The Indy Star actually has three items on the Pacers today beginning with Mike Wells focusing on team leadership. The team has struggled to find a team leader or leaders since Reggie Miller left town. Remember, despite Reg's appetite for talking into the microphone, he wasn't a big rah rah talker behind the scenes. He led through work ethic and setting the tone for the team. Now, Bird is looking for some leaders to step forward since Jermaine O'Neal's failed attempt is over.
"Just because you make the most money doesn't mean you're the leader," Bird said last month. "A lot of guys didn't want to step on toes. Not only here, but other places I've been at. They'd say, the guy makes the most money, that means he's the leader. That's not the case. The leader comes from the guy doing the right thing, the guy that's going to be there every day at practice, the guy that plays through pain without complaining. They do the necessary things to prepare themselves.
"I think the situation you have here, you had one guy making a lot of money and everybody just took it as he's going to be leading us, and in some instances that was true. But I think more now that since it has opened you'll see a number of guys stepping up.
"Really, you just need one voice. Usually your best leaders are ones that don't say anything, they just play, prepare and do the right things."
I don't see one guy dominating this locker room, but the tone for the team will be set by Danny Granger, Mike Dunleavy and T.J. Ford, no doubt.
The Pacers camp notes has comments from Danny Granger (not worried about his contract situation), Shawne Williams (down about his run-in with the Carmel police), good wishes for Donnie Walsh and a Q&A with Rasho Nesterovic. We also learn that Josh Davis will be the power forward capable of shooting the three who will join the Pacers for training camp.
I initially missed this item on Austin Croshere joining camp with no guarantees making for an uphill battle for 44 since the Pacers already have more players under contract than the 15 allowed. Cro would be a nice veteran influence to have on the bench, but he'll have to play extremely well or hope a deal moves a couple of players off the roster. By the way, Bruno pointed this out yesterday, Cro and Rasho look like brothers.