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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"

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

http://www.linktothearticlegoeshere.com/article
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 NBA.com.

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.

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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

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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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Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

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  • Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

    One year ago today the Indiana Pacers changed the face of their franchise. After 3 and ½ seasons they relieved Jim O’Brien of his head coaching duties.

    This is a fact and is without dispute, what will follow will be filled with non scientific opinions and probably some rants and raves as well.

    I will tell you this right now, avoid this post at all cost if you are a supporter of Jim O’Brien or if you don’t like anyone to be criticized when they are out of a job. BTW I am sympathetic to that point and will try my best to not go too far overboard.

    Honestly I’ve been struggling with this post all day. At one time I was just going to actually start the thread and then do nothing but post the record of Frank Vogel since he has taken over. Then I was going to write up a balanced and non opinionated piece to where I just tried to analyze this as non emotionally as I could, but I was giving myself heart burn in trying this. Then I even went so far as to go over to Xtranormal.com to do another cartoon of the fans discussing the team one year later, but then after writing up a script and everything that you now have to pay to publish the cartoons. That sucked because I thought is was actually pretty funny (ok probably only I would have thought it was funny and some probably would have been offended).

    So instead this is what I am left with. I am just going to write a piece from my heart and go from there right or wrong, popular or unpopular.

    By the time he left I hated Jim O’Brien. I mean I have never ever hated a coach as much as I hated him and I’ve lived through Dick Versace and George Irvine twice. Now when I say hate I don’t mean I hated him as a person, obviously I never knew the man so I have no opinion of him away from the court. But what he did on the court caused me to absolutely loath the way he coached the team.

    I’m going to admit this now, I’ve probably said it before but I’ll reiterate it again here, by the middle to end of December over the past three seasons he was here I had given up on the season. By the middle of January over the last two seasons I had lost interest for the most part in the season. I am a life long Pacers fan and have sit in the fieldhouse and M.S.A. before that and watched games where we lost by 20+ points and have set through seasons where we were lucky to win 25 wins but I sat there and watched every game I could. Not when he was coaching. Frankly speaking there were times those last two seasons that if it was really cold out we just wouldn’t go to the games and there was a time that we drove to Indianapolis, ate dinner and just decided that we didn’t want to waste our time with the game and just went home.

    It wasn’t the losing, I never like to lose but there are times as a fan when you just know you aren’t going to win but you stick it out anyway. No, it was never that for me. It was the style of play and the players he chose to allow to make mistake after mistake while punishing others for the first offense on the floor. It was never admitting that something wasn’t working and trying something else. It was never understanding that some of the young players actually did deserve to be on the floor. I can understand and even appreciate his unwillingness to tank on purpose (I argue that his coaching style is tanking) but at some point in time when you are out of it (which once again was usually middle of December) then you do need to give some of your younger talent some time on the floor.

    But I’m jumping to far ahead; I didn’t start out disliking him as a coach. In fact when we hired him I was very surprised. I honestly thought we were looking at the assistant coach of the Bulls at the time so when they said Jim O’Brien I was more than a little surprised.

    But again I didn’t start out disliking him, in fact his first press conference went quite well and in fact for the most part early on he was saying all of the right things.

    When he was hired this team was just starting to flush the toilet of the sewage of players that had so taken our clubs sterling reputation and just crapped all over it.

    So Jim had no easy task to begin with. The fan base hated our team and hated our players. But a lot of that had to do with Donnie Walsh using lawyer speak when dealing with our off court issues and Rick Carlisle using cliché after cliché in press conferences but never showing that he was disciplining the players.

    We had prominent players who would spend the majority of the games arguing with the referee’s over almost every call and an offense that was both boring and predictable. Not to mention it had become public knowledge that Carlisle was not making certain players practice with the club while still maintaining their starting position.

    So along comes Jim and he immediately put the rule into place that only he could complain to the officials. He said that he would come to the teams defense when he felt that they were being abused by the referee’s but there would no longer be the constant talking to officials that had so previously crippled the public reputation of the club.

    To Jim's credit (see I will give him credit where credit is due) he pretty much kept his word. While the griping did not 100% subside it did drop dramatically and on occasion when he felt the need he did work the officials and obtained the technical fouls to prove it.

    Second he talked about playing strong defense. Of course every coach say’s the same thing but he seemed so adamant about it when he started that for the most part people believed him.

