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NBA India Games: 10 Things you need to know about the Indiana Pacers

Bengaluru, September 25: From Reggie Miller to Paul George, the Indiana Pacers franchise has been home to numerous unique NBA talents across its variegated history.

The organisation has never failed to deliver quality basketball on a consistent basis and that should hold true for the upcoming NBA India Games as well.

On October 4 and 5 NBA will come to India with Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings facing off twice in as many days at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.

NBA in India | About Sacramento Kings

On that note, let us run through a bunch of intriguing facts about the vintage Pacers franchise and all they stand for.

Origin of the name

The franchise was named "Pacers" after a combination of the pace car used for the running of the Indianapolis 500 along with the region's illustrious history of harness racing pacers.

Moreover, since the team would be playing all over the state with its base in Indianapolis, it was finally called "Indiana Pacers".

Miller magic

Pacers legend Reggie Miller once dropped 8 points in just 9sec against the New York Knicks back in 1995.

Miller is the franchise leader in points, assists, steals, games played, field goals made and many more categories. Rightfully so, his Jersey(#31) was retired by the organisation in 2006 in honour of his legendary contributions.

ABA-NBA merger

Before the ABA-NBA league merger, the Pacers were the most successful ABA team, having won three ABA Championships in four years.

Indiana was one of the four ABA teams that joined the NBA in 1976, the others being the Denver Nuggets, New York Nets and San Antonio Spurs.

Boomer the Mascot

Indiana is also home to one of the league's most beloved mascots in the form of an energetic cat known as ‘Boomer'.

Also referred to as the "Pacers Panther", he wears a #00 Pacers jersey and electrifies the home crowd on a daily basis with his high-flying dunks and peppy dance moves.

First Finals

The Pacers' first NBA Finals appearance came in the year 2000, where they ended up losing to Kobe and Shaq in six games.

Although, before bowing out to the Lakers, Miller and Co. had handed them their worst playoff defeat of that time, winning by a margin of 33 points.

Owner Simon

Herbert Simon, the owner of the Indiana Pacers, is the son of a tailor who had emigrated to the USA from Central Europe.

A real estate developer, Simon(along with his brother Mel) bought the franchise in 1983 from Sam Nassi and Frank Mariani. The team is currently worth over $1.5billion.

Official home

Inaugurated in November of 1999, Bankers Life Fieldhouse is the official home to Indiana Pacers.

Assembled after a collective construction cost of over $250 Million. Located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, it also serves as a home to the WNBA's Indiana Fever.

All-Star heroes

The Pacers current roster possesses the 2017 Rookie of the Year, Malcolm Brogdon alongside two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo.

Moreover, the likes of reigning NBA blocks leader Myles Turner and 2018 Lithuanian Player of the Year, Domantas Sabonis, makes this side one of the most versatile and talented across the league.

McMillian at helm

After being initially hired as an assistant coach in 2013, Nate McMillian was promoted to the head coach's role in 2016 after the conclusion of former head coach Frank Vogel's contract.

He has also served as an assistant coach under the legendary Mike Krzyzewski during USA's 2012 Summer Olympics campaign as well.

Hall of famers

The Indiana Pacers boast of six Hall of Famers in Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Alex English, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, and George McGinnis.

The organisation has so far managed to bag nine division titles and one Conference title as well. The Pacers, at one point, were coached by the famed NBA legend Larry Bird(from 1997 to 2000) who guided them to back-to-back division titles including an NBA Finals run.

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 25, 2019, 15:31 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 25, 2019
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