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Thread: R.I.P. Pacers co-founder, ex-president DeVoe dead at 83

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    Since 1984 1984's Avatar
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    Default R.I.P. Pacers co-founder, ex-president DeVoe dead at 83

    An original article can be found HERE from

    Chuck DeVoe, part of a group of businessmen who founded the Indiana Pacers, has died. He was 83. Leppert Mortuary and Crematory Services funeral director Angela Johnson says DeVoe died Saturday. She did not know the cause of death. The Indianapolis Star reported family members said he died of melanoma.

    A moment of silence was held before the Pacers played the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.
    DeVoe was team president from 1969-74 and board chairman from 1974-75. Bill York, the longtime head of statistics, says the Pacers wouldn't be in Indianapolis if DeVoe and his partners hadn't been so dedicated to keeping the team in the city.

    A celebration of his life will be held at the Woodstock Club in Indianapolis on Jan. 12.

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    Member Hicks's Avatar
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    Default Re: R.I.P. Pacers co-founder, ex-president DeVoe dead at 83

    I honestly still don't know much about him or those first few years of the franchise. Certainly grateful that he played a role in starting the team and keeping it here. RIP

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    Default Re: R.I.P. Pacers co-founder, ex-president DeVoe dead at 83

    1967–1976: ABA Dynasty[edit]

    In early 1967, a group of six investors (among them attorney Richard Tinkham, John DeVoe, Chuck DeVoe, sports agent Chuck Barnes and Indianapolis Star sports writer Bob Collins) pooled their resources to purchase a franchise in the proposed American Basketball Association.

    According to Indianapolis attorney Richard Tinkham, the nickname "Pacers" was decided on through a collective decision of the original investors. Tinkham, one of those investors, recalled that the nickname was a combination of the state's rich history with the harness racing pacers and the pace car used for the running of the Indianapolis 500. Investor Chuck Barnes was a horse racing enthusiast in addition to being business manager of Mario Andretti, A. J. Foyt and Rodger Ward. Barnes' wife, Lois, suggested the name over dinner.

    Tinkham said the "Pacers" decision was an easy one, but the real debate was whether the team should be called the Indiana Pacers or the Indianapolis Pacers. Since one of the original ideas for the team was to have it playing throughout the state with its base in Indianapolis, the official team name became the Indiana Pacers.

    For their first seven years, they played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, now called the Pepsi Coliseum. In 1974, they moved to the plush new Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis, where they stayed for 25 years.

    Early in the Pacers' second season, former Indiana Hoosiers standout Bob "Slick" Leonard became the team's head coach, replacing Larry Staverman. Leonard quickly turned the Pacers into a juggernaut. His teams were buoyed by the great play of superstars such as Jimmy Rayl, Mel Daniels, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Rick Mount and Roger Brown. The Pacers were - and ended - as the most successful team in ABA history, winning three ABA Championships in four years. In all, they appeared in the ABA Finals five times in the league's nine-year history: a feat that was never bettered by any other ABA franchise.

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    _________________________ RamBo_Lamar's Avatar
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    Default Re: R.I.P. Pacers co-founder, ex-president DeVoe dead at 83
    By Will Higgins,