    But almost as importantly he talked about opening up the offense. He said Jermaine O’Neal will still get his shots and will still score but we are not going to play the half court slog ball that took 23 of the 24 seconds off of the shot clock every time.

    This sounded appealing at the time as well. You have to understand that while the offense we employed during the Carlisle years was affective it often was a strain on the eyes to watch and did not allow for many players to be involved.
    I of course new of O’Brien from his time with Boston and did remember that I hated playing their team because I felt like we never lost to a better team but to a gimmick. I never really paid attention to him in Philly so I never had an opinion about him there. I just felt like the Boston teams were just an anomaly and surely that was not how he coached on a regular basis.

    It took me about 2 min. into the first pre-season game to start to suspect that maybe this was his normal coaching.

    But again I was not at first discouraged. I knew the talent on the club was not the greatest so I did not have high expectations for that first year.

    The first few games started out great. In fact we won the first three games that Jim ever coached here. So it looked like maybe things were going to be better after all. The offense certainly moved faster and while we saw a lot of three’s go up we didn’t believe that over the course of the season that this would continue. Then we went on a horrid losing streak. But again, while I was seeing things that I didn’t like, I understood that we had a mix and match team that was still playing with some of the leftovers from the previous seasons while trying to integrate new players. But the off court stuff was slowing down (A lot of this has to do with Bird taking over and taking a no nonsense approach to this and not making excuses in the press for this behavior).

    So like I said it wasn’t the losing.

    By the end of the first month we were at .500% ball. Now a lot of people were not happy about that because previously we were winning at a much higher %. But like I said I understood the players and in fact was impressed that he got the team to play .500%. But more and more I was seeing things that were beginning to bother me on the floor. The defense did not seem to be that great and honestly I was already starting to see that he had players who did what he wanted on the offensive end but appeared to have zero ability to defend but would be able to play big min. because he liked what they did on offense. At first this didn’t bother me as much as it would come to because I just figured that like any coach he had his favorites and they must be doing what he wanted.

    For awhile we kept playing at .500% then in January we went on an extended losing streak. Again, I didn’t like it but was living with it. But by this time the lack of offensive discipline was starting to grate on me and the over abundance of the three point shot was really bothering me. But again I hadn’t gone over the edge.

    Then it happened.

    January 9, 2008 the Indiana Pacers played the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix. This was at the back end of another three game losing streak and for the most part the team played a brilliant game. In fact they took the Suns (who at the time were very good) to overtime.

    This was when I went from a person who was not thrilled but accepting of the coaching job he was doing to a raving lunatic who cursed so much that night that I am certain I was making up new words.

    I won’t bore you with all of the details but for the last three min. of the overtime period we saw the single most selfish basketball play we have ever seen and it was done by none other than our point guard Jamaal Tinsley. Now you may wonder why I became so upset with Jim when Jamaal was the one on the floor. Well simply put while Jamaal proceeded to shoot shot after shot after shot during that time frame (I don’t remember exactly but I believe in that three min. period he put up 13 shots) not once passing to anyone else. Again why was I mad at Jim when this was Jamaal’s doing?

    Well at one point in time after missing like 5 or so shots and the team now behind by 4 or 5 Jim calls a time out. I’m thinking ok great that will be the end of that. Jim will now either pull Jamaal out of the game or at the very least will draw up an offense that will more affectively be able to score. I was at first stunned when Jamaal re-entered the game but then I thought ok Jim is just going to go a different way.

    Then it happened, Jamaal just kept shooting without even so much as looking at anyone else. I’m going ape **** at home. If I could have flown out to Phoenix that night I would have strangled Jamaal and I was absolutely certain that Jim had to be livid on the sidelines. Then the camera panned over to him, nothing. Not one single word from him, no calling out plays from the bench, no red face from cursing Jamaal for his play. In fact as the game went on and we went further behind Jim just stood there like a rock. I no longer was mad at Jamaal I was now livid with O’Brien.

    The reason I was so mad was because the team was short players that night. They had been on a prolonged losing streak but had battled valiantly to tie up the game and take one of the better teams to overtime to have it absolutely destroyed by the crappiest basketball I have ever seen in my life and I will probably die never seeing anything this bad ever again (at least I hope).

