When the news hit last week regarding the Pacers being ready to rebuild and Myles Turner voicing the frustrations over his usage, I felt the only real news among all of the reported noise was that owner, Herb Simon had finally cried “Uncle!” and given Kevin Pritchard the thumbs up to do whatever it takes to alter the trajectory of the current team, which would mean putting everyone on the table for possible trades.
On Wednesday, mere hours before the Pacers curled into a ball in the fourth quarter and lost to a Giannis-less Bucks team, Herb Simon went out of his way to clarify his stance on the current state of the franchise. Unfortunately, in trying to impress among a few media members that he wasn’t crying “Uncle!” the Pacers’ owners sounded like your know-it-all Uncle at Thanksgiving who talks himself into convincing everyone, he’s not really paying attention to this team.
Comments about “loving this little team” and thinking if he doesn’t want to make changes, the fans don’t either, showed a severe disconnect from what is going on at the Fieldhouse. Reading the quotes left me wondering if Simon has YouTube TV and can’t watch the Pacers on Bally’s, except he’s normally out of market so that doesn’t hold up.
It would be easy to crush the Pacers 87-year-old for his responses during this media session, let alone the phrasing of some of those responses, but there is still a level of respect Simon deserves for the longevity of his stewardship of the team through good and bad.
But the current situation is bad and while I see this misguided media session as an effort for Simon to refute reports that he’s OK with a rebuild and essentially giving up on his current players, the bottom line remains — will he sign off on any deals Kevin Pritchard brings him? I still feel the answer is, yes considering all of the reports of Pritchard trying to deal various players recently. The difference is that now everyone is an option because this mix of players, on their third coach, can’t get it together and those fans Simon doesn’t want to upset with a rebuild are few and far between at home games.
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