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Thread: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

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    Default Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    http://www.nba.com/pacers/around_the...ert_simon.html

    Eddie White: Its time for Around the House. We’re taking a look behind the scenes with the Pacers, the Fever, Conseco Fieldhouse. We’re looking in the kitchen. We’re looking in the bathroom. We’re looking in the drive way. Everything. We’re looking around the house. And who better than the guy who owns the house, who runs the house, the boss, our owner, Herb Simon. Mr. Simon, how are you?

    Herbert Simon: How do you do today?

    White: I’m doing wonderful, sir. Take me back - the streets of New York. You are a young lad - 8, 9 years old, maybe playing stick ball or listening to the Giants or the Dodgers. If someone came up to you and to say, “Come over. I’ve got an ice cream cone for ya. You are going to grow up and you are going to live and be successful in Indianapolis, Indiana.” What would you have said?

    Simon: Really? I never would expect that. Yes.

    White: The story of how you got out here is incredible. Please share it with us.

    Simon: Well, just an older brother of mine was stationed out a Fort Benjamin Harrison. Decided to get married to a local woman and stay here. And he was involved peripherally with some real estate at the time. And I was just graduating college and he just kept insisting that I come out and join him. And of course, I was … couldn’t think of Indianapolis after New York, but he finally convinced me and it was the best decision I ever made in my life.

    White: When you look back at those early years in New York, there had to be some things that built at your core, your foundation that made you and your brothers successful. You brought that to your business; you brought that to the Pacers. What are some of those things that you look back and go, “boy, when I was little, this little thing that my dad told me or my mom told me…”

    Simon: I don’t think it was any one thing, but I think especially with Mel being the oldest, he knew that he had to get out of the Bronx someday, and there were bigger worlds to conquer. And, he just dragged me along with him.

    White: Way back when, in the early 80’s what was the motivation for you guys to say, “You know what, we will buy this basketball team.” You know, its one thing to be a fan and sit in the stands and buy tickets – another thing to have that gumption and just go, “OK, we’re going to buy this thing.”

    Simon: Well, really we weren’t the type of owners that were seeking to buy a basketball team. We were minding our own business, building our company. And the powers to be, the mayor and a bunch of other citizens came to us and said that the team is about to be sold and moved to Sacramento and we need to keep it here and would you and your brother buy it? So, we looked at each other and said, “Sure.” That’s how it happened. Little did I know that they went around trying to sell it to other people in the city and they all said no. But we were very happy we bought it and now our desire is to make this thing economically viable so this thing can stay here long after I’m gone.

    White: There is an owner with the National Football League named Dan Snyder with the Washington Red Skins, he once said, “It took me a while, but I figured it out. I may own the Red Skins, but the team belongs to the fans and to the people of DC.” Do you understand that? Do you get what he is saying?

    Simon: Yes, not only for the fans, but for the community and the city and the … it’s a very important part of our community here, our way of life. It adds to everything. So, yes, we know its way beyond just the owner.

    White: People were … one of the things that separates the Pacers, I think from other teams in then NBA and in the NFL to be quite frank, is you built a management team here, a senior team, that is like a Mt. Rushmore of our civic and sports leaders – Jim Morris, everybody knows him, Rick Fuson, Larry Bird, I mean this is a Mt. Rushmore. With those people, what is your role exactly as the CEO and the owner and how do you blend in with those guys?

    Simon: Mainly, as a second guesser.

    White: You are probably pretty good at that.

    Simon: I really believe that you hire good talented people and you let them run their sections. And of course they ask for my input and I give my input, but I’m really satisfied with what each one of those people do and they do very well.

    White: Your franchise has brought many memories to fans on the court and many good things to people around the state with, I think you have one of the most aggressive community active organizations in all of sports. When you look back, what do you want your legacy to be and this team’s legacy to be here in Indianapolis?

    Simon: Well, I want us to be a very important part of the community. I want us to give back to the community. I want to bring joy and excitement to the fans. Just like this guy did for a couple of years, Reggie Miller. And I want to get back to those times of excitement and we are on our way.

