Are any Pacers or Colts worthy of being cast in bronze?

May 19, 2011
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There’s been a lot of discussion in recent days about which sports figures are deserving of statues and which are not.

The discussion heated up this week when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar began complaining about a lack of a statue in his likeness at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After all, Magic Johnson has one as does Chick Hearn, Oscar De La Hoya, Wayne Gretzky and Jerry West.

Of course, Michael Jordan has a statue at Chicago’s United Center. Rocky Balboa, a fictitious boxer, even has a statue in the fighting city of Philadelphia.

All of which got me wondering if any Pacers or Colts deserve a statue.

It’s probably a little easier to calculate which of the Colts deserves to be cast in bronze. If you limit it to the Colts’ playing days in Indianapolis, I think that conversation begins and ends with Peyton Manning.

The first Pacer that comes to mind is probably Reggie Miller. But there’s an argument that could also be made for the likes of Roger Brown, George McGinnis and coach Slick Leonard.

Pacers President Jim Morris said the team has chosen to honor people who have made major contributions to the franchise as a player, owner or coach with banners hanging from the rafters at Conseco Fieldhouse. So far, the Pacers have hung banners in honor of the late Mel Simon, Leonard, Miller, Brown, McGinnis and Mel Daniels.

"Since I've been here, we haven't discussed putting a statue in front of the building," Morris said.

And while Colts Senior Vice President Pete Ward said the idea of erecting a statue of a specific player isn't currently being discussed, he said it might be a future possibility.

“Nothing’s been discussed, but I don’t want to rule it out in the future,” Ward said.

I’m guessing No. 18 has something to do with Ward’s unwillingness to rule out the possibility.

Of course, the approval of the city's Capital Improvement Board, which owns the buildings, would be needed for such an addition.

So, what do you think? What local sports star deserves a statue?

  • Reggie and Peyton
    Peyton will go down as one of the best QBs of all time. Assuming he sticks with the Colts for the rest of his career, he would be a good candidate for having a statue made in his likeness.

    Reggie wasn't as dominant in his position as Peyton is, but he was the main Pacer during his career and most fans attribute that era as the Reggie-era. Of all the Pacers, he would be the most logical. Slick Leonard is a worthwhile nod as well.
  • stop it
    All this implies that #18 will not be playing someday. I am in complete denial of that fact and do not even want to discuss the possibility. Stop it right now. This is a forbidden topic!
  • bronze
    AJ at IMS sounds good. As for the Pacers and what IMS did and deternmine the top 10 players and ask the public's imput...wait...for the Pacers there may only 2-3.
  • Bronze
    I am good with your suggestions...though we need towait on Peyton till he retires. Reggie did more with what he had to work with than almost anyone...and he was here to the end. I loved the ABA Pacers...Slick, Roger Brown, Neto, Mel Daniels...great days. They do deserve some consideration as well...they won 3 times, in a league where a lot of guys could have played in the NBA.
  • Bronze all over
    Good topic, Anthony. Definitely a bronze statue of Peyton (unless he wants to keep it a secret)in front of Lucas. And Reggie's loyalty and play deserves a statue at Conseco. While AJ's certainly a worthy choice, I would vote for Tony Hulman as it was his vision that saved the Indy500 years ago. How about a Razor Shines statue in front of Victory Field, representing all the popular minor league players who never made it in the big leagues?
  • Larry Brown
    I know he's not exactly a Hoosier-type of guy, but Larry Brown did as much to take this franchise to the championship caliber level as anyone else during the NBA era. He did something no other coach outside Slick could ever do for the Pacers, he made them believe they could challenge for a championship.
  • The Moment
    Why not bronze "The Momenet" that was the pinnacle of the Reggie era. The second 3-pointer Reggie put up durring the 8 point/ 11 seconds at the end of game 1. I would include Greg Anthony strung out accross the floor and Spike shocked in disbelief. By far my favorite Pacers memory. And I don't mind bringing such a moment home where it belongs.
  • Marvin
    marvin and peyton need one

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