Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger made a shorter-than-expected stop through Indy this weekend to take part in his Pro Camps basketball camp at Park Tudor. Granger missed the first day of the two-day camp when some family issues forced him to skip his Thursday flight and remain in Los Angeles. Fortunately, he was able to make it for day two on Sunday and took a little time to chat with Mike Wells and me.
We touched on a few topics concerning the Pacers as they prepare to build on last season's success heading into the 2012-13 NBA season. One constant throughout Granger's comments was the sense that whatever success the Pacers had last season, it wasn't enough. They have to keep playing at a high level AND get better.
"I think we're still hungry," Granger said when asked about avoiding complacency. "When you have that drive you don't become complacent. We had a good year, but we really didn't accomplish anything yet. So, we all still realize that and we're a veteran team and we know we have a long ways to go."
And as a team they are ready to get going. Training camp will be here before you know it, but the Pacers don't want to wait that long. With a few players working out in Los Angeles this summer, the coaching staff organized a team bonding workout for later in August that Granger will help host.
"Everything is fine with me, just a matter of getting ready to play," Granger said when asked about his health. "I do my training L.A. and we're actually having a small mini-camp, everybody is coming out to L.A., coaches and everybody. They're all going to work us out for about a week, I'm having a bar-b-que at my house, so it is just a little team thing and then we'll all be here probably two or three before training camp starts."
The Pacers succeeded last season by playing like a true team, together more valuable than the sum of their parts. With a few new variables for the upcoming season, Frank Vogel is ready to apply the same formula and take advantage of all of the extra time available this season to make his team better so they remain among the top teams in the East.