was that put?) oh yea, nobody wanted to be here.

    My answer to that is bull.

    When you are the franchise player, even when you don't deserve to be, then all of the stones fall on you. You are the one who has to lift up everybody around you and charge the hill.

    Are you allowed to be depressed, down, down hearted and down trodden? Well we are all human so to a certain extent in your personnal time yes, yes you can be.

    But when the clock is ticking no matter what you feel you better be there everyday with bells on.

    If not, then step aside and let someone else be the leader. It doesn't matter if you are talking the NBA, NASA, NASCAR or the NRA. If you are the leader then you have to want to be there, if not everything else is null and void.

    That is just my minor speal on his leadership abilities or lack thereof.

    Really and truely at the end of the day I always felt two things about him.

    1. He was the most self centered player I have ever seen in a Pacers uniform.

    2. He was vastly over rated.

    Now of course as I always have in previous years I will again do the right thing.

    I was a fan of Dale Davis, the player he was traded for. So feel free to throw anything that I type out the window and discard it as the mad ravings of a "fanboy" who lost his player. I will understand.

    My point of view though is differant on this. I never blamed O'neal for the trade, I knew from a friend of mine that Dale had demanded a trade from Walsh was not returning to the team no matter what. So, Walsh got the best that he could from the situation.

    I tried my best to like the guy, but from day 1 with the club he made it very very tough on me.

    He spoke at great length of all of the personal awards he coveted and was going to win and then oh by the way he wanted to help the team win.

    Unnerving for me to say the least but he was young and excited so maybe we can over look that.

    Then came the worst thing that could have ever happened. Reggie Miller designated J.O. as the new franchise player. He hadn't earned it and frankly was not mature enough to handle it. But he went on to have a productive year and over the summer even went to the rookie free agent camp. I remember setting on the sidelines watching him play against players who would never be in the NBA and think to myself "maybe he does get it" I mean he did not have to be there so he will always get kudos for that.

    But then came the next season and this is where I will probably have to say that my Dale Davis type player love comes into play, but I have never seen a power forward so offended by power players in my life as J.O. was becoming more and more apt to complain about physical play.

    Then came the infamous Pacers Pistons brawl. No, not the one you are thinking of. This it the one where Jermaine cheap shot Corlis Williamson in the air and the Big Nasty used J.O.'s head a backboard and threw the ball off of it.

    Then came the most comical thing I have ever seen in my life. J.O. acting like wanted to fight any and everybody but actually fighting nobody but poor old Tree Rollins who was our asstant coach at the time. Ben Wallace stood on the floor totally perplexed as to what to do. As my friend Twes said at the time "Ben had never been hit in the face with a purse before so he didn't know how to react".

    This just kept going and going and going till finally Jermaine left the floor.

    This was one of many such episodes where Jermaine decided to act tough and indignant but truely not do anything. There is nothing wrong with just walking away, this is actually the best thing to do. Make them pay at the free throw line is the best policy. But if you are going to want to play the tough guy then by all means, please do. Reggie Miller would go after guards or centers. I've seen him chase Matt Gieger down the floor as well as Derrick Coleman.

    However one of the best things that ever happened to J.O. came at the end of that season. Zeke took J.O. to the side at the end of the year and told him to not work on his game and be a better player but to go away and be a better man. J.O. seemed to actually respond to this a little and came back a slightly differant player.

    There are however two things that I have never blamed J.O. for and actually feel that he got the raw deal in both instances.

    1. The Pacers trading away Brad Miller and not replacing him with a real center who had talent to play. Not Scot Pollard who for whatever reason just never fit in with Carlisle's style of play and certainly not Jeff Foster who was a not a power player by any sense of the immagination.

    2. The Pacers firing Thomas after giving O'Neal the contract extension. The way that was handled was really rotten by the Pacers, IMO. I'm not saying they should not have fired Thomas but the way it was handeled was poor.

    I could go on and on and on but I guess I will just wrap it up by saying this.

    I have never seen a player who was only a 20 & 10 guy be labled a franchise player more than J.O. was.

    Yes, yes he was 3rd in MVP balloting one year. Well Peja was 2nd that year so that tells me all I need to know about the balloting process for that year.