    So as expected we lose. The in the post game Jim just says that Jamaal was taking good shots and that they just weren’t dropping but he was more concerned with the defense. Now remember this is Jamaal Tinsley we are talking about here. He is a superior ball handler (second to none) and he is a great passer and runner of an offense. However he was never a scorer, now he could score when needed but that was never his game. He was a point guard who likes to point as we used to say and certainly Jamaal never was one to fire up three pointers unless he had to. That game he shot the ball 26 times, I would have to look it up but I am sure that this is still a career high attempts for him.

    I thought that Jim’s actions, or better yet lack of actions, not only cost the team the game but cost the fans at home a much needed win and was disrespectful of the other players that night who fought so hard to keep that game at hand.

    Honestly my opinion of O’Brien changed that night. It changed so much that while every season after that I would always come in trying to give him the benefit of the doubt I was always fighting an up hill battle because of what happened that night.

    Then one week later the Golden State Warriors came to town and Jamaal was listed as inactive for the game. Jim when asked said that Jamaal was a sick but then he wasn’t expecting what happened next. Stephen Jackson, God love him, obviously did not get the memo about Jamaal being sick and let the cat out of the bag that Jamaal was actually suspended from the team.

    Jim when confronted with this still tried to outright lie and say no he wasn’t suspended. Then it came out that yes he was suspended and then during this same time the cat was let out of the bag that Jermaine O’Neal was not practicing with the team and in fact had not practiced at all with the team.

    Why is this a big deal? Simple, early on Jim made the very public proclamation that if you don’t practice you don’t play. So he wasn’t following through on this threat.

    Then I began to wonder if all of his talk was just that, talk. Were things really any different other than our lack of interior defense and a wildly undisciplined offense?

    Ok, I’ll stop going over this piece by piece because this could be 36 pages long if I did this.

    I’ll just jump ahead and say that I tried; honest to God I tried every single year to believe that he could turn this around. But every single year the same result occurred. We would have a putrid regular season and then once we were out of the playoffs we would make some end of the season run that not only raised the win total but dropped our drafting position. In fact I will say that the 2009-10 Pacers should have had and did have a 20 some win record until the middle of March we went on a 5 and 4 game winning streak after we had already been eliminated from the playoffs. So I always believed that his record here was inflated because he would start winning games after we were out of the playoffs and other teams were either resting or frankly tanking.

    The fact that he was given a one year extension was just unbelievable to me. He should have been fired after his second season and at the very least mid way through the third, not given an extension. But no, for whatever reason (stubborn pride IMO) Bird decided that a coach that was now being booed by the home crowds every single game should be extended. In fact the booing was so bad that the Pacers had to alter the opening so that both Jim and the opponents coach would be introduced together so that way the boo’s appeared to be for the opponents coach. But asking any and every member of PS&E they would freely admit that this was done because O’Brien was being booed every single game.

    In fact the section right behind the Pacers bench on a few occasions would get a rousing chant of O’Brien sucks going. I set 4 seats behind Larry Bird and 5 seats behind Herb Simon and if I heard this every night I know they heard it.

    While I hated each and every single thing about Jim O’Brien’s offense the one thing I obviously hated the most was his insistence on the use of a stretch four and at no point in time was his dependence on this and his idiocy exposed over this more than that last year here. Look I hated the way he played Troy Murphy; I loathed the way he allowed Troy to not defend but would still reward him with giant extended minutes because he did offensively what he wanted. But I understand that Troy was unique in that he could hit the trailing three with amazing consistency and while I was never ever impressed with his rebounding he did produce numbers.

    But when he would not play both Tyler and Josh at the same time because he had to make sure that James Posey could play that was sinking to an all new low and believe me we were pretty low by that point. The day that Blake Griffin scored 47 points do you know that Josh McRoberts was inactive because Jim did actually start Tyler that game but because he had to make sure his boy Posey was available to spread the floor Josh was left inactive. Now I’m not saying Josh would have made a difference but don’t you think that if you are playing a young athletic stud of a power forward that you would want to counter with all of the big body’s you could? Not if you’re Jim O’Brien.

    In fact here is an interesting point for you. The day Jim was fired the player who had played the most min. for us that season besides Granger who he kept moving over was James Posey. Not Tyler, not Josh but an old slow out of shape small forward was getting the most min. on the floor. Was it because of his stellar defense? Well back in the day James was a good defender. He was a good wing defender and he was about 40 pounds lighter. No it was because he did the one thing that Jim wanted above all things. He shot the three point shot.

