While we don't stray toward the WNBA side of Bankers Life Fieldhouse very often, the retirement announcement by Katie Douglas on Friday demands attention.
My first thought upon hearing this news was that the Fever had to honor the local legend by retiring her number to share the same airspace in the Fieldhouse as Pacers' legend Reggie Miller, Roger Brown, Mel Daniels and George McGinnis.
Former Fever Hall of Fame coach, Lin Dun has a banner, joining Mel Simon and Slick Leonard as non-players, but Douglas is a worthy WNBA player to have her number hung in the rafters. The case is rather simple and if you want to quibble that she only played half her career in Indy, then I'd compare her to George McGinnis, who played fewer years with the Pacers but was a comparable local legend.
Douglas starred at Perry Meridian high school, won an NCAA championship at Purdue and won a WNBA championship with the Fever in 2012 while also playing in the WNBA Finals in 2009. Douglas was a key cog on those teams, lifting them to a championship level. Unfortunately, she was injured in the Eastern Conference finals in 2012 and didn't have a big impact in the Finals other than leading from the bench.
The impact Douglas had on the Fever and the role model she offered the community deserves to be remembered at the Fieldhouse. I love how there are so few numbers retired and the honor of hoisting that number is saved for only the elite contributors.
A few years down the road, the Fever will no doubt raise No. 24 of Tamika Catchings to the rafters. It will look real nice next to No. 23 of Katie Douglas.