The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

A quick note to new members: Your posts will not immediately show up when you make them. An administrator has to approve at least your first post before the forum software will later upgrade your account to the status of a fully-registered member. This usually happens within a couple of hours or so after your post(s) is/are approved, so you may need to be a little patient at first.

Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
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ESPN show confirms "The Decision" was fan's idea not LeBron James' play

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  • ESPN show confirms "The Decision" was fan's idea not LeBron James' play

    I completely forgot about Jim Gray being the guy who interviewed LeBron during "The Decision"

    ESPN show confirms The Decision was fan's idea, not LeBron James'

    The idea for ESPN's The Decision show 10 years ago, in which LeBron James declared that he'd take his "talents to South Beach," wasn't LeBron's or his agent's or his inner circle's or anyone at ESPN's. It turns out that the show's idea came from a 38-year-old Detroit Pistons fan from Columbus, Ohio, identified only as "Drew" in a Bill Simmons mailbag column published by ESPN on Nov. 26, 2009, seven months before the broadcast.

    "What if LeBron announces he will pick his 2010-11 team live on ABC on a certain date for a show called 'LeBron's Choice?'" wrote Drew, with no last name published. "What type of crazy ratings would that get?"

    Simmons replied, "If LeBron were smart, he would market the event through his company, sell the rights to a network and reveal his choice on that show ... He could even make it pay-per-view ... I'm pretty sure they'll pony up for $44.99 for "Decision 2010: LeBron's Verdict."

    Backstory: The Decision

    Ten years ago, ESPN aired "The Decision," a controversial, live, prime-time special in which NBA free agent LeBron James announced that he would leave his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat. The criticism of James and ESPN was immediate, harsh and widespread. The next episode of Backstory, featuring Don Van Natta Jr., airs at 9 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.

    Until Friday night, the identity of 38-year-old Drew Wagner as the person who first pitched the idea wasn't known to anyone but his wife, Jennifer, and his circle of friends. But as they listened to multiple national radio shows Friday previewing a new Backstory episode on The Decision, which debuts Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, they learned that Simmons pitched the "Drew from Columbus, Ohio" mailbag column idea directly to James' inner circle and ESPN executives in February 2010. On Friday night, Wagner's friends began chattering on Twitter about their friend's influence.

    "He's a good friend of mine," said Graig Bachman, 39, of Columbus, an account manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, in an interview with ESPN. "And he hasn't shut up about how that was all his idea since 'The Decision' aired ... Of course he didn't know that for sure. He just assumed ... It's wild, kind of a whirlwind."

    "That was me," Wagner said in a phone interview Friday night about the mailbag email. "I sent that email, it's posted by Simmons and then seven months later, it's the biggest story in sports."

    Wagner said he grew up in Detroit as a Pistons fan, graduated in 2004 as a business major from Ohio State, and has lived in the Columbus area since college, managing logistics for a Midwestern building materials company.

    The idea's spark came from the trend of recruitment news conferences held by high school seniors announcing their college choices, Wagner said.

    "I remember everyone was talking about where LeBron would go, and it seemed to me that LeBron should do the same thing these kids do and announce it live on TV," he said. "I used to enjoy those Simmons mailbags quite a bit, and I thought it would be a fun idea to send it."

    Ten years ago, the idea for the ESPN TV show "The Decision," in which LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach, came from a Detroit Pistons fan, Drew Wagner. Courtesy of Drew Wagner
    Wagner said he was pleased to see his email published and Simmons' enthusiastic embrace of the idea in his column. He said he chalked it up as an odd coincidence seven months later when The Decision aired on ESPN before a record studio show audience of 10 million people when James, an unrestricted free agent, declared he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers after seven years to join the Miami Heat. But until Friday, Wagner said he had no idea what Simmons had done with his idea. Still, he said it didn't stop him from teasing his friends, many Cavs fans, in 2010 -- and since -- that "The Decision" was really his brainchild.

    At the All-Star Game weekend in Dallas in February 2010, Simmons pitched the "LeBron's Decision" idea to James' business partner, Maverick Carter; James' agent at the time, Leon Rose; and James' advisor, William "World Wide Wes" Wesley. Simmons met with Rose and Wesley. "They both loved it," Simmons later wrote in an email. "I mean, LOVED IT." That weekend, Simmons also enthusiastically pitched the idea to several senior ESPN executives.

    Simmons pitched two ideas to his bosses: a 90-minute documentary following LeBron in his free agency recruitment tour called "The Courting of the King," followed by "LeBron's Decision," where he would pick his new team in a live show, both to be aired on ABC.

