First time poster long time reader. I go to about 15 games a year and watch the majority of others on the tube...
With all the recent deadline shenanigans and random (usually bad) trade ideas involving the Pacers, my brain got to thinking. The Pacers have no legitimate chance to win a championship or even be a 50 win team in the current environmental of the NBA.
Now you won't find a bigger Pacers fan then myself, and I even usually tend to be overly optimistic about prospects for the team. But the concept that the Pacers will never improve above late lottery to 7-8 seed is well documented. For me, what crystallized the issue, was Danny's comments a few weeks back about how a small market team like the Pacers can't compete. It wasn't that he was saying that, which I thought was refreshing to hear from him, its what he said at the end (and I'm paraphrasing): "I mean, look at this city...who would want to play here?"
Now beyond the obvious unintended slight to our fair city, that line shows what I think is a prevalent notion among players. That playing in a small market is just not cool and you would be going to a city where they wouldn't "fit in." Its easy enough to see why young, usually minority men would think that. Indiana and other small markets are usually only portrayed as a joke by ESPN or whatever media monolith you prefer.
All that is a long winded attempt to set up my main point. I believe that the Pacers should start (or maybe continue, I'm not sure what Larry Legend's plan really is) a new trend. Build a team. Completely extricate ourselves from the superstar mentality of the league. Now the Pacers have been drafting quality guys the last couple years. I would add into our prerequisites for a pick that they be open to spending their career in Indiana. Don't trade, ignore free agency. Concentrate on team basketball.
Now I don't have wild fantasy that this model will lead to championships, and I fully know that talent is still required to win in the NBA. But it basically boils down to one point: if you don't want us, we don't want you. Lets show real loyalty to our players and see if we can get it reciprocated.
We have a ton of money coming off the books. I say we resign McBob as the first indication of that new strategy. Save the rest of the money to pay our players as they develop. I love watching this team and I have no desire to break it up. See if a sum-of-its-parts team can succeed in the NBA. We have absolutely nothing to lose. In fact, I would argue that our annual mid-teens drafting position is ideal for landing the exact kind of high character guys that would be willing to be part of a team
I'm just tired of the 'me' atmosphere of the NBA and think the Pacers have an opportunity to distance themselves from that and offer an alternative. Trying to win like the big market teams is not an option for us; its time to try something new.