    White: We wish you the best. Thank you so much for being the first guest, the inaugural on Around the House.

    Simon: Thank you.

    White: Thank you. Take care. God bless.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Simon: Well, really we weren’t the type of owners that were seeking to buy a basketball team. We were minding our own business, building our company. And the powers to be, the mayor and a bunch of other citizens came to us and said that the team is about to be sold and moved to Sacramento and we need to keep it here and would you and your brother buy it? So, we looked at each other and said, “Sure.” That’s how it happened. Little did I know that they went around trying to sell it to other people in the city and they all said no. But we were very happy we bought it and now our desire is to make this thing economically viable so this thing can stay here long after I’m gone.
    First of all, wow. That's incredible how close it came to all ending. I didn't realize we were almost the Sacramento Pacers.

    Secondly, notice the last part there. I know people are calling BS, but I've never seen him imply anything other than the idea that this franchise does not make money, and in fact, is probably losing money each year.

    I don't pretend to understand why that is, but I tend to believe him.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    First of all, wow. That's incredible how close it came to all ending. I didn't realize we were almost the Sacramento Pacers.

    Secondly, notice the last part there. I know people are calling BS, but I've never seen him imply anything other than the idea that this franchise does not make money, and in fact, is probably losing money each year.

    I don't pretend to understand why that is, but I tend to believe him.
    I agree with you. Maybe the Simons were always just good PR people, but whenever I read anything about them or what they have said they have never given me a reason to think they are lying.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    After reading the interview, it made me even more proud that the Simons bought the Indiana Pacers and have kept them a strong franchise since.

    Interesting how the Kings wound up being the team going to Sacramento from Kansas City after all.

    It was crazy at that time. So many unstable franchises.

    EDIT: The second part of that line Hicks posted makes things interesting. I really would not be surprised if Steve Simon, Herb's son becomes the new owner. I think he would make a good owner and carry on the passion his father and uncle brought since they purchased the team. Plus he has a passion for the sport as he owns the Reno Bighorns and a good business background because of the Simon family business.

    These days, if it's not him. Owners are coming all over the place to own teams and at that time the Simon brothers from NY were the Pacers' saviors. Today's Pacers, they aren't bankrupt and have some nice things to show to lure outside buyers.
    Last edited by Trophy; 07-01-2011 at 10:28 PM.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    I find it kind of ironic that the Pacers were going to end up in Sacramento, considering their current plight.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Shade View Post
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    I find it kind of ironic that the Pacers were going to end up in Sacramento, considering their current plight.
    It's actually really amazing how old Arco Arena really is and how outdated it's become compared to the arenas of today's modern society like the Fieldhouse.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    The Simons have been too good to us.

    Made sure Indiana always and forever remained the home for the Pacers and I don't see that changing.

    They got us Conseco Fieldhouse built. We contended for 9 straight seasons up until 2007.

    I have a ton of confidence he will find an owner he can trust and be happy handing his team over to and us fans will be happy.

    This franchise has so much to be proud of. Both in the past and today. Billionaires are always interested in buying a franchise no matter where.

    I feel like some people on here get a bit concerned over that. I guess anything can happen, but you don't see franchises like us leaving due to ownership considering we don't have any kind of reason to live Indianapolis. It's a great city and it needs its Pacers.

    Franchises leave for these reasons arena and/or lack of support since playing there from fans and especially the city.

    Neither of those apply to the Pacers.

    Just wait. In a few more years when Herb is ready to sell, this team will be contending and the Fieldhouse will be packed again. I can't imagine anyone not finding that appealing and this is the state of basketball.

    Also, I've only known the Simon Pacers since being a fan so it's going to be weird to see a new person taking over the throne.
    In 49 states it's just basketball, but this is Indiana!

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Redskins is one word

    A great article, and crazy to think how close the Pacers were to moving. I had always heard times were rough, but I did not realize they were that close to just packing up and leaving

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    The way Ive heard the story, Nassi (the owner at the time) had found a group in Sacramento who were ready to buy the team when the Simons stepped in.

