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Collison Dishes Out First Assist For Pacers At Fieldhouse

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Troy Murphy was a productive player on the court during his tenure with the Indiana Pacers. You could almost always count on Murph for a double-double and at least a couple of his signature trailer-threes per game.

But Murph wasn't exactly a big draw to put fans in the seats, nor did he do much outside of his playing time to help market the team. Foot speed wasn't Murph's strength, yet his quickest move every year was out of the locker room and back to New York immediately following the season. Sure he put in his work to physically prepare for the season, but that's a given. As Dan Dakich has often pointed out, there was no extra effort by Murphy to connect with the community and help sell the Pacers to local fans who had lost interest.

Compare that to D.C. native, Roy Hibbert who has not only been in town all summer working out but has been seen on the streets, literally pressing the flesh and putting a face out there to promote the Pacers. To be fair to Murphy, I'm sure he was aware of his status this summer as an expiring contract involved in trade discussions, so knowing the situation would certainly keep him quiet this summer. But, regardless of the situation, the Pacers were getting nothing out of Murph this offseason.

So it's safe to say that Darren Collison has done more to promote the tickets in 24 hours than Murphy has done in the past couple of years. Collison hadn't set foot in Conseco Fieldhouse and the buzz surrounding his acquisition had phones ringing at the ticket offices Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.

The timing of the trade combined with the release of the regular season schedule and mini-plans made for a much needed busy day at the office for sales reps at the Fieldhouse over the past couple of days. More details after the jump.

Pacers VP of  Ticket Sales, Jake Vernon was kind enough to respond to my inquiry so I want to make sure I mention the details about ticket packages currently available.

We have seen a significant increase in sales over the past 24 hours. With the recent release of the NBA schedule and yesterday's trade, our phones lines have been very busy this week. Single game tickets have not gone on sale, so the best way for people to guarantee a ticket to the games they want to see is by purchasing ticket package. We have a new flexible ticket package that allows fans to choose the game they want to attend, it has been very popular the last three days.

A little hope can go a long way and with Collison giving that hope to the Pacers' backcourt, envisioning a future worth following for the Pacers has become much more clear. Combine that with all of the positive reports on the trade both locally and nationally and the Pacers are lapping up some unprecedented publicity considering we're in the middle of August.

No better time for positive hype, but in a couple of months the team will have to back up the hype with some excitement on the court (notice I didn't say wins...yet) to really tap into an excited fanbase that is just begging for more.