    Chuck DeVoe, a multitalented sportsman who was instrumental in bringing big-time pro sports to Indianapolis, died Saturday at age 83.
    The cause of death was melanoma, his family said. He'd been diagnosed in September.
    In 1967 DeVoe was among a handful of local businessmen who founded the Indiana Pacers, which would become the American Basketball Association's most successful team and today sits atop the National Basketball Association's Eastern Conference. DeVoe was the team's president from 1968-74, overseeing three ABA championship seasons. The Pacers joined the NBA in 1976.
    "You can't give those DeVoe boys enough credit," John Jewett, who was part of the Pacers original ownership, said in a 1995 interview. "Talk about charging in where angels fear to tread. They did what no one else had the gumption to do."
    L. Charles DeVoe was born in Indianapolis in 1930, the oldest of three high-achieving brothers. John DeVoe, who once scored 73 points in a high school basketball game, was his partner in the Pacers and was team president in 1968 when he died of a heart attack at a game. Stephen DeVoe, who survives and practices law in Indianapolis, is a former director of professional tennis for the U.S. Tennis Association and tournament director for the U.S. Open.
    Chuck DeVoe was an astute multitasker. While running the Pacers, he also was president of L.M. DeVoe Co., a business started by his father that sells electronics. He also managed to be a professional level tennis player, the holder of 11 Indiana state open singles titles and later of numerous national seniors titles. He played in two U.S. Nationals (now called the U.S. Open) in the 1950s, once extending eventual champion Art Larsen to five sets. He and his brothers, also expert tennis players, opened Indianapolis' first indoor tennis facility, the Indianapolis Racquet Club, in 1965.
    DeVoe's greatest tennis moment came in 1966 and was miraculous. As a 36-year-old businessman and suburban family man, he entered the Western Tennis Championship at Woodstock Club in Indianapolis. His first round opponent was the 21-year-old Puerto Rican phenom Charles Pasarell, just back from Wimbledon, where he'd reached the quarterfinals. DeVoe won, 6-2, 9-7.
    "Dad was a very, very hard worker, and it was important to him to excel in everything he did," said his daughter, Anne DeVoe Lawler, a lawyer living in Seattle.
    "The fact Chuck was an athlete himself helped him relate to us," said Mel Daniels, a former Pacers star. "He just knew what it all means, what it means to compete, what athletics means."
    Daniels, with his old Pacer teammate Bob Netolicky and the team's trainer, Dave Craig, visited DeVoe on Friday as their old boss and friend lay dying. "It was tough, but he knew we were there," Daniels said. "He squeezed Neto's hand and opened his eyes, and that made us all feel good."
    "He teared up a little," said Netolicky, "and I'm glad — he knew how much we cared."
    Netolicky, who with his longish hair and boyish good looks was Indianapolis' version of "Broadway" Joe Namath, recalled arriving in Indianapolis in 1967 from Drake University to discover his new city was a dull place — "about as dead as any town I'd ever seen."
    The Pacers made it considerably less dull, with Netolicky doing his part by opening a bar, called Neto's. The team's move to Market Square Arena in 1974 is seen as an important catalyst for the Downtown renaissance. "It's not a stretch to say that without the DeVoes' foresight, without the Pacers getting it started, there might not be much of a Downtown even now," Netolicky said.
    The Downtown may be rollicking these days, but DeVoe was always the picture of understated decorum, almost deaconlike in his self-control. "He never drew attention to himself," Netolicky said. "He was a quiet man."
    DeVoe recently confided to his oldest son, Mike, that he refused to defeat a tennis opponent by a score of 6-0, 6-0. He'd always purposefully lose a game or so and was talented enough to conceal the charity. "It was out of admiration and friendship for his competitors," Mike DeVoe said.
    At parties, DeVoe would have maybe one drink, his daughter said, and yet was "a very social person" and could cut loose.
    At his granddaughter's wedding last July, for instance, he danced with his daughter a slow dance that was part of the gala but stayed on the floor after the uptempo music kicked in and more or less rocked out.
    DeVoe was married for 61 years to his wife, Jody. The two met in dancing school as teenagers. She survives, as do the couple' three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
    I once met Mr. DeVoe when trying to get some special electronic parts for my
    company at the time. After our introductions and telling me a bit about himself,
    he slipped off his Pacers ABA championship ring that he was wearing, and actually
    let me hold it for a moment. That was one of those special moments you never
    forget. Thank you for your contributions to our community Mr. DeVoe, RIP

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: R.I.P. Pacers co-founder, ex-president DeVoe dead at 83

    It's a shame he can't be around to see this season thru to its fruition.
    Nuntius was right for a while. I was wrong for a while. But ultimately I was right and Frank Vogel has been let go.


    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    let's do better Heisenberg's Avatar
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    Default Re: R.I.P. Pacers co-founder, ex-president DeVoe dead at 83

    We need a mini-documentary or interview, hell, just a nice informative PD post on how the Pacers came to be. I'm almost 30 and I honestly don't remember anything first hand pre-Reggie. We've all heard stories about Slick running the telethon and all, but I want to know about the franchise even before that, when Slick was just selling insurance or whatever he was doing.

    Basically all I know is some Indy business dudes got together and said hey, somebody's working on this alternate league to the NBA, this is Indiana, how bout it? And now here we are.

    So thanks Mr. DeVoe. We're not going anywhere soon and the franchise has been an immense source of joy, sometimes more, sometimes less, my entire life.

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