Tag: Indianapolis Pacers

Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic, Game 2

Orlando Magic unable to get hotel reservations in Indianapolis on Super Bowl Weekend


From the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins:

The Magic are scrambling to find hotel accommodations prior to their game this upcoming Saturday against the Pacers in Indianapolis.

There’s just one problem: There are no hotel rooms available in Indianapolis because Super Bowl XLVI will be played there the following day.

“You guys can comment on that and save me my money,” Van Gundy told reporters, referring to a potential fine from the league if he said something controversial. “But when you come out with the schedule in December and have a game in the Super Bowl city, lodging might be a problem.”

The Magic asked the league if they could simply stay in Orlando and fly to Indianapolis on the day of the game to play the Pacers, but the league shut that down out of the fear that the flight would get delayed somehow and the game would have to be cancelled. Ultimately, the Magic will spend the night before the Pacers game in a hotel in Cincinnati. Not the finest moment for the NBA’s scheduling department, which, while trying to cram 66 games into a truncated schedule, appears to have made a bit of an oversight.

Tyler Hansbrough is back after season-long bout with vertigo

Tyler Hansbrough, Amir Johnson

It was such a weird injury. First it was described as a concussion. Then an inner ear infection. And then finally, vertigo. Tyler Hansbrough had vertigo, and it stuck with him all the way through season, amputating his rookie year to just 29 games. He wasn’t cleared for practice until a week before training camp, and then wasn’t cleared for a game until yesterday. But on Saturday, he finally hit the floor, getting nine points and three rebounds in nineteen minutes against the Magic. Hansbrough took time to recognize the importance of just getting back on the floor. From the Indianapolis Star:

“It felt good,” Hansbrough said. “It felt like it’s going to take me awhile to get in a rhythm. You can practice, but there’s nothing like getting back in a game.

“It feels good to be back on the court and as part of the team. It’s going to take me a minute to get back in the groove of things.”

The most crushing thing about Hansbrough’s bizarre condition last season was that he really was playing above expectations. For a largely fundamentals-based player coming out of college he showed great motor and a high basketball IQ, the kinds of things it’s hard to get a rookie to understand. Then, he wound up with vertigo, which I can only begin to imagine how much that must have sucked.

The Pacers aren’t particularly loaded in the front court at this point, after trading Troy Murphy and with Josh McRoberts now sidelined after a whack to the head from Dwight Howard last night. Hansbrough could get minutes in the preseason which might help him get back up to speed more quickly. One foot in front of the other, I suppose.


Pacers trying to trade Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford with little success

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Thumbnail image for Pacers_logo.gifThe Pacers don’t really make trades. It’s been two years since their last one, it’s just not part of their corporate culture.

But they are trying now.

The Pacers are trying to move Mike Dunleavy and T.J. Ford, according to the Indianapolis Star. And finding this is harder than they thought. Just like they have for the past couple of years, but the efforts are renewed.

Mike Dunleavy is set to make $10.5 million next year in the last year of his deal. Which is a lot of money for a guy who has battled injuries the last two seasons and seen his shooting percentage drop because of it — 41 percent overall last season, 41.8 percent from three with a true shooting percentage of 53.1. He scored 10 points a game last season. All numbers well off his 2007 pace.

The Pacers need to find a team that thinks he can regain his form, and they can’t. With good reason. They also could try to find a team that wants him for a year just to clear cap space, but that will be easier to do near the trade deadline.

The Pacers also are trying to move Ford, but they have been doing that for a while and found no takers. Ford is a solid point guard so long as you don’t ask him to shoot a lot, but he and coach Jim O’Brien’s system are oil and water. Again salary is an issue, Ford is set to make $8.5 million this season, which is a lot for what he can bring to the table.

The Pacers probably could move one of those two in a package with Troy Murphy — the Star reports teams are calling about him. But with Jeff Foster and Tyler Hansbrough coming off injuries, the Pacers are loath to move Murphy.

So we’re at an impasse.

The Pacers need a point guard to run their running system, but missed on every target this summer. Now they have two players nobody really wants as trade bait to do the same. The only thing they really have going for them is that basically every large contract comes off the books next summer so they can rebuild with free agents from the ground up. Which right now looks like about the best plan.

Pacers get $33 million to stay in. Would you stay in Indy for that?


Thumbnail image for Pacers_logo.gifDoes your city have an extra $33 million laying around?

Indianapolis does, apparently. Monday the city and the Pacers announced a new deal where the city will pour $10 million a year to cover operations at the Canseco Field House, plus put in another $3 million in the next few years in upgrades and renovations to the building.

In return, the Pacers promise not to leave, according to the Indianapolis Star. Or, they have to pay the money back if they do go. If they stay through 2019, they pay nothing back.

Canseco, like a lot of arenas, is taking a hit in this economy. Fewer tickets sold, less popcorn sold, fewer events coming through… you get the idea. And Canseco has been taking it on the chin.

The Pacers are one of those teams saying they are losing big money, about $30 million a year recently. They have an estimated $150 million in debt.

That said, owner Herb Simon and his brother bought the Pacers in 1983 for $10.5 million. A projected sale price was about $250 million. Even after the debt (which a new owner would take on some of) he clears a roughly $90 million profit. I could live on that.

Simon had pushed for years for the city to take on some of the operations cost of Canseco. He got his way.

But it brings up a debate that speaks to political preferences and how you view a sports team in a city.

Is it a citywide asset? Is a sports tea more than just entertainment, is it a part of the fabric of the city and an economic engine for people who work at an arena, who run bars nearby, who handle a number of ancillary businesses? That’s how the mayor of Indianapolis sees it.

“The mayor has said we need to protect the taxpayer and we need to protect the tax base,” said Robert Vane, deputy chief of staff and communications director for Mayor Greg Ballard. “This agreement does both.”

Or is a sports team a multimillion-dollar business? Owned by billionaires. Is this a cash-strapped city helping out a billionaire to make sure he doesn’t lose money on a poorly-managed investment? Considering the profit he turns if he sells the team tomorrow, it’s safe to consider it a business. And a good one.

NBA Draft: Nets phone ringing off hook from teams wanting third pick, may listen to Indy

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Thumbnail image for nets-logo.gifDerrick Favors is the flavor of the day.

Apparently, because a lot of teams are trying to trade up to the No. 3 spot to draft him according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Part of this was fueled by the Nets themselves shopping the pick all over the place the last week or so, but only looking for a blockbuster deal.

Still, it makes sense they are getting calls. Washington would be getting a ton of calls about Wall if they were willing to trade the pick, but the Wizards would rather spend $20 million to get into another pick so you know they aren’t getting out. Philadelphia isn’t moving at No. 2, either.

So it comes to New Jersey. This is the offer that seemed to draw the most interest: Danny Granger and No. 10 pick to New Jersey for Devin Harris, Yi Jianlian and No. 3 pick.

That has to be a little tempting for the Nets, because Granger is a legit All-Star who has had to carry a bad team for a while with little help. Give him Brook Lopez and the Nets get better fast (but would now need a point guard). Of course the Pacers do it, because it involves a good point guard. Right now they would do anything for a point guard. Anything. Including offering their best player, apparently.

New Jersey is said to be “lukewarm” on this, which suggests they are keeping the pick and drafting Favors.