    I've been ridiculed because I have always said that Jermaine in his prime was really not any better than Shareef Abdur Rahim in his prime. I still hold to that thought. That is not saying that Shareef is a bad player, far from it. But he is not a franchise player either.

    But, IMO, neither was Jermaine O'Neal.

    Ok, I know this is just the beginning of this. Feel free to flame away at me.

    I can already feel the fires burning now.

  2. #2
    All is full of Orange! Mourning's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

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    Headband and Rec Specs rexnom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    For the record:
    2003-2004 MVP ballot was
    1. KG
    2. TD
    3. JO
    4. Peja

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    Running with the Big Boys BillS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Meh.

    The only ones left from all of that are the Simons and Bird.

    I'm feeling like I'd rather look forward than back.
    BillS

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    I think JO not being able to practice for basically the past two years - really destroyed team chemistry. I don't doubt JO was injured nor do I suggest that he should have practiced while injured. But the fact of the matter was he didn't practice. So chemistry could never be established, plus while no teammate is going to be critical of another who isn't ptracticing it has to have a negative impact on team morale. I know if I were building a team I would be looking for - the leader, the best player being the best practice player on the team - the value of that cannot be overstated.

    Doug - I think he couldn't be the leader because he was injured all the time. The leader has to be there almost every day. Just like you can't be an absentee parent, you can't be an absentee leader
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 09-30-2008 at 09:19 AM.

  6. #6
    Member Doug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    IMO...

    JO is a "good kid".

    He knows he is supposed to be the team leader.

    But he just didn't know how to do it.

    He tries, but doesn't get it right.

    Real leaders don't have to think about what they need to do to be a leader. They just do it.

    JO isn't a leader, but was forced to try to play that role. But he just ended up looking like a kid dressing up in daddy's suit and hat pretending to work.
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    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by BillS View Post
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    Meh.

    The only ones left from all of that are the Simons and Bird.

    I'm feeling like I'd rather look forward than back.
    I figured if I waited long enough, somebody would more or less say what I felt more succinctly than I would.

  8. #8
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    I remember a quote about Buck Williams after he went to Portland, and they became a finals team:

    "Buck Williams taught the Blazers that practice doesn't make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect."

    I forget who it wrote it, and I don't doubt that it was "stolen" from some other source, but that was the context I heard it in, and it always stuck with me. This doesn't have anything really to do with JO, per se, but I was reminded of it by Uncle Buck's post...(on two levels, I guess).

    EDIT: I guess that was a Vince Lombardi quote.
    Last edited by count55; 09-30-2008 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Yaaa-hooo-ooooo!

  9. #9
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Shouldn't the title of this thread be off season wrap up - instead of post season wrap up - afterall the Pacers haven't seen the post season in two years now

  10. #10
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck View Post
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    But wait, I can already hear the keyboards clacking somewhere up in Chicago and down in Cincinatti.
    Two Ns, dude. Cin-cin-nati.

    Anyway, I'll let you have the last word here. I disagree, as you know, but I really don't see anything new in this post (I'll admit I glazed over after a while). We're just re-hashing the same arguments over and over. So this one's all yours. I'm looking forward to the new season.
    Last edited by Anthem; 09-30-2008 at 11:04 AM.
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Peck, I'm glad that you finally took ownership of that Shareef Adur-Rahim business. What, it's been 3 or 4 years that you have been trying to pin that on me. Whew.

    As for Jermaine...That's all water under the bridge now.
    ...Still "flying casual"
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  12. #12
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    Two Ns, dude. Cin-cin-natti.
    Two N's

    One T, dude

    Cin-cin-na-ti



    (And, strictly speaking, it's 3 N's.)

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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    I have always felt that JO felt entitled. I think with Reggie and management the notion of him being the leader was evident. But it was how he responded. He rarely took over the team in game situations like Reggie and Mark. He emulated Rick's leadership style instead of taking the initiative and being proactive. Whenever JO displayed the leader card it was reactive. That is not influential leadership.

    If JO had another credible leader like Reggie had in Mark, things might have been different.

