Did Pacers Lose Themselves? Or Did I Never Know Them? 

Pacers guard Lance Stephenson beats his head against the basket.

Pacers guard Lance Stephenson beats his head against the basket. (Photo: Mike Fender/The Star)

You know what I loved about the Indiana Pacers? I was always proud of them. Win or lose, they always said the right thing. They always did the right thing. Good game or bad, they had the right attitude. They had my heart. And more importantly, they had my respect.

And now? What happened to teamwork? Blue collar? The underdog with the chip on its shoulder and something to prove? Now, there’s too much talk, too much infighting, and not enough to back it up.

Calling each other out, calling the opponent out. Complaining about the officiating, complaining about the game plan. And pouting. Way too much pouting. They sound entitled before they’ve proven anything to anyone.

It’s like they drank the Kool-Aid. They believed their hype. And it’s going to buy them an early ticket home from the NBA Playoffs.

Didn’t the Pacers used to be the team that said, “Say what you want. We’ll let our game speak for itself.”?

What happened to that team? Bring back that team.

I loved the scrappy, overlooked, and under respected Pacers. The one where teamwork and togetherness and brotherhood ruled the day.

The Pacers are who we thought they were? Not for me. For me, the Pacers are proving they are who I thought they weren’t.

No matter how this season ends, I only ask one thing of the Pacers this offseason. I don’t care what they do….fish, travel, party with LeBron and Johnny Manziel.

All I ask is this…I don’t want to hear a thing from them.

Don’t tell me. Show me.

Give it your all. Be professional. Make me proud off the court. And I’ll back you up, no matter what happens on the court.

Be the team I fell in love with.

Or…be the team I never really knew.

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