    As I’ve said before I’m not an idiot. I know that Jim never intended for us to just jack up three point shots for the sake of jacking up three point shots. It was intended to open the floor and allow driving lanes for our guards and small forwards.

    However here is the problem. Our guards were not great at penetration and he refused to use our center as a consistent low post offense. Oh and one other problem, every other coach in the NBA was not an idiot. They did not automatically run their big men out of the lanes to chase our power forwards for three.

    Now in all fairness to Jim I will say to him the same thing I would say to Van Gundy (who is almost as bad) and to D’Antoni who is just as bad. When you are hitting at a high % it can work. That is how we did manage to beat both the Lakers and Boston in Indiana when both were playing at a very high level. When the three point shot is dropping you can win.

    But as has been said time and time again, live by the three die by the three.

    The thing that bothered me the most about Jim O’Brien, well beyond his need, want and desire of a stretch four. Was the fact that at the end of the day he is a brilliant coach.

    Yes that’s right I said he is a brilliant coach and he knows every single way to coach that you can imagine. If Larry would have said Jim I want you to run a dual power post offensive game he could have easily done it. He wouldn’t have had the players that could do it but he would have known how. He even tried for a few games to change up his system. But at the end of the day whenever the first sign of trouble would come along he would revert to the system that he absolutely believed in.

    If you ever listened to Jim speak and explain his system you would walk away shaking your head in agreement going “well that makes a lot of sense”. That is one of the reasons why every year I would give him a chance, because to listen to him speak he sounded like he knew what he was doing and at the basics of his speeches he would be making sense.

    Then you would realize that this meant seeing James Posey on the floor or before that Troy Murphy playing center while Roy Hibbert would be benched.

    I swear I’ll wrap this up here in a second but one last complaint that I had was that not only did he not value shot selection the way he should have but the offense that he designed never drew fouls. Our teams were routinely outshot from the free throw line and often times by a large number. It was like he just did not understand that a two point shot plus a foul shot was a three point play just like his beloved three point shot.

    Jim played %’s and if you look at his biggest defenders on here you will see that these are guys who generally believe in advanced statistics like Jim does. Now there were others who just support the coach no matter what but for the most part these are guys who look at charts and graphs and do math calculations just like Jim and determine that his style of play is the only way that he could have been playing. Even when you tell them that Frank Vogel took over the exact same team and ended the season with a winning record and a playoff berth they tried to argue something they called strength of schedule. Of course having them try and explain then how Frank’s teams were able to be the Bucks or the Hawks who Jim’s teams could never beat seemed to stump them. Then having them explain how we beat the Bulls in OT to give the Bulls their only central division loss of the season also left them with a blank. Basketball is not a math game. Yes statistics matter, the final score is a statistic so obviously it matters. But they have to be taken in context and not just regurgitated the way that Jim and his defenders would do. Jim honestly would justify playing James Posey vs. Amare based on the shooting %. Never mind that fact that Amare scored three straight plays on him to help N.Y. win the game. But hey James did spread the floor on offense so it had to work, right?

    I’m ending now and I am hoping to use this as my last piece I ever write about Jim O’Brien. I won’t guarantee that I will never talk about him again but I will try from here forward to put him in the past, where he belongs.

    As to coaching? I’ll just say this. When Jim was fired our team was 17-27 and was floundering. Frank Vogel took over the team and with not one single trade took the same group of players to a 20-18 record and a very strong playoff performance against the Central division champions and E.C. best record Chicago Bulls.

    This season with some significant changes to our roster he has the Pacers playing at such a high level that anything less than a top 5 seed in the East will be considered a disappointment at this point in time.

    However while I admit that the roster did have major changes, the single most significant change to our team occurred one year ago today and the record speaks for itself.

    P.S. Notice I did not even talk about how his players felt about him.

    P.P.S. Please use the space below to share your thoughts about O'Brien. Like or dislike is fine, I've said my peace about him. I won't swear not to respond but I'll do my best.


    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  • #2
    Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

    I'm just glad I wasn't crazy when I truly believed the only reason we weren't winning at least half of our games was because we didn't have a capable coach. I'm glad I was right. I definitely never hated a coach more than O'Brien either and it was so liberating to see him finally go. It literally felt like we had just won a big playoff series I was so stoked.

