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Pacers Deny Threatening To Move Team While Actually Threatening To Move The Team

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I'm not big on semantics and parsing words to let public figures off the hook for statements with an obvious implied meaning. Makes things easy on me since I deal in the court of public opinion as opposed to a court of law.

So I had to laugh at the quotes from Jim Morris in today's Indy Star report on the Pacers negotiations with the CIB. Morris mentioned the urgency of wrapping up negotiations in the next 30-40 days before the start of the team's next fiscal year.

If that doesn't happen, he (Morris) said, "Herb would have to look at all of his options."

Including moving the team? "Herb would look at all of his options," Morris repeated.

So again, Herb Simon will have some tough decisions to make if the Pacers can't come to an agreement with the city and among "all of his options" is moving the team. Simon's top executive directly implies that he will look at moving the team among all of the other options.

But in the next breath, Morris claims no such threat.

"We have not had conversations with other cities. We do not want the team to move," Morris said. "In the event that we're not able to address the issues, you have to look at all your options, but Herb has never threatened to move the team, and it's not a matter of leverage; it's a matter of trying to find a way to make this work."

See, Morris isn't Herb Simon so technically Simon hasn't threatened to move the team despite the fact that his top man just THREATENED TO MOVE THE TEAM! 

The worst part about this isn't the threat, but the timing. The Pacers are having problems getting people to show up to games. Do they really think there will be a public uprising to pressure local leaders to stave off a move after implying the team may bolt town? If anything, it will make things worse by emboldening opponents to raise their campaign to earmark the $15 million in play for more pressing priorities like local parks, libraries and schools that are lacking funds.

Face it, this is some unsavory business that has no redeeming public relations benefits. Keep it quiet and continue negotiating behind close doors and if a deal isn't struck then get creative. By dragging the public into the game as negotiaing pawns, the Pacers may find themselves on the wrong end of the final score once again.

After the jump, a few links of interest including the offseason options for several Pacers and Jeff Foster's hopes for next season.