Tinsley issue hangs over Pacers

September 23, 2008
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tinsleyIn a campaign rolled out this week, the Indiana Pacers are trying to spur ticket sales by selling their 11-game Slam Dunk Sampler for the price of eight games. While sports marketers think the ploy is a dangerous one, they also agree the team must do something to fill Conseco Fieldhouse for the upcoming season, which tips off Oct. 29. The home opener is Nov. 1 against the defending NBA champion Boston Celtics.

The danger for the team, sports marketers said, is if the Pacers start discounting tickets to this degree, it could be difficult to get fans to pay full price down the road. Of course, a substantial winning streak could do plenty to solve that issue. The 11-for-8 deal expires Nov. 10.

The Pacers may have another—even bigger—issue; Jamal Tinsley. The team’s co-owner, Herb Simon, in August said Tinsley must go. But despite the open trading season, Tinsley hasn’t packed his bags. For what it’s worth, Tinsley’s name has been taken off his locker at Conseco Fieldhouse. One prominent sports radio show host said he’d walk to Kokomo if Tinsley is on the active roster come opening day.

Word around Conseco Fieldhouse is that Pacers officials will not invite Tinsley to media day or training camp. The team could deactivate Tinsley, but they’d still have to pay him and he’d also take up one of 15 roster sports if he’s not traded. The problem, league insiders said, is that by so publicly voicing their desire to move Tinsley, Pacers officials are having difficulty getting anywhere near fair market value for him.
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  • Actually, the reality appears to be the Pacers have moved on regardless and Tinsley Hangs From UNDER the Pacers.

    They've removed any connection other than roster spot with Tinsley and have expressed they've pretty much cut ties with him. The moves they've made this offseason set up Tinsley to be a Former-Pacer no matter what happens.

    To say this team is wrapped up, consumed, or has Tinsley Hanging Over them is not accurate, but I don't appear to share the opinion of most the articles printed on The Score anyway so I am again, not surprised to dissent.

    How is a ticket deal a ploy? Ticket sales are down, therefore reduce the cost to and of the volume of tickets to get more fans there... basic marketing. When is a bargain a ploy. A ploy usually involves some kind of scheme or underhanded effort... this is just 11 games for the price of 8... not very underhanded to me, but sounds like a solid deal for an improved and likable team for once.
  • Fact: If he is not traded, the Indiana Pacers will owe Jamal Tinsley $6.75 million this year, $7.2 million next year and $7.5 million the year after that. If you want to argue semantics, here's a thought. Whether he's hanging under or over the Pacers, if he's not traded, he's still going to eat up a big piece (about 12 percent) of the team's salary cap.
  • Is there no way the Pacers could just pay him his money (even for the next three years - GAG!) and make him go away? This whole guaranteed contract even if you're worthless thing is ridiculous - the NBA Players union must be very proud of themselves for negotiating that clause in to allow goofs like Tinsley to continue to rake in their money. I don't blame anyone in the NBA for not taking him, but even if no one does, I hope the Pacers maintain the high road and just pretend he's no longer here - even if they keep having to pay him.

    Maybe they could get a federal bailout from that bad deal. :)
  • If I were the Simons, I'd think long and hard about giving anyone more than a 3-year deal again.
  • I'd set JT up in a dunk tank before and during the game and charge people $5 a toss. Probably wont earn the whole $7mill back, but you could get close!

    Standard contracts probably spell out what the team can have these guys do, but I'd sure make it miserable for him so maybe he'd help get himself out of town. (I'm joking about the dunk tank, but serious about giving him duties and tasks which make his tell his agent - Get me out of here!

    First thing would be to suspend him for all the problems. Did JT ever get a suspension for any thing? I think the answer is NO -but maybe I missed it. Contrast that to the recent Colt problem.
  • Just an FYI according to Merriam-Webster's online dictionary a ploy is: a devised or contrived move. Given this definition of ploy there is nothing wrong with using ploy in reference to selling the Pacers ticket deal and using it does not imply a scheme or any underhandedness. Selling 11 tickets for the price of eight is certainly a devised move by the Pacers to obviously sell more tickets. Again it is just semantics but CreamCrimson made it such a point of his/her post.
  • Anthony,

    You would be implying that Tinsley's Salary Cap Issue/Roster Spot alone would be his big baggage to the Pacers. 6-7 million not playing is the least of our concerns after having paid 23-25 million every year for the last several years for Jamal and Jermaine to just eat 2 roster spots and upwards of 40-50% of our Team Salary. 12% of unused salary compared to 50%... 2 different situations especially knowing we have 10 Million+ coming off the books at season's end with Rasho's expiring deal and PGs to replace Jamal.

    My point being, Jamal while still not yet resolved, is not at the forefront of the teams focus at this time nor when the season kicks off.

    We have set up the team to move on without him. There have been ongoing trade negotiations with several teams (Warriors and Heat primarily) about moving Jamal. He could be a decent PG at a new home and if he stays healthy. A big IF. He can and will be moved.

    Semantics aside, the overall sentiment out of Pacers camp is new squad, new faces, no Jermaine (and his unfriendly salary and knees), new PGs, solid rookies, and somehow-someway no Jamal. To imply that the Pacers are going into this season with Tinsley concerns as a dominant factor is unrealistic. Is he still unresolved, yes, is he difficult to trade, maybe, will he be a Pacer when the season kicks off, no, probably not.

    Further, do we even need to go down the laundry list of baggage players that have been traded with relative ease and for much higher salary values?

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