In case you haven't noticed or don't live in the Indy area, Danny Granger is in full bloom. Just as his game blossomed over the last half of this past season, so has his public persona during the early offseason.
Danny has shown up on all the local TV channels for extended interviews, guest hosted an hour of sports talk radio, done various other radio interviews, and started up a kids basketball camp at the Fishers Fieldhouse.
Not only has he shown up for these media appearances, but he's killed. Some seeds of confidence has taken root allowing him to relax and shoot from the hip, exposing all of his personality. Until recently most of us assumed we had a beat on Danny's personality and it was simply that of a shy, yet polite player with not much to say and even less desire to say it.
His personal interviews have been great and this Q & A from Pacers.com offers a glimpse of what I'm talking about. Danny is really giving us a piece of himself, opening up, trying to connect with the community through a good, old-fashioned human touch.
Oh, and I can't get enough because now that he's not holding back, the inner-nerd within 33 is dancing in the daylight and giving us plenty of entertainment. The guy is always talking about Superman and his love of super heroes. Combine that with his engineering studies and you know we're not talking about your average NBA player. Now we learn he also enjoys dabbling in some amatuer electrician work around the house (the Pacers might want to consider that during contract negotiations). Considering all of his interesting quirks, I think everything you need to know about Danny is crystalized in this one answer about the dream feature in his dream home.
Q. Here in your house do you have your sanctuary, your man-room or man-cave where it's all about you?
A. I do. It's in the basement where I play my video games. I think when I build a house a couple years down the line, I was telling my fiancée I wanted to have - once again with the superhero thing - you know how Batman drives into a hidden cave? I'm serious. I even met with like a builder and ask if this would be possible -- have a secret entrance to my house that no one knows about. Make it look like whatever, but have a secret way I can get to my house that I could drive my car in. It would probably cost way too much money but I really may think about doing that. Like seriously. I'm dead serious.
You have to admit, that would be pretty sweet.
Larry Bird has indicated that no player on the roster is off limits as the Pacers try to improve the franchise. At this point, though, there's no doubt Danny is ascending to become the face of the franchise. With all the effort he's already invested in the offseason, it would be shame to see him shipped, especially when the local fans are starving to latch onto a player like Danny. Plus, he remains a bargain against the cap which helps offset the Murphy/Dunleavy/Tinsley cap numbers. Depending on how the offseason goes and what kind of cap room the team has, it might be a smart time to extend Granger's contract for a reasonable price that will treat both he and the team's cap fairly. You know, kind of like signing Superman for a Clark Kent price.