Indiana Pacers History

With their establishment in 1967, as a member of the American Football Association, the Pacers became the reigning team of the association. They became the recipient of three ABA national championships and also reached the title round in the five playoffs before heading towards the National Basketball Association in 1976. Larry Staverman was the first Pacers coach and Roger Brown the first player. Brown led the Pacers in scoring with a 19.6 average in their first season playoffs. Unluckily his career came to an end due to his disreputable activities. He was expelled by the NBA. The other first season players were Bob Netolicky and Freddie Lewis. The Pacers first competed in the ABA Finals in the 1968-69 season under the command of Bob "Slick” Leonard.He led the Pacers towards a new horizon by leading the Pacers to seven consecutive winning seasons. In their first ABA championship

in 1970 against Los Angeles Stars, Brown hit 18-of-29 field-goal attempts and 14-of-16 foul shots, while adding 13 rebounds and six assists in the game four to mark the Pacers victory. He averaged 45.6 points in the final three games of the championship. The 1972 and 1973 ABA championships also belonged to the Pacers. This time George McGinnis took the hold of the game sending Brown to the defensive part of the court.

The 1975-76 season proved to be the last season of the ABA and the first failing season of the Pacers in the seven years with the ABA . In 1976 they coalesced with the NBA. Their coalition took its toll, apart from paying a lump some amount, the team was also banned from sharing in TV revenues for four years. Their economic condition broke down in 1977. The Pacers survived their collapse through a telethon. In 1980, Jack McKinney replaced Bob Leonard. Under his systematic management the Pacers experienced their first winning NBA season. McKinney earned NBA coach of the year in 1981. In the late 1980's the Pacers drafted Wayman Tisdale, Patrick Ewing , Chuck Person and Reggie Miller. Miller was the 11th overall pick of the 1987 NBA draft. He became the Pacers all-time career scoring leader and one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history. After playing the 1996-97 season, Brown declared his withdrawal. His exit was replaced by Larry Bird.

The Pacers were the victorious survivors of the liquidation of the ABA . They made it to the NBA finals in 1999-2000 for the first time but could not win the championship. The same year the Pacers played in their home stadium, Conseco Fieldhouse, their $183 million new home. The Pacers ended the 2003-2004 season by marking a franchise record of 61 wins.

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