Archive for the ‘ Indiana Pacers Blog ’ Category

The Indiana Pacers announced Tuesday the signing of free agents Ron Howard and Darnell Jackson. We assume (but have not confirmed) that these are nonguaranteed deals for training camp, merely giving the players a chance to make the regular season roster.

Howard is a 6-5 guard/forward who played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League last season.

Jackson is a 6-8 forward who played with the Reno Bighorns of the D-League last season. He has played with Cleveland, Milwaukee and Sacramento in the NBA.

Indiana Pacers

Roger Brown became a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer on Sunday, with another Hall of Famer telling people what the former Indiana Pacers superstar in the old ABA meant to the franchise.

“People say that I put the Indiana Pacers on the map,” Reggie Miller said. “No, it all started with Roger Brown.”

Brown, who died in 1997, was presented by Miller and Hall of Famer Mel Daniels, a teammate of Brown’s.

Brown’s daughter, Gayle Brown Mayes, called it “a really special day” but “bittersweet” because of her father’s absence.

During the induction, Mayes was on the stage with Brown’s son, Roger Jr., plus Miller and Daniels.

Reported by Curtis Harris, special to the Indianapolis Star

Brown was the first player to sign a contract with the Pacers when they were formed in 1967, based on the recommendation of Oscar Robertson, who had played against him in off-season pickup games. Although 25 years old when the ABA was formed, and already operating on knees softened from playing so many games on asphalt and concrete, he was a first-team all-ABA selection in 1971, played in four All-Star games and was a member of the Pacers’ three championship teams. He was coming off the bench by the third one, in 1973, was traded away in 1974 and retired after playing 10 games with the Pacers at the end of the 1974-75 season.

His shining moment, however, came in the 1970 ABA Finals when the Pacers defeated the Los Angeles Stars in six games for their first title. He averaged 28.5 points in the series and scored 53 in a win in L.A. He also once hit all 14 shots in a game, and was one of the game’s greatest clutch players. Pacers coach Slick Leonard often sent the other four players to one side of the court and let Brown go one-on-one for clutch baskets.

Reported by Mark Montieth of

Chris Copeland
Chris Copeland said his left knee is healing as hoped
Will be missed in New York

Chris Copeland said his left knee is healing and he’ll be ready to make his debut with the Indiana Pacers at the beginning of the season.

“Much improved,” Copeland said during a promotional appearance for the opening of a new St. Vincent Performance location in Carmel on Thursday. “I’ve been training hard. Everything is good. It’s not 100 percent, but definitely much better than last year.”

Copeland signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Pacers in July. They lured him from the New York Knicks, where he put together an impressive rookie season after playing overseas for five years.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

The Indiana Pacers’ long playoff run this spring is making it easier for the team’s front office to sell tickets.

Todd Taylor, the team’s vice president of sales and marketing, said Tuesday that sales of season-ticket packages are up nearly 30 percent from this time last year. Packages are considered anything 11 games or more because they give the buyer a guarantee to purchase playoff tickets, he said.

Per club policy, the Pacers do not reveal total number of season tickets. But Taylor said the 30 percent bump includes about 1,200 new ticket holders.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

Former professional basketball player Kenny Williams has been sentenced to nine months in prison and ordered to pay more than $660,000 in restitution for failing to pay child support.

The 44-year-old Williams was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Tuesday.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said Williams earned a salary playing for the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, played overseas and drove luxury cars while his former wife and three children were on welfare.

Reported by the Associated Press

Popeye Jones

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that Popeye Jones has been hired as an assistant coach to complete the Pacers’ coaching staff.

The 43-year-old Jones comes to the Pacers after spending the last three years with the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets, one season in player development, the last two as an assistant coach. Prior to that, he was with Dallas for three years in player development. Jones played collegiately at Murray State and was a 1992 second-round pick of the Houston Rockets, who traded his rights to Dallas. He played one season in Italy before joining the Mavericks in 1993 and ended up playing with Toronto, Boston, Denver, Washington and Golden State before retiring in 2004.

“Popeye brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and coach,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “He comes in as a player development coach focusing on the big men, but he has become a complete coach, great with Xs and Os and game strategy. He will be a great asset to our staff.”

Jones joins long-time assistant Dan Burke and associate head coach Nate McMillan, who was hired in July, on the Pacers’ staff.

Chris Copeland out 6-8 weeks after knee surgery

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday that forward Chris Copeland underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a loose body. The surgery was performed Friday morning at the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital.

Recovery time is estimated at six to eight weeks and Copeland is expected to be ready for the start of the 2013 training camp.