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    • #3
      Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

      Is it sad that I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when he was fired?

      And this is from someone who can't remember what he ate for lunch yesterday.

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      • #4
        Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

        I remember I was in Krogers and a Pacers update text message popped up and when I looked at it, I accidently screamed out loud

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        • #5
          Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

          Who's this Jim o'brien guy?????
          THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU HEAR MY VOICE , NEXT TIME YOU WILL SEE MY FACE

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          • #6
            Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

            Well said Peck.

            JOB clearly had no feel for our personnel and did very little to inspire confidence or passionate play.
            He never connected with our guys and team chemistry suffered tremendously.

            Frank Vogel is not the perfect coach. He has flaws and weaknesses like anyone else.
            But I think I speak for many of us here, and certainly for myself, when I say that he truly has us believing in our Pacers for the first time in quite a long while.

            The Lakers road win, the Chicago, Boston, Orlando road wins... Would those have happened under JOB's watch? Maybe 10% of the time. (even that is generous, honestly)

            Now, under Vogel, I am a bit shocked when we lose on the road.

            It just proves the point that "old school" coaching can work very well in theory (Like you mentioned Peck, his strategies SOUND great)
            But when it really comes down to it, young and innovative coaches like Vogel are what gets the job done in professional sports these days.

            JOB seems like a genuine guy. I wish him the best in his retirement and life in general. But I have never been so happy to hear about someone losing their job in my entire life.

            But I suppose we CAN thank JOB for one thing... His under-appreciated assistant coaches, including one Frank Vogel...

            17-27 ---> 20-18 (and 13-6)

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            • #7
              Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

              Fantastic summation. I don't know how you keep all those details in your memory. For me, it's mostly a blur.

              I want to note here that I am a professional writer and author and have made a living for ten years that way (I think only 5 percent or so of writers actually pull that off). All that to say, Pacers Digest has some great writing on it—better than mine—and Peck is the maestro of the bunch. Reading these pieces is pure pleasure for me.
              "Look, it's up to me to put a team around ... Lance right now." —Kevin Pritchard press conference

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              • #8
                Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                I think he's not really that bad of a coach, given the right situation (like in Boston and Philly). The main problem about him is that he's too stubborn all the time. From offensive and defensive strategies to line-up rotations and handling of players. Adjustments, or lack of it, killed the team in his 3-year plus tenure as HC of the Pacers.

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                • #9
                  Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                  I suppose I should say something. Many of you thought I loved Jim O'Brien, and loved the way he coached and the style he got the Pacers to play. But that really isn't the truth.

                  I stated that while his defensive system was perfectly fine he was never able to get the players to buy into it. And no matter how brilliant your system is if the players don't buy into it then it doesn't really matter.

                  I have never been a fan of a team shooting a lot of threes, and have often said my dream offensive game for the Pacers is if they shoot 65 free throws.

                  Perhaps the biggest downfall for Jim was his relationship with the players. It is common for NBA players to hate their coach at times. Never in the history of the NBA has every player on the team's roster liked their coach. I would guess about 75% of the Pacers roster back in the 90's hated Larry Brown - and at times it was probably 100%. But they respected him, not sure if the players ever really respected O'Brien - especially the last season and a half he was the coach.

                  Having said that he wasn't the worst coach ever, he wasn't even close to the Pacers worst coach ever, nor was he even the worst coach of the decade for the Pacers.

                  I am not entirely sure why O'Brien did a great job with the Celtics (and he did by any objective measure), but not the Pacers. Did Jim change, have the players changed, was it just not a good mix - - I'll never know.

                  I do know that getting the Pacers to win 36 games in each of his first two seasons was a good accomplishment - nice coaching jobs - Not suggesting he should have won coach of the year, but 36 wins for those two teams is a good job. And I will always credit O'Brien with hastening the departure of Jamaal Tinsley. (that is a good thing IMO)

                  Most of you didn't catch it, but I advocated the Pacers firing O'Brien after his third season - the relationship between the players and Jim had become strained and I didn't think it could be repaired. last season it was evident that Jim had lost the team after the first month of the season. But most coaches sooner or later lose their team and need to be removed.

