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Nov. 11, 2011 – Scott Howard-Cooper from NBA.com reported Friday evening that the Pacers have seven former players, coaches or General Managers as nominees for the 2012 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The list includes former NBA players Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, and Tim Hardaway; former ABA players Mel Daniels and George McGinnis; former head coach and current radio play-by-play announcer Bobby “Slick” Leonard; and former President and General Manager Donnie Walsh.
As any Pacers fan knows, Reggie Miller spent 18 great years with the organization. He and Mark Jackson, who spent six seasons with the organization, were on the 2000 NBA Finals team. Reggie is now an analyst on TNT and Mark is the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Reggie has his jersey retired in the rafters of Conseco Fieldhouse.
Mel Daniels and George McGinnis also have their jerseys retired in Conseco Fieldhouse. Daniels won three ABA champions (1970, 1972 and 1973) and two Most Valuable Player awards (1969, 1971) with the Pacers. George McGinnis was on two of those championship teams (1972 and 1973) and won one MVP award, too (1975).
Bobby “Slick” Leonard is an Indiana legend who was born in Terre Haute, attended Indiana University (1953 NCAA champion), and coached the Pacers after a seven year playing career with the Minneapolis Lakers and Chicago Packers/Zephyrs. He has a banner in the rafters of Conseco Fieldhouse highlighting his 529 career wins as head coach, a franchise record.
Donnie Walsh became an assistant with the Pacers in 1984. Later that decade, he moved to the front office and transformed the Pacers into a perennial playoff team as General Manager. He was later promoted to CEO and President before leaving the organization shortly before the end of the 2007-08 season. Walsh attended North Carolina on a basketball scholarship and was drafted in the third round of the NBA, but never played professionally.
Tim Hardaway spent his final season in 2003 with the Pacers. Tim spent the majority of his career with the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat. His number 10 was retired by Miami.
Re: NBA.com: Seven Pacers Among 2012 Hall Nominees
Best of luck to Slick in making the hall. He deserves it for all of his lifetime contributions to the sport of basketball.
Plainly, Reggie deserves to be in the hall, too, but I doubt they even put him in this year. The Pacers are a small market former ABA franchise, and Reggie never was fortunate enough to get his ring due to circumstances completely beyond his control. I just hope that some day cooler heads prevail and correct this.
To me, the hall is still not worthy of capitalization due to these two not being members, which is why I don't.