Phoenix Suns trade Luis Scola to Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers announced Saturday they have acquired veteran forward/center Luis Scola from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Gerald Green, center Miles Plumlee and a future No. 1 draft pick.

The 6-9, 245-pound Scola, a native of Argentina, played five seasons with the Houston Rockets and last season with the Suns. He has career averages of 14.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. The 33-year-old Scola is a regular member of Argentina’s national team, having won a gold medal in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

“I’m very, very excited to play for the Pacers,” said Scola. “They are one of the top three teams in the NBA with a good shot to win a championship. I think it’s a great team and this is a great opportunity. I can’t wait.”

“Luis will be a very important asset to our team and to our bench,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He has NBA experience, international experience and is the type of player that will fit in nicely on our roster. I want to thank Gerald and Miles for their contributions. They had tough years last season, but worked hard, never complained and contributed to the great chemistry our team had. I think Gerald and Miles will be solid additions in Phoenix and we wish them well.”

Green was signed as a free agent in 2012 and played in 60 games for the Pacers, averaging 7.0 points per game with a single-game high of 34. Plumlee was the Pacers’ No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft (26th overall) out of Duke and appeared in 14 games averaging 0.9 points and 1.6 rebounds. He played in 15 games last season for the Pacers’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, averaging 11.2 points and 10.2 rebounds.

“The trade is consistent with our stated plan to continue to acquire young assets,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “With this trade, we now have the potential for three first-round picks in the 2014 draft and five first-round picks in the next two drafts.”

“Although Luis’s time here in Phoenix was short, he certainly ingratiated himself to all of us in Phoenix with his hard work and professionalism. He will be an important contributor to a contending team in Indiana.”

“We are excited to add Miles and Gerald to our young core group of players,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “Miles was one of the best players in the Orlando Summer League, and Gerald’s scoring ability and athleticism will help us as we continue to build a team that plays an exciting, up tempo brand of basketball.”

Plumlee, a 6-11, 255-pound center, was selected by the Pacers with the 26th overall pick (first round) of the 2012 NBA Draft and played in 14 games for a deep Indiana team that pushed the NBA Champion Miami Heat to a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals. Earlier this month, he played on the Pacers summer league squad in Orlando and averaged 10.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 blocks while shooting 51.5 percent (17-33) from the field in 27.0 minutes.

A four-year collegiate performer at Duke University, Plumlee was a member of the Blue Devils squad that won three ACC championships and the 2010 NCAA National Championship. As a senior, he averaged 6.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks on 61.0-percent shooting in 20.5 minutes.

Green, a six-year veteran, was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 18th pick (first round) of the 2005 NBA Draft out of high school after averaging 33.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists. After doubling his production to 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in his second season with Boston, he was included in a multi-player trade for Kevin Garnett.

A 6-8, 210-pound small forward, Green owns career averages of 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 272 games with Boston (2005-07), Minnesota (2007-08), Houston (2007-08), Dallas (2008-09), New Jersey (2011-12) and Indiana (2012-13). After a brief stint playing overseas in Russia and China, he returned to the states for the 2011-12 season and played for the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League before being called up by the New Jersey Nets. Last season with the Pacers, he averaged 7.0 points in 18.0 minutes and came off the bench in the playoffs to average 6.1 points and 1.3 rebounds on 42.0-percent shooting in nine appearances.

Paul George hopes to stay with Pacers

Paul George hopes to stay with Pacers

We present to you “Exhibit A” on why the Lakers’ well-intentioned plans to clear up cap space for the 2014 offseason won’t automatically restore the Lakers’ championship fortunes.

Indiana forward Paul George basically confirmed he won’t be among one of those attractive free agents the Lakers wish they could sign next season. Instead, it appears George and the Pacers are going to ink a max extension well before the Oct. 31 deadline for players from the 2010 draft class.

“I’m happy, man. I’m happy in Indiana,” George told “It’s overwhelming (to hear) that they would want a player like me to come play for their team. But right now I’m focused on Indiana. I’m happy to be in Indiana. Our future is bright in Indiana. I wouldn’t want to leave something great.”

Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

George Hill pulls out of Team USA camp for his own basketball camp

Indiana Pacers point guard George Hill has pulled out of this week’s Team USA camp in Las Vegas so he could attend the youth camps he hosts.

Hill tweeted: “What up Twittas! Everything is fine just couldn’t give up on the kids and cancel my kids camp to make it to USA Trials! Wouldn’t felt right!”

