A Love Letter From The Indiana Pacers To Its Estranged Fan Base
Baby, come home. The Fieldhouse feels so big without you.
I didn’t want to write this letter. Ten years ago, it would have been beneath my dignity. But now that our dirty laundry has been aired so publically, I see no other choice. So here it goes.
Indy, please come back to me.
I know I let you down. But it’s time to forgive and forget. It’s been almost 10 years since what happened in Detroit.
I’ve changed. Really, I have. Things are going really well for me now.
Wait—don’t speak. I know what you’re going to say.
“What about back in ’06, when you went out with friends and one of your buddies ended up poppin’ shots in the air in a strip club parking lot?”
And: “What about that time at the Cloud 9 when you got into it with some locals and one of your pals ended up in the hospital with a gunshot wound?”
Then you’ll start in about how you warned me about Ronnie, and how he was so obviously clinically insane, and that when he finally betrayed me by demanding a trade I kind of had it coming because, really, how stupid can one organization be?
You were right. What can I say?
I made some bad calls. Quasi-abusive stuff. And trying to fix things by bringing in stiffs like Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy wasn’t any good, either. Then later, extending Jim O’Brien’s contract—it was just one dumpster fire after another there for a while, wasn’t it?
But listen: I cut ties with those losers years ago. I had a heart-to-heart with Larry (you love Larry, remember?) and we got a new gang together.
First there’s Roy. You’re going to love Roy. He’s an old school, rim-guardin’, paint-ownin’, shot-blockin’ big man. And he’s hilarious.
Then there’s George, born right here in Indianapolis. He starts every single day with a Tweet thanking God. And he’s got a sweet teardrop shot.
And do you remember those Davis boys I used to hang with back in the day, when things were still really great between us? Well, if you liked those guys (and I know you did), you’re going to love David West.
But the one I’m really excited to introduce you to is a 22-year-old kid called Paul George. Now don’t get upset, because I know how you feel about Reggie, but I’m telling you: Paul is going to be even better than Reggie. For real.
But enough about me, let’s talk about you. Let’s not pretend that it’s been all sunshine and daisies for you these past few years.
That hotshot quarterback you left me for broke your heart over and over again. And every time, you took him back—that is, until he hit hard times. Then you dropped him like a bad habit.
Now you’re in a honeymoon phase with this Luck fellow. But let’s face it: football will never fill the basketball-shaped hole in your heart.
And neither will college hoops, for that matter. So please, stop it with the candy-striped pants already. You’re embarrassing yourself.
Oh, you do a good job of trying to convince yourself that you can be happy with college ball. “They play DEFENSE,” you say.
Well, let me introduce you to the one of the top defensive teams in the NBA.
“The college game is PURE,” you say. ” They play TEAM ball.”
Just stop already. You’re too good for that stuff.
Let me tell you about this friend of mine named Tyler (I’ll introduce you some time—weird dude). He’s the all-time leading scorer of the ACC. He just destroyed opposing teams in college. But in the NBA, he’s a so-so bench player who can barely get a shot off without getting knocked to the floor.
College better than the NBA? Please.
“But the NBA is corrupt,” you say. “David Stern rigs it for big market teams.”
Yet you don’t mind that scandal machine you call the NCAA? Come on, now.
Let’s not fight. After all, we belong together. We’re both made up of humble, hardworking individuals. We both embrace the underdog role. We both have to fight for respect from our bigger-city peers. We need each other.
Will you at least come to a game? I can get you a great deal on seats.
You don’t have to answer now. Take some time, think it over. I’m not going anywhere.
Not yet, anyway.