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Barnhill passes away

John Barnhill, a member of the Pacers' first ABA championship team in 1970, died on Monday in southern California. Barnhill was a 31-year-old, seven-year veteran of the NBA when he joined the Pacers for the 1969-70 season. A 6-1 guard, he averaged 11.4 points that season as a part-time starter. Barnhill, who was born in Evansville but grew up in Illinois, attended Tennessee State University, where he was a ...

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Hansbrough returns to mixed reactions

I remember when Tyler Hansbrough made his debut at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, on Nov. 6, 2009. The first time he touched the ball after coming off the bench, a fan yelled “Come on Tyler, take over the game!” You might say fan expectations were high then, after he had been voted a first team All-American three years at North Carolina and led the Tar Heels to the national championship as a senior. Hansbrough re ...

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MVP? The chants don’t scare George

As he stood at the foul line with 2:04 left in the Pacers' loud statement victory over Chicago on Wednesday, the chants began echoing from the Bankers Life Fieldhouse rafters. “MVP! MVP!” Whoa. Five games in, and the fans are already lobbying for postseason awards? Premature, yes. Ridiculous, no. Five games in, George is averaging 25.8 points, third in the NBA. He's shooting .483 from the field, .444 from t ...

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Cavs present a potential trap for Pacers

If there's such a thing as a trap game in the first week of the NBA season, this qualifies. The Pacers defeated Cleveland in all four meetings last season, by 15, 10, 21 and 5 points. They are off to a 2-0 start, and are one of only two NBA teams (Oklahoma City being the other) to win in an opponent's home opener after defeating New Orleans on Wednesday. Life is good. But life has barely begun. Saturday's g ...

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Indiana State honors Bird with statue

Larry Bird has never been one for self-promotion, so the idea of having a 15-foot statue of himself standing on the campus of Indiana State University isn't entirely comfortable for him. He'll gladly accept the honor, however, as a reminder of the good times he had in college when he led the Sycamores to the championship game of the NCAA tournament in 1979. “This is obviously very special,” he said before T ...

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Stephenson would just as soon come off the bench

One would think that Lance Stephenson would have felt at least a twinge of pleasure when he learned Danny Granger will be out for the first few weeks of the season with a muscle strain. After all, that guarantees him a place in the starting lineup for awhile, and perhaps for the season if things go well -- a nice perk for a player in a contract year. What he felt, however, was a twinge of disappointment. Fo ...

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The meaning of Granger’s latest injury

So, Danny Granger is out three weeks with a strained left calf. This will surely ignite more cries of “he's done” in cyberspace and on the airwaves, no matter how illogical that argument seems for a muscle strain. Injuries are like bad reputations. Once you have one for a prolonged period of time, it's nearly impossible to repair your image. The question becomes, is this merely a blip in Granger's comeback ...

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McGinnis enjoyed Pacers’ greatest homecoming

Don't know if you're aware, but Peyton Manning returned to Indianapolis to play against the Colts Sunday night. I don't know why the media didn't pick up on this. It just seems to me that a quarterback who had led the Colts to a Super Bowl championship coming back as a member of another team would be worthy of some mention in the newspapers and on the airwaves, but anyway, it got me to wondering if the the ...

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Lewis was captain of Spirited team

Freddie Lewis played 7 ½ seasons for the Pacers, and was the starting point guard and captain of three ABA championship teams. The largest quantity of his basketball memories draw from that time. Lewis went on to play just two seasons for The Spirits of St. Louis, but those years were hard to beat for quality memories. Not necessarily positive memories, but certainly quality memories. ESPN will debut a docu ...

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Antonio Davis goes back to his roots

Antonio Davis could barely take enough steps to commit a traveling violation without being stopped for a conversation. Returning to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, where he never played in a Pacers uniform but where everybody knows his name, Davis was on hand to represent his current employer, ESPN, for Saturday's pre-season opener against Chicago. He's a TV guy now, like about half of his teammates from the last ...

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