There are just so many variables that are pertinent to the equation of the Indiana Pacers. I try to sit and think of what or who it was that triggered the downfall of one of the most respected franchises in the NBA, but there are to many factors to determine a specific time, place or person. I think as we will see here that the downfall of the organization was like a timed demolition, with major explosions crippling it layer by layer.
A brief look into the downfall, and what the future might hold.
Lets start with the
"After seven straight postseason appearances, Indiana finished 39-43, out of the running in the Eastern Conference playoff picture"
"Head Coach Larry Brown took much of the blame for the team's malaise upon himself, indicating that he had failed to get the
most out of his players. Brown, who won his 600th NBA game on January 7, resigned after the season, ending a four-year reign in which the Pacers twice advanced within one game of the NBA Finals. His departure paved the way for another Larry - NBA legend Larry Bird, the Indiana native named to replace Brown as the Pacers' coach in 1997-98."
*1997-1998: Pacers go to the Eastern Confrence Finals.
*1998-1999: Again with Bird they reach the ECF. Pacers trade Antonio davis for Raptors #5 pick the great "Jonathan Bender"
and we all know that story.
*1999-2000: This year Bird coaches them to the finals, Bird joins retires from coaching and joins Walsh in the office. Rik Smits retires, chris mullins gets traded.
*2000-2001: Lord Isiah Thomas is new coach, Pacers lead by Reggie, and Jalen Rose, (JO arrives). Pacers are an eight seed carried almost soley by Reggie and get put out in the first by the 6er's.
*2001-2002: Pacers acquire Ron artest and Brad Miller, from the Bulls, JO starts to emerge, pacers get an eigth seed and put out in the ECF.
*2002-2003: Pacers start off great, but injuries, personal issues start to befall the Pacers team. and the finish w/o the post season. The Artest drama starts this year.
*2003-2004: Pacers lose Brad Miller, Isiah Thomas, but get Ric Carlisle. Lose to the pistons in the Eastern Confrence Finals. The players a mad about losing isiah, and Artest continues his antics. Larry Bird takes of GM role of Pacers with Walsh just helping.
*2004-2005: The fight happens and Reggie retires. J/O is the new face of the franchise. Out in the 2nd round.
*2005-2006: Artest demands a trade, J/O and tinsley both sit half the season with injuries and Sjax comes to town. Pacers are eliminated in the first round.
*2006-2007: Pacers lose Peja for nothing, sign Al Harrington, but then trade him and Sjax with some fillers for a promising Ike diogu that never pays off, Mike dunleavy who is a good 2nd or 3rd option, but essentially the same player as Danny Granger, and Troy Murphy, a injury-proned, soft big man. Also sign the often injured Marguis Daniels. Shawne Williams and David Harrison begin there behavioral problems as well. We also loose long time fav. Austin Croshere. Criminal Activity surges in the offseason for several players.
*2007-2008: Pacers continue to self destruct plaqued by injury, off court antics and underachieving players, pacers dont reach the playoffs.
*2008-2009: Pacers lead in low attendance, Dunleavy and Granger thrive, mostly in the absence of J.O J10 is injured alot. 29-41 to the day. And it looks as if we will be losing J/O for nothing in return, just like; Artest, Miller, Peja, Sjax. I hope that Walsh takes back over this offseason, bird was a great coach and player, but has yet to show us he can manage a front office. J/O is not a leader off or on the court, and threatens to poisin any good talent that comes into Indy with his lack of maturity and leadership. I hope they can seriously do something to help this team because i miss going to games. I miss Reggie most of all though, even to see him on the sidelines as a coach or assitant would be a leg of hope for the Pacers nation. Keep the players that want to play basketball and boot those that abuse there position.
Please comment or elaborate as seen fit.