    It was THAT close.
    "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    It's amazing how a team went WAY down and since the Simons took over become one of the most dominant franchises out there.

    They built this team into a team to be proud of.

    Got one of the greatest players in Reggie, took it to the 2000 Finals in today's Conseco Fieldhouse. Contending year after year.

    The Pacers have always resembles true Hoosiers.

    Today, this franchise is finally back on track after slipping at falling back in attendance and having to rebuild after the brawl. The Simons, really Herb now is the one who brought back the pride and got this city excited again for the young team.

    Things are a lot better these days for this franchise than it was when the Simons bought them. Those who will be interested will love to own this franchise. Playing in the Fieldhouse, in the state of basketball, having a great group of players (who by then hopefully will be in the playoffs nonstop).

    We will be in Indy for many more years and the Indiana basketball pride will continue.

    Again, I don't know why some people on here think we can move once Simon is ready to sell. WHY? Why would this franchise ever move with what it has?

    We will find an owner for the Indiana Pacers. Ownership transitions happen all the time and teams don't move. Indianapolis is a great city so someone like the Simons could along wanting to buy a franchise from somewhere else.

    This isn't the Sacramento Kings (of today) who barely have an arena and the Seattle SuperSonics who did move for that reason or the New Orleans Hornets who have had no support since moving to NO and the fact that their owners didn't do anything to get them a new owner screws them over.

    You didn't see the Pistons leave Detroit while they waited on ownership.

    It is a lot to move a franchise and some people just don't use their head and think it's that easy.

    Being around since 1967 and what we have today, we have no reason in the book to ever leave Indianapolis.

    Okay, I got those positives out there, but hey it's the truth and I'm not saying it because I'm a Pacers fan.
    In 49 states it's just basketball, but this is Indiana!

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman21 View Post
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    The way Ive heard the story, Nassi (the owner at the time) had found a group in Sacramento who were ready to buy the team when the Simons stepped in.

    It was THAT close.

    This was, of course, before the Internet. I went to bed thinking we had lost the team to Sacramento. I was sick. The deadline was that night and it was over. They were gone. Then, my dad got me up in the morning to tell me they had been saved by a couple of brothers. It was such an amazing feeling!!

    The Kansas City Kings then moved to Sacramento.
    Last edited by Granville; 07-09-2011 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Formatting

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Scot Pollard View Post
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    The Simons have been too good to us.
    ...

    I have a ton of confidence he will find an owner he can trust and be happy handing his team over to and us fans will be happy.

    I'm saving up my money now... anyone else want in on this?

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by MnvrChvy View Post
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    I'm saving up my money now... anyone else want in on this?
    I've got $3 in my wallet, I'll throw in.

    I LOL'd when I read the Simons' reaction to being offered the team. An NBA franchise, millions/billions of dollars involved, a completely different business than what they had been in, and they just look at each other, shrug their shoulders, and say, "Sure." That's just incredible.
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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Oh yeah, the Pacers were as good as gone. No doubt about that. The Simon's were the last hope.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    The Pacers were in a horrible position back then.

    Times were bad.

    I don't think we can say enough how grateful we are that the Simons saved a very low franchise not doing much and turned it to one of the most decarated NBA franchises.

    Times are a lot better now for sure. Should be interesting who our next owner will be once Herb decides to sell.

    Someone in Indy? Someone out there...
    In 49 states it's just basketball, but this is Indiana!

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    I hope they can stay in Indy...maybe Irsay, Bird, or George would buy the team.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDanimal View Post
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    I hope they can stay in Indy...maybe Irsay, Bird, or George would buy the team.
    They will.

    They don't have any reason to leave.
    In 49 states it's just basketball, but this is Indiana!

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    I used to view the KingsFans.com forum when all the speculation of them moving was going on.

    It shocked me to see Hicks a member and post a message one of the days I was just lurking.

    Hey all, I haven't posted here in a long time, but I hail from over at Pacers Digest. I believe I first came here when the Artest/Stojakovic trade happened back in '05-'06.

