Some of the most powerful and influential people attended the funeral of Pacers Co-Owner Mel Simon yesterday as family and friends used the occasion to honor Simon's life. President Bill Clinton, former vice president Al Gore, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller, Danny Granger, Sen. Evan Bayh and NBA commissioner David Stern were among the attendees.
For more information on the funeral and an interesting, albeit brief, look into what the future holds for the Simon ownership team of the Pacers, check out the links after the jump.
- Mel Simon's funeral ended with a playing of Frank Sinatra's classic "My Way" and it was easy to see why after reading the thoughts and opinions of the many powerful figures who attended the funeral. Clinton called Simon "one of the most interesting people I've met." Will Higgins, of the Indianapolis Star, notes the people who attended the funeral to honor Simon in this story, along with a great article on Simon's influences on the community and the nation.
- Clinton also issued a long statement through his office that called Simon a "friend of the underdog" throughout his life.
- For the Associated Press' take on the funeral, which was featured in newspapers and other media around the world, here is that story.
- One of the things that Pacers fans are immediately wondering after Mel's passing is how will the ownership of the team change? The Indianapolis Business Journal's Anthony Schoettle tries to answer that question. He writes that Pacers Sports & Entertainment president Jim Morris confirmed to him that Herb Simon, 74, will be the team's sole owner. It is still unclear, however, how the team will be divided among Herb and Mel's children, including Simon Property Group CEO, David Simon, who is Mel's son.
- Mike Wells examined if the signing of guard Luther Head has anything to do with a Mike Dunleavy injury-setback. He notes that this isn't the case.
- Finally, the NBA refs will not start the preseason on the courts as the lockout has begun. The NBA is holding a ref training camp for the replacements.