    "I really think we can convince them to do it," Simmons wrote in a May 8, 2010 email to multiple ESPN executives, including then-head of content John Skipper. "So my question is this: should we proceed, and if so, how should we proceed ... At the very least, I think we should meet with these guys and soon ... This could really be one of the coolest sports shows ever made if we do it correctly." There is no mention of "Drew from Columbus, Ohio," in that email.

    Simmons couldn't be reached for comment Saturday afternoon.

    Despite Simmons' excitement about the proposed broadcast, ESPN executives did not actively pursue it. But a month later, on June 6, 2010, during halftime of Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Los Angeles. Maverick Carter ran into Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel -- the inspiration behind the character Ari Gold from HBO's "Entourage" and a rival of Rose's at a different agency -- and veteran broadcaster Jim Gray.

    Gray, who declined to comment for the Backstory episode, later said he had pitched the live free-agency announcement show to Carter and Emanuel. Carter then persuaded LeBron to do it. Shortly after that, Emanuel contacted Skipper.

    Emanuel told Skipper that James and Carter wanted to buy one hour of network television on ABC, Skipper said in the Backstory episode. Skipper then said that he wanted the show on ESPN, and then Emanuel and Carter asked for the hour for free. On the Backstory episode, Skipper said he quickly decided he was "OK with donating the hour" to James' group. James and Carter pledged to donate proceeds from sponsors to charity, mainly to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Tax returns of the LeBron James Family Foundation show $2 million was given to the national Boys and Girls Clubs of America that year.

    In the weeks and days leading to the broadcast, two of the early enthusiastic supporters of the idea in LeBron's camp -- his agent Rose and "World Wide Wes" -- soured on The Decision, partly because Emanuel and his agents ran with the idea, sources said. They both warned members of James' inner circle that the show, in which LeBron would announce he was leaving his hometown of Cleveland, could easily backfire on him. But those warnings went unheeded by Carter, Rich Paul and others in LeBron's inner circle.

    On July 8, 2010, the day of The Decision broadcast, Simmons wrote again that "a Columbus reader named Drew" had pitched "the exact same idea ... but I thought he was kidding. Now I think he's Nostradamus. Drew from Columbus looked into the future, and here's what he saw: a world in which it was totally conceivable that an NBA superstar would sell an hour-long show in which he picked his next team and tainted his legacy in the process."

    Simmons said nothing about his role behind the scenes in that column. But Wagner's friends loved it, said Danny Catullo, 37, who has been Wagner's best friend since their first day together at Ohio State.

    "We loved that," Catullo said. "And we've been loving this whole thing since [Friday] ... When I heard about this Friday, I texted Drew, 'OMG, Holy f---. You caused riots. You're responsible for the burning of jerseys.' Everything was his fault."

    When Wagner heard from Catullo and other friends Friday about how hard Simmons pushed his idea, he said he was surprised and found it interesting.

    "I don't know how that stuff works," he said. "I always had in the back of mind that maybe I did kick this into some kind of gear ... I don't think I deserve anything from it or any credit. I'm sure plenty of people could have come up with that kind of idea and got the ball rolling. I'm also pretty sure some people would want to shoot the guy who came up with the idea."

    Far more satisfying for Wagner, he said, was that he was able to pull off "a big time troll" of his friends who were Cavaliers fans by telling them what had eventually become The Decision was his initial idea, published by a high-profile columnist for the network that aired the show.

    "It was just funny to me," he said, "and frustrating for them." On July 8, 2010, Wagner said he watched The Decision live at his home in Columbus. "I was very surprised," he said. "I didn't think he was going to Miami. I figured he'd stay in Cleveland. The only reason to do that is to make your hometown fans excited and announce you were investing more years and staying put. I couldn't believe he said, "I'm out of here for Miami.' It was pretty shocking."

    Wagner and his wife of four years, Jennifer, have a 17-month old daughter, Zoey.

    "I vaguely remember him talking about this, but then we got contacted by friends [Friday] night," Jennifer Wagner said. "One friend said on an entertainment scale of 10, this is a 100."

    Bachman said, "I'm a Cavs fan. It hurt that night and it also hurt because Drew was right -- something he had suggested had happened. I can handle a lot but when a friend dunks on you, it's just not good."

  • #2
    How is this a story? It has been 10 years. No info/angle that hasn't been shared before. People don't have anything to write about anymore I guess.
    Trying to enjoy every Pacers game as if it is the last!