Despite tepid fan response to draft, Pacers hope to sell 'team'

June 29, 2012
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The NBA is a star-driven league these days.

Guys like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant sell tickets and push jerseys out of the pro shops.

Unfortunately, the Indiana Pacers don’t have a star of that caliber to sell. What it does have is a club that plays team ball.

Donnie Walsh, the Pacers new president of basketball operations, smartly pointed that out at his introductory press conference Wednesday.

You have to admire that about Walsh. Not five minutes on the job and he’s already in selling mode. I’m sure Pacers owner Herb Simon appreciates that about the business-minded Walsh.

“My biggest excitement is over the team,” Walsh said at Wednesday’s press conference. “What you have here now is a true team…all five guys working together. To me, that’s the best basketball you can put out there. I can say with confidence people in Indiana appreciate that. [This team] is really worth coming to see play.”

Local media members covering the press conference zoomed in on the moment. Job done for Walsh. At least for now.

There’s one problem with an NBA franchise that stresses team ball. When they draft a piece of the puzzle, it doesn’t always look pretty when you consider it apart from the team. So when the Pacers drafted Duke’s Miles Plumlee with the No. 26 pick, there wasn’t exactly overwhelming joy among the fans of the blue and gold.

Pacers fans could argue all day how well Plumlee fits in with the current Pacers team. But remember, Larry Bird, as his last act as Pacers basketball operations chief, was guiding the team’s front office during Thursday night’s draft. Given the job he's done in putting together last year’s team, Bird certainly has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Now Walsh has to hope Pacers Coach Frank Vogel can plug Plumlee into the team the way Bird thinks he can.

And the Pacers ticket sales staff has to hold fast to the hope that Pacers fans agree with Walsh that this “team” is “the best basketball you can put out there.”

Walsh said "with confidence" that people in Indiana will appreciate the type of team the Pacers are fielding.

Next season, we'll see if Pacers fans reward Walsh for his confidence in them.

  • Unfortunately
    Unfortunately, "team" ball doesn't match up to "The Big Three" ball or "Durant/Westbrook" ball, etc.

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  1. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

  2. 85 feet for an ambitious project? I could shoot ej*culate farther than that.

  3. I tried, can't take it anymore. Untill Katz is replaced I can't listen anymore.

  4. Perhaps, but they've had a very active program to reduce rainwater/sump pump inflows for a number of years. But you are correct that controlling these peak flows will require spending more money - surge tanks, lines or removing storm water inflow at the source.

  5. All sewage goes to the Carmel treatment plant on the White River at 96th St. Rainfall should not affect sewage flows, but somehow it does - and the increased rate is more than the plant can handle a few times each year. One big source is typically homeowners who have their sump pumps connect into the sanitary sewer line rather than to the storm sewer line or yard. So we (Carmel and Clay Twp) need someway to hold the excess flow for a few days until the plant can process this material. Carmel wants the surge tank located at the treatment plant but than means an expensive underground line has to be installed through residential areas while CTRWD wants the surge tank located further 'upstream' from the treatment plant which costs less. Either solution works from an environmental control perspective. The less expensive solution means some people would likely have an unsightly tank near them. Carmel wants the more expensive solution - surprise!