Friday, May 4, 2012

Get to Know Your Indiana Pacers

[Click here for Part 1 - "It's Okay to be a Pacer Fan Again"]

And now, let's make a love connection. They're more fundamentals than flash. They have one of the deepest benches in the league. They're a 3rd quarter team with a system that seems to be coming together for them at the best possible time (at least, if you believe Charles Barkley). Introducing your 2012 Indiana Pacers!

[Cue the Dating Game music]

#1 Dahntay Jones [Age 31, Guard, Duke]
* Pacer since 2009
* Says if he wasn't an NBA player, he'd probably be an investment banker.
* Al Harrington (former Pacer currently playing for the Golden State Warriors) is his cousin.
* Involved in with several charities (mostly around Memphis, where he played 2003-2007).

#2 Darren Collison [Age 24, Point Guard, UCLA]
* Pacer since 2010.
* Parents both elite track and field athletes.
* Mother represented Guyana at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
* Majored in History at UCLA.

#3 George Hill [Age 25, Guard, IUPUI]
* Pacer since the lockout ended Dec 2011.
* Grew up in Indianapolis (Broad Ripple High School).
* Senior year of high school, he led the state of Indiana in scoring.
* First player from IUPUI selected in the NBA Draft.
* Likes to play video games, his favorite being Rock Band where he prefers to be on drums. (MORE COWBELL, GEORGE!)

#6 Lance Stephenson [Age 21, Guard, Cincinnati]
* Pacer since 2010.
* Former Big East Rookie of the Year
* Graduated high school as the all-time leading scorer in the history of the state of New York.

#12 AJ Price [Age 25, Guard, UCONN]
* Pacer since 2009.
* College pretty much sucked for this guy.
* Missed the 2004-2005 season at UCONN after being diagnosed with a life-threatening Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM), which led to bleeding in his brain. Underwent radiosurgery treatment and finally received full medical clearance to play again after 14 months of recovery.
* In 2006, he got in trouble for trying to sell stolen laptops and was suspended a year for violating the university code of conduct.
* Then, he tore his ACL.
* Finally, he played for UCONN until 2009 and accumulated several collegiate awards.
* Kudos to this guy for fighting back and turning things around.

#17 Louis Amundson [Age 29, Center, UNLV]
* "The ponytail guy"
* Went undrafted, worked his way through the "D" League (Development League), signed multiple short-term contracts and cut multiple times before landing on the Pacers in 2011.
* In college was a Mountain West All Academic and studied English and Philosophy.
* Currently working on a degree in Finance.

#21 David West [Age 31, Forward, Xavier]
* Pacer since the lockout ended in Dec 2011.
* Grew up a Spurs fan, favorite players were Tim Duncan and David Robinson.
* Originally drafted by New Orleans, and remains very active in New Orleans charities.
* Judges a yearly essay contest for schools during Black History Month.
* Avid boxing fan and conditions using boxing drills during the off-season.
* Unless wikipedia is lying, he plays the tuba and enjoys making mixtapes for his teammates. I choose to believe it's true.

#24 Paul George [Age 22, Guard, Fresno State]
* Pacer since 2010.
* Parents names are Paul and Paulette.
* According to his official bio, he "enjoys listening to music, playing video games, hanging out with friends, and bowling."
* Says his favorite athlete is Kobe Bryant because he works harder than anyone else to be the best.

#28 Leandro Barbosa [Age 29, Guard, Brazil]
* Pacer since he was traded from Toronto mid-season 2012 (he's BRAND NEW!).
* From Brazil. The country.
* Was the youngest player on the Brazilian National Team (at age 19) when they competed in the World Championships in Indianapolis.
* 4th Brazilian ever to play in the NBA.

#29 Jeff Pendergraph [Age 25, Forward, Arizona State]
* Pacer since 2011.
* Majored in Economics in college.
* Plays the piano.

#33 Danny Granger [Age 29, Forward, New Mexico]
* Pacer since 2005. Poor guy.
* Majored in Civil Engineering. In my imagination, he and Andrew Luck will set up weekly meetings in a secret library somewhere and proceed to think great thoughts, discuss intellectual things, and generally solve all of the world's problems. Or at least build LEGO things together.
* Played for team USA in the FIBA World Championship and won a Gold Medal.
* Made the NBA All Star Team in 2009.

#44 Kyrylo Fesenko [Age 25, Center, Ukraine]
* Pacer since 2011.
* From Ukraine.
* Nickname is "Fes"
* Enjoys reading fantasy novels and playing video games. Anyone else notice there are a lot of gamers on this roster? Are the Pacers the NBA equivalent of the BIG BANG THEORY?

#50 Tyler Hansbrough [Age 26, Forward, North Carolina]
* Pacer since 2009.
* Won an NCAA Championship with North Carolina in 2009.
* When he was in college, he was revered in an almost Tebow-esque way. You may remember him from his copious amounts of face time on ESPN.
* ACC's all time leading scorer (ranks 12th in NCAA history)
* Has a really impressive basketball resume with lots and lots of numbers on it. I'd tell you more, but statistics make me sneeze.

#55 Roy Hibbert [Age 25, Center, Georgetown]
* Pacer since 2008.
* Father is Jamaican.
* Made the NBA All Star Team in 2012.
* If Wikipedia is telling the truth, he's a a big Pokemon fan and teammates used to fire him up by saying "Power up, big fella." I really, really hope it's true.
* Was taken on at Georgetown as a "project" - read the details here. Awesome article.
* Appeared on a couple of episodes of PARKS AND RECREATION during the 2011 NBA Lockout.

Coach Frank Vogel [Age 38, Kentucky]
* Head Coach since mid-season 2010/2011.
* 2nd youngest coach in the NBA.
* Graduated from Kentucky with a degree in biology.
* Played Division III basketball for Junita college in Huntington, Pennsylvania before transferring to Kentucky.
* Was featured on David Letterman's 'Stupid Human Tricks' at age 13 where he got a basketball to spin on a toothbrush while he was brushing his teeth. (I'm furious that I could not find this clip on YouTube. COME ON, LETTERMAN!).

Pacers next game will be Saturday May 5th, 2pm EST on ESPN.