Hill is holding his G3 Camps in Texas today, Wednesday and Friday; the USA Basketball minicamp begins today and runs through Thursday in preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Madrid. The Americans have already qualified for the tournament and the camp is an opportunity to get acquainted with coach Mike Krzyzewski and the staff.

Reported by the Indianapolis Star

Chris Copeland feels blessed to join Pacers

Chris Copeland waited longer than most for the big NBA money, overcoming personal tragedy and logging several years playing overseas to do it.

The newest member of the Indiana Pacers promises fans will hear him use one word over and over during the upcoming season because of that.

“Blessed,” he said. “You’re going to hear it all year. I look up every day and thank God that I’m here.”

The Pacers confirmed Copeland’s signing over the weekend after he agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract July 5. He traveled to Indianapolis on Monday and met the media at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“He’s a great addition to our team because he’s a guy that can come in off the bench and create his own shot or get into the paint,” Pacers President Larry Bird said in a statement. “He’s a good guy and a great competitor and we’re happy to have him join us.”

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

In April, Bender launched a company based on an odd-looking device he invented to help others avoid the knee troubles that put an end to his promising NBA career. Already, he’s brokered a deal with California-based Relax The Back retail chain, which sells wellness, fitness and medical items coast to coast.

On that day sitting in front of Simon’s house, Bender, who passed on college to leap to the NBA, took his first business course. And it wasn’t just Simon’s riches that fascinated the teen. There was something else.

“He was self-made,” Bender told the Indianapolis Business Journal. “Down in Picayune, there aren’t many role models like that — people who have picked themselves up and created a process, a plan for the rest of their lives, and made a legacy to benefit others.”

Benefiting others for Bender includes people in Indianapolis. While he and his company are based in Houston, the foundation he formed in 2007 provides children in Indianapolis, Picayune, New Orleans and Houston with skills to succeed in business and life.

Reported by the Associated Press

Indiana Pacers re-sign David West

Indiana Pacers re-sign David West

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have re-signed veteran free agent and two-time NBA All-Star David West to a contract.

According to the Associated Press, “the contract is for three years and $36.6 million, according to his agent. The third year is a player option.”

West, 6-9, 240, is a 10-year veteran who has played the last two seasons with the Pacers, averaging 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 139 games. Prior to his time with the Pacers, West had played his entire NBA career with the New Orleans Hornets. He has career averages of 16.1 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game.

“We said when the season ended, bringing David back was our No. 1 priority and we are very pleased to have him back,” said Larry Bird, Pacers President of Basketball Operations. “He is a leader, he is a professional, he is a great competitor and he is the type of player and person you want on your team if you hope to be successful.”

West played in two All-Star games in 2008 and ’09. Those two seasons, he averaged 20.6 ppg and 8.9 rpg and 21 ppg and 8.5 rpg, respectively.

“You can watch David play and appreciate him, but to coach him and see what he brings to our team on a daily basis really enhances that appreciation,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “There aren’t many players like him in the NBA and to have him back on our team is very important for what we hope to accomplish.”

Indiana Pacer sign guard C.J. Watson

Indiana Pacer sign guard C.J. Watson

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday they have signed free agent C.J. Watson to a contract.

Watson, a 6-2, 180 lb. guard, is a six-year veteran of the NBA, having played for Golden State, Chicago and Brooklyn with career averages of 7.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He spent the 2012-13 season with Brooklyn and averaged 6.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 80 games.

“C.J. Watson is exactly the type of player we were looking for when we said we needed to address our bench,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He’s experienced and he has been with winning teams, so he knows what it takes.”

“We’ve looked at a lot of things since the season ended and upgrading our bench was one of those things,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “I feel the addition of C.J. Watson will help us accomplish that goal.”

Undrafted out of the University of Tennessee, Watson played briefly in Europe before returning to the United States and playing in the NBA Developmental League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where he averaged 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.38 steals over 16 games in the 2007-08 season. He signed with the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 8, 2008.

“I’m excited to join the Pacers,” said Watson. “It’s a good young team with a bright future and a shot to compete for a championship and I’m happy to be a part of that.”

Tyler Hansbrough to join Toronto Raptors

Tyler Hansbrough to join Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors will sign unrestricted free-agent center Tyler Hansbrough to a two-year contract, the Toronto Star reported Tuesday.

The Indiana Pacers had extended a $4,135,391 qualifying offer to Hansbrough in June but rescinded it last week.

The 27-year-old Hansbrough averaged 7.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 81 regular-season games for the Pacers last season.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

David West

The Indiana Pacers wanted David West to stick around and lead a championship run. The 32-year-old power forward never planned on leaving town.