                  Why did I defend Jim so much? Because I thought a great deal of the criticism he received was unfair. But more than that, it seemd to me that sometime in season #3, everything Jim did was criticized, even when he did what was right it didn't matter, many of you criticized it because Jim did it.
                  Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-30-2012, 09:48 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                    Nice article, but reading about Jimmy just soured my day. I'm of the opinion that Jimmy will never hold the position of HC in the NBA again. If some team ever hires him as their HC, they'll get what they deserve which is going to be ugly.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                      Originally posted by Unclebuck View Post
                      Having said that he wasn't the worst coach ever, he wasn't even close to the Pacers worst coach ever, nor was he even the worst coach of the decade for the Pacers.
                      OK, you lost me here. Who was a worse coach than Jim O'Bri ......

                      OK, never mind. Literally in mid type I realized who you meant. He was so stupid that I literally tried to purge those years from my brain and was about to say, before O'Brien there was Rick Carlisle, and Larry Bird and they certainly weren't worse ......

                      Then I realized the 3 years my brain apparently is trying to flush down the toilet.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                        Originally posted by Peck View Post
                        Then it happened.

                        January 9, 2008 the Indiana Pacers played the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix. This was at the back end of another three game losing streak and for the most part the team played a brilliant game. In fact they took the Suns (who at the time were very good) to overtime.

                        This was when I went from a person who was not thrilled but accepting of the coaching job he was doing to a raving lunatic who cursed so much that night that I am certain I was making up new words.

                        I won’t bore you with all of the details but for the last three min. of the overtime period we saw the single most selfish basketball play we have ever seen and it was done by none other than our point guard Jamaal Tinsley. Now you may wonder why I became so upset with Jim when Jamaal was the one on the floor. Well simply put while Jamaal proceeded to shoot shot after shot after shot during that time frame (I don’t remember exactly but I believe in that three min. period he put up 13 shots) not once passing to anyone else. Again why was I mad at Jim when this was Jamaal’s doing?

                        Well at one point in time after missing like 5 or so shots and the team now behind by 4 or 5 Jim calls a time out. I’m thinking ok great that will be the end of that. Jim will now either pull Jamaal out of the game or at the very least will draw up an offense that will more affectively be able to score. I was at first stunned when Jamaal re-entered the game but then I thought ok Jim is just going to go a different way.

                        Then it happened, Jamaal just kept shooting without even so much as looking at anyone else. I’m going ape **** at home. If I could have flown out to Phoenix that night I would have strangled Jamaal and I was absolutely certain that Jim had to be livid on the sidelines. Then the camera panned over to him, nothing. Not one single word from him, no calling out plays from the bench, no red face from cursing Jamaal for his play. In fact as the game went on and we went further behind Jim just stood there like a rock. I no longer was mad at Jamaal I was now livid with O’Brien.

                        The reason I was so mad was because the team was short players that night. They had been on a prolonged losing streak but had battled valiantly to tie up the game and take one of the better teams to overtime to have it absolutely destroyed by the crappiest basketball I have ever seen in my life and I will probably die never seeing anything this bad ever again (at least I hope).

                        So as expected we lose. The in the post game Jim just says that Jamaal was taking good shots and that they just weren’t dropping but he was more concerned with the defense. Now remember this is Jamaal Tinsley we are talking about here. He is a superior ball handler (second to none) and he is a great passer and runner of an offense. However he was never a scorer, now he could score when needed but that was never his game. He was a point guard who likes to point as we used to say and certainly Jamaal never was one to fire up three pointers unless he had to. That game he shot the ball 26 times, I would have to look it up but I am sure that this is still a career high attempts for him.

                        I thought that Jim’s actions, or better yet lack of actions, not only cost the team the game but cost the fans at home a much needed win and was disrespectful of the other players that night who fought so hard to keep that game at hand.

                        Honestly my opinion of O’Brien changed that night. It changed so much that while every season after that I would always come in trying to give him the benefit of the doubt I was always fighting an up hill battle because of what happened that night.

                        When I was watching the Suns game, I remember thinking, "This looks bad (because Tinsley is missing) but I think these are good shots and nobody else is working for the ball/being agressive." Is that crazy?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                          Originally Posted by Peck
                          Then it happened.

                          January 9, 2008 the Indiana Pacers played the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix. This was at the back end of another three game losing streak and for the most part the team played a brilliant game. In fact they took the Suns (who at the time were very good) to overtime.