    I am not making excuses for JO. But I know that it was not entirely his fault. But to be a leader on this team he had to rise above the muck and the mire and be a leader.

    Which leads me to this question.

    Who in the last 6 years was able to be led by any leader?

  14. #14
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Jermaine O'Neal will forever represent the face of the franchise during the franchise's most perilous hours.

    He was the "leader" during several straight years of downhill spiral and we didn't stop until we hit bottom and nearly every player, coach and staff member was replaced to underwhelming results.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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  15. #15
    Intuition over Integers McKeyFan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think JO not being able to practice for basically the past two years - really destroyed team chemistry. I don't doubt JO was injured nor do I suggest that he should have practiced while injured. But the fact of the matter was he didn't practice. So chemistry could never be established, plus while no teammate is going to be critical of another who isn't ptracticing it has to have a negative impact on team morale. I know if I were building a team I would be looking for - the leader, the best player being the best practice player on the team - the value of that cannot be overstated.

    Doug - I think he couldn't be the leader because he was injured all the time. The leader has to be there almost every day. Just like you can't be an absentee parent, you can't be an absentee leader
    I think an important question is: Did he attend practice?

    Not being able to participate due to injury is acceptable. Just deciding not to show up is unacceptable . . . if you expect to be the leader.
    .

    .

    .

    .


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    Member Speed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Nice work. I never knew DD demanded out. I pretty much agree with every word.

  17. #17
    White and Nerdy Anthem's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    One T, dude
    That's hilariously embarrassing. I fixed it in my post, but it's too late now. I know how to spell it, really. I was just reading off his post instead of thinking for myself. Honest!

    See if I ever listen to Peck again.
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    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    That's hilariously embarrassing. I fixed it in my post, but it's too late now. I know how to spell it, really. I was just reading off his post instead of thinking for myself. Honest!

    See if I ever listen to Peck again.
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by intridcold View Post
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    Who in the last 6 years was able to be led by any leader?

    This is an interesting point. I can certainly think of a few players within the
    last 6 years who didn't possess the prerequisite attention span to be led.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Well the original plan was to make Jasikevicius the leader ... too bad he wasn't accepted by the JO gang!
    Maceo Baston's #1 fan on Pacers Digest!

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    Administrator/ The Real Jay ChicagoJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    I don't think that Lombardi or Gen. Patten would have been able to lead this team of jerks and punks, so I'm not sure this is a fair criteria to evaluate anyone.

    Did JO fail at leadership? Clearly.

    I'm looking forward to having Hibbert and Rush as the leam leaders in the next couple of seasons. They each seem to have more natural leadership traits.

    Let's not fool ourselves, Reggie wasn't much of a leader either. But we got away with it because Mark Jackson WAS a great leader.

    The Pacers have been bad at matching "best player" and "natural leader" for a long time.
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  22. #22
    Member Dr. Goldfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    That comment by Bird is confusing. I always thought they only said JO was the leader because he was the max contract guy. It's interesting that he now echoes my sentiment from that era. Even after Reggie "handed over the reigns", JO was never the sole leader. Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley, Austin Croshere, Jeff Foster, Mike Dunleavy & Darrell Armstrong were all part of a committee of leaders over that time ( which included JO just as sporadically as those mentioned).

    Look back at those I listed and think about this team over that time span and tell me those guys didn't led this team just as much as JO did (some even more). I'm not commenting on where they were leading or how they led just that they did. Jackson & Artest had no problem getting guys on board. Crosh, Foster, Dun, & DA led by example and used their experience in the league as credibility. I thought Tins (along w/ MDJ) was the leader of this team the first half of last season.

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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpolloloco View Post
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    Well the original plan was to make Jasikevicius the leader ... too bad he wasn't accepted by the JO gang!
    If he had possessed more NBA talent it might have worked.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpolloloco View Post
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    Well the original plan was to make Jasikevicius the leader ... too bad he wasn't accepted by the JO gang!

    LOL! He has a hard enough time being accepted as the leader at home with his wife let alone being the accepted the leader of the Pacers. Come to think of it, he's not with either now... ex-Pacer, ex-husband.

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    Default Re: Post season wrap up...

    Cheap shot!

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