    Anyway, we have a thread going about the Lakers/Kings game from last night, more specifically the emotions from the fans and the broadcasters after it was over, and it all just hit me emotionally and made me want to come by and, while not saying anything new, admittedly, to just say that I feel awful for you guys, this sucks, and I'd never wish this on any fanbase.

    It was wrong what happened in Seattle, and it's wrong what's happening now in Sacramento.

    Coming here as a Pacers fan, the haunting thing for me is that.... well, someday, this could happen to us, too.

    The Simon brothers, Mel and Herb, have owned the Indiana Pacers since 1983. Mel Simons passed away last year, and Herb is 76 years old. The day is coming when he will either pass away or sell the team, and God knows what the next guy will let happen. The Simons are/were comitted to keeping the Pacers in Indianapolis, but who knows what the next owner will do. I can only hope the team is sold by Herb because I believe he will look for someone with a similar commitment to Indy.

    Anyway, I'll say no more on that since I didn't come here to talk about the Pacers.

    I just wanted to let you know that no matter how many ignorant or inconsiderate people there are across the country, there are also a lot of fans such as myself who really feel for you guys, and we'd like nothing more than for this to turn out well at the 11th hour, if that's possible.

    I was hearing yesterday that there's a possibility that the league owners could possibly ask the Maloofs to pay an enormous sum of money to clear the move. Is this true? Couldn't it be something like 150 million? If so, I can't imagine them paying that, right?

    Hoping for the best for you all,

    - Hicks
    http://www.kingsfans.com/forums/show...ighlight=hicks

    Hicks, that was a very nice letter to those fans and to make them feel better. Also, saying it can happen to us though even those fans know we aren't on that same level.

    It's kind of like a Rockets fan, who they have a nearly identical fanbase type that we do saying that just to make those fans feel better. Also, their owner might be looking to sell soon. He's about the same age as Herb Simon. They're a pretty appealing franchise, but it's probably safe to say the Fieldhouse is still nicer and just top of the class that no one else can really compare. Though I've never been to the Toyota Center. Looks nice however.

    Anyway, it's still crazy how Sacramento was a location for an NBA team and the Kings almost moved from it 30 years later.

    If they can get their act together and get an arena built and the Hornets find an owner and get some support, there's no reason for anyone else to be moving for a while. Unless, again an arena is a concern like the Bucks and the Bradley Center. Herb Kohl also is looking to sell probably when Herb Simon will. Of course, between the 2 franchises and what they have, the Bucks can't compare to the Pacers. Yes, I've been to the Bradley Center and it's the worst sports venue I've ever been to.
    Last edited by Scot Pollard; 07-07-2011 at 08:08 PM.
    In 49 states it's just basketball, but this is Indiana!

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    It can absolutely happen to us.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    By the way, I was just trying to Google this and wasn't finding it: How much did the Simons spend to purchase the Pacers back in '83?

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    By the way, I was just trying to Google this and wasn't finding it: How much did the Simons spend to purchase the Pacers back in '83?
    not much comparatively the owners from the late 70s spent near 20m dollars. I was reading up on how Stern got so popular because he made all the owners in the 70s a **** ton of money.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Anyone know the exact number, to the nearest million at least?

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Anyone know the exact number, to the nearest million at least?
    10.5 million damn good investment

    http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney/...r-cheap-price/
    Last edited by pacer4ever; 07-08-2011 at 12:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    That's about $22.7mm in 2010 money. Pretty good.

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    Default Re: Eddie White interviews Herb Simon

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    That's about $22.7mm in 2010 money. Pretty good.
    Based on a rough calculation, not taking inflation or individual yearly profit/loss into account, the annual return just on the value of the team assuming a sale price of $270M seems to be about 12.3%.

    Definitely not bad, especially compared to current returns, but certainly not as spectacular as the raw numbers make it seem. It has been 28 years, after all.

    To be fair one would have to first AGREE on what constitutes losses or profits, then include them for each year. To be accurate, one would have to add a nPV calculation in there as well, which I am far to lazy to try to do. One could expect that this is probably the maximum return, anything else would reduce it.
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