                          This was when I went from a person who was not thrilled but accepting of the coaching job he was doing to a raving lunatic who cursed so much that night that I am certain I was making up new words.

                          I won’t bore you with all of the details but for the last three min. of the overtime period we saw the single most selfish basketball play we have ever seen and it was done by none other than our point guard Jamaal Tinsley. Now you may wonder why I became so upset with Jim when Jamaal was the one on the floor. Well simply put while Jamaal proceeded to shoot shot after shot after shot during that time frame (I don’t remember exactly but I believe in that three min. period he put up 13 shots) not once passing to anyone else. Again why was I mad at Jim when this was Jamaal’s doing?

                          Well at one point in time after missing like 5 or so shots and the team now behind by 4 or 5 Jim calls a time out. I’m thinking ok great that will be the end of that. Jim will now either pull Jamaal out of the game or at the very least will draw up an offense that will more affectively be able to score. I was at first stunned when Jamaal re-entered the game but then I thought ok Jim is just going to go a different way.

                          Then it happened, Jamaal just kept shooting without even so much as looking at anyone else. I’m going ape **** at home. If I could have flown out to Phoenix that night I would have strangled Jamaal and I was absolutely certain that Jim had to be livid on the sidelines. Then the camera panned over to him, nothing. Not one single word from him, no calling out plays from the bench, no red face from cursing Jamaal for his play. In fact as the game went on and we went further behind Jim just stood there like a rock. I no longer was mad at Jamaal I was now livid with O’Brien.

                          The reason I was so mad was because the team was short players that night. They had been on a prolonged losing streak but had battled valiantly to tie up the game and take one of the better teams to overtime to have it absolutely destroyed by the crappiest basketball I have ever seen in my life and I will probably die never seeing anything this bad ever again (at least I hope).

                          So as expected we lose. The in the post game Jim just says that Jamaal was taking good shots and that they just weren’t dropping but he was more concerned with the defense. Now remember this is Jamaal Tinsley we are talking about here. He is a superior ball handler (second to none) and he is a great passer and runner of an offense. However he was never a scorer, now he could score when needed but that was never his game. He was a point guard who likes to point as we used to say and certainly Jamaal never was one to fire up three pointers unless he had to. That game he shot the ball 26 times, I would have to look it up but I am sure that this is still a career high attempts for him.

                          I thought that Jim’s actions, or better yet lack of actions, not only cost the team the game but cost the fans at home a much needed win and was disrespectful of the other players that night who fought so hard to keep that game at hand.


                          I have a completely different take on the Suns game. That game directly led to Tinsley being benched, suspended, and eventually being told to stay away from the team. Jim wasn't happy with what Tinsley did in that game, not at all, there were reports of a shouting match between Jamaal and JOB during a film session and the film session was of the Suns game (source Wells and Vecsey). That game is what started the ball rolling to the departure of JT from the Pacers roster and I do credit Jim for that.

                          You and I got into a long discussion at one of the forum parties about this and we disagree 100%.

                          Since when do you take what a coach says in a post game presser at face value.

                          You can hate Jim if you want, but hating Jim for the Suns game is unfair and IMo the aftermath of that game which IMO directly led to Tinsley leaving was one of Jim's better episodes while our coach. And I do not think this caused Jim to lose the players respect, this was Jim's first year - Jim was the first coach to ever stand up to Jamaal - more than likely the players respected Jim a lot more after the incident.
                          Last edited by Unclebuck; 01-30-2012, 10:30 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                            I've gotta say that I saw the subject and just skimmed Peck's thoughts. Primarily because I knew his opinions were spot on with mine.

                            But mostly because I love this team right now and wanted to avoid all of the negative emotion that might come back due to the subject of the unnamed one.

                            Let's just say that, if I were a religious man, I would light a candle each and every day thanking God for the arrival of Frank Vogel as head coach.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Pacer Liberation Day (One year anniversary of O'Brien's termination)

                              I remember waking up to the Press Conference on Pacers.com. After it was over, I literally ran outside into the freezing cold, and simply began running around my house screaming.

                              Happy Anniversary, Pacers Fans! I can't believe it's been this long! Feels like it was just yesterday that they fired the clown and put Captain Awesome in charge!

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