West agreed to a three-year contract with Indiana on the second day of free agency, according to a source with knowledge of the negotiations. The person requested anonymity because NBA rules prohibit teams from announcing signings until July 10. The deal is reportedly worth $36 million.

For the Pacers, Tuesday’s announcement may turn out to be their biggest move of the entire offseason.

”Obviously, our No. 1 priority is to get David West signed,” president of basketball operations Larry Bird said Monday, reiterating the point his predecessor Donnie Walsh and general manager Kevin Pritchard made two weeks earlier at an end-of-the-season news conference.

Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press

Although just a backup guard. C.J. Watson has shown plenty of flashes that he’s a legit player, and one that can step up and exceed expectations when a team’s starter is unable to play. So, he keeps geting signed.

cj watson

C.J. Watson, backup point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, agreed to a two-year contract with the Indiana Pacers, sources confirmed to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

Watson’s agreement was earlier reported by HoopsWorld.

Watson tweeted “keep up with the pace” on Monday, in an apparent nod to his choice of teams.

Watson, 29, had a player option for $1.1 million but opted out to become an unrestricted free agent.

Reported by news services

nate mcmillan

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday that Nate McMillan has been hired as an associate head coach.

McMillan replaces Brian Shaw, who became head coach at Denver.

McMillan comes to the Pacers with a vast basketball background as a player and as a coach. After playing collegiately at North Carolina State, McMillan was drafted by Seattle (30th overall) in the 1986 NBA Draft. He played his entire 12-year career with the Sonics, had his number (10) retired and became their coach in 2000 and remained in Seattle until after the 2005 season. He then went to Portland that year and coached the Trail Blazers until he was let go in March, 2012. McMillan also served as an assistant coach for the U.S. National Team in the 2006 FIBA World Championships, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics.

“We are extremely thrilled to have Nate join our staff,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “To get someone with his experience as a player and a coach will be extremely valuable to our players, to our staff and to our franchise.”

“To be able to join a respected franchise like this is a great opportunity,” said McMillan. “It’s obvious the potential this team has to compete for a championship and to come on board at a time like this is great timing for me. I really look forward to working with this coaching staff and the players. I have heard nothing but good things about everyone involved and that made this a very easy decision to make.”

Larry Bird returning as Pacers president

larry bird

The Indiana Pacers announced Wednesday that Larry Bird will return to the team as President of Basketball Operations. Bird agreed to a multi-year deal.

Donnie Walsh, who held that position the last year, will be a consultant to the franchise and Kevin Pritchard remains as the Pacers’ General Manager.

“We are all very happy to have Larry back,” said Pacers’ Owner Herb Simon. “When he left last July, Donnie and I both told him the door would be open for him to come back when he’s ready. Larry had a huge impact on this team and where it is now so it’s fitting that he comes back at this time. Donnie has been a friend and a valuable contributor to the franchise and will continue to be both. I wanted him to agree to stay in some capacity as I believe with Larry and Kevin, it gives us three of the best basketball minds in the business.”

Bird was President of Basketball of Operations for the team from 2003 until June 27, 2012. He returns to the position Monday, July 1.

“The year off gave me a chance to reflect, to rest, to take care of some health issues and it re-charged me,” said Bird. “Donnie and Kevin did a great job and I will lean on both heavily as we move forward toward the goal of competing for a championship.”

Walsh was President of the Pacers from 1988-2008, when he left to assume a similar position with the New York Knicks. After three years in New York, Walsh returned last year when Bird stepped down.

“I met with Larry when he wanted to leave last year and I said I would do this until he was ready to come back,” said Walsh. “Well, he’s ready and I couldn’t be happier. I had a great year last year with this team. It is a great group of guys who have the potential for some great things and to remain a part of this, with two people who I love to work with and respect greatly, is very special.”

Larry Bird’s future with the Pacers remains in limbo, his decision on whether to return as team president a mystery even to the man he would replace.

Donnie Walsh, who returned to the role last summer after Bird decided to step away, last talked with Bird shortly before the playoffs began and didn’t learn a thing about his plans. “I told him he should come back, but he didn’t really give me an answer, so I said that’s the last time I was going to ask,” Walsh said Friday. “And it was.”

Bird, the NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2012, has lived in Naples, Fla. and Nashville, Ind. for the past year. He attended a Pacers’ practice early in the season and a game against Cleveland on April 9, but otherwise has been a ghost hovering over the team he mostly built.

He has been rumored to be a candidate to take over the basketball operations of the Sacramento Kings, who are under new ownership.

Reported by Mark Montieth of

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