Book Review: ‘I Love Being the Enemy’ by Reggie Miller

March 30, 2015 in Best Of, Book Reviews, Reviews

Reggie

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read the one and only book written by my favourite baller of all time, Reggie Miller.

I Love Being the Enemy is an apt title. Reggie made a name and a career out of being the villain, especially in Madison Square Garden in New York, where his play is the stuff of legend. He was the guy who poured in 25 points in the fourth quarter against the Knicks in the 1994 NBA Playoffs while jawing against Spike Lee on the sidelines, then killed them with his mind-boggling 8 points in 9 seconds the year after. He pushed off Michael Jordan for that game-winning three in 1998, and remains one of the only people in the world who ever made his Airness lose his cool (and try to scratch his eyes out). He banked in a 38-foot turnaround three in the 2002 playoffs against the Nets  to force overtime, then dunked over three defenders to force another.

No matter what anyone says about him, Reggie Miller is an inspiration. He may be a bit of a dick sometimes, but he owns up to it like a man, gives his respect where its due, and never crosses the line. That’s the kind of dick every dick should aspire to be. And let’s not forget, despite his alien-stick-figure appearance, the massive balls he has to be able to take — and hit — some of the biggest shots in NBA history. No wonder I fell in love with this man right from the get-go.

I Love Being the Enemy, just like Reggie, is somewhat unusual. Rather than the typical sports memoir with clear themes or topics for each chapter, it’s written like a journal of sorts, penned by Reggie sporadically throughout the course of the 1994-1995 NBA season. It came at a perfect time too, as some of you might recall that was the season right after Reggie became a household name with his 25-point fourth quarter at the Garden, and covers his 8-points-9-seconds heroics later in the playoffs. The Pacers were considered up-and-coming contenders, with passing maestro Mark Jackson manning the point, the Dunkin’ Dutchman Rik Smits in the post, and the Davis boys, Dale and Antonio, doing all the bruising dirty work down low. It was also the season when Michael Jordan returned to the league mid-way through the season following his baseball stint, and the very first game he played upon his return was of course in Indiana against Reggie.

Each entry is written under a specific date like a diary, though every now and then he would go back in time to talk about things in his past, his family, his teammates, his opponents and what he thought about the game in general. As a result, the book is all over the place. There is no doubt an invisible structure holding it all together, though when reading it you feel as though it’s jumping from person to person and place to place. I didn’t have a problem with this approach per se, but it does make it harder to go back and search for passages you enjoyed.

Stylistically, the book is Reggie through and through. Though it’s technically co-written with sportswriter Gene Wojciechowski, the feel is all Reggie, and you can almost hear his voice in your head as you read the lines. It’s chatty, it’s funny and it’s sincere. On the downside, this also means it’s not the most well-written book, complete with all of Reggie’s rambling and superfluous verbal habits, like “To be honest”, “Let’s face it” and so forth.

For me, the book is a confirmation of many things I already knew about Reggie, though there are some things in there that surprised me. I knew he was an unlikely sports star, having required braces on his legs until he was four. He wasn’t supposed to walk or run, let alone become the best shooter in the best basketball league on the planet. I knew he lived in the shadow of his sister Cheryl — arguably the greatest women’s player of all time — for most of his life, and wouldn’t be able to beat her one-on-one until he could literally dunk on her. Just about everyone now knows about the infamous story when Reggie was gloating about his 39-point game in high school until Cheryl casually noted that she scored 105 on the same night. I knew he was superstitious and taped two quarters under his wrist band to remind himself to always play hard because his father once told him that his play wasn’t worth 50 cents.

reg cheryl

Cheryl and Reggie at the latter’s Hall of Fame ceremony

What I didn’t realize was how ridiculous Reggie’s work ethic was. He was always the first in to practice and the game arena and the last to leave, no matter who else played on the team. It was just the way he was. I didn’t know how much respect he had for all his coaches, even if he doesn’t always agree with them. In fact, he treated everyone on his team with respect, never talking behind anyone’s back or airing grievances to the media. As his ex-coach Larry Brown said, Reggie approached the game “the right way.”

With so many airheads, problem childs and douchebags in the league, Reggie was a surprisingly reasonable guy whose on court and off court personas were completely different. Like most professional athletes, he has an ego, but for him it was all about winning and not scoring a whole bunch of points. At various times throughout the book he notes that his teammates, coaches and the media all questioned why he didn’t take more shots, though for him it was about doing whatever he could to guide the team to victory. He also never took his success for granted. I knew he wanted to win a ring very badly, but I didn’t know he had such an appreciation for how hard it is to win games and survive in the NBA. That’s why he actually said he would have retired by 35 if he had won a ring.

I have many favourite parts in this book. I loved the respect Reggie had for Michael Jordan, whom he felt sorry for because of the way he was hounded by the press. Reggie spoke with a passion and anger when it came to the way Jordan was forced to live his life in a bubble, and it was his belief that Jordan retired because he was fed up with the constant attention and drummed-up controversies. For Reggie, Jordan was the ultimate measuring stick — he would hold and push and grab and trip Jordan to beat him in a game, but the amount of respect he had for No. 23 as a player was unparalleled. I’m sure it didn’t hurt when Jordan told Reggie that he was the second-best shooting guard in the league. Oh, and I absolutely loved this story, which he recently retold on Jimmy Kimmel.

Larry Bird, who was not yet Reggie’s coach at the time, also featured in a few golden nuggets. There was of course the infamous “present” he delivered to teammate Chuck Person during a Christmas game, and I also laughed out loud when Reggie recounted how he once tried to psyche Bird out by trash-talking him at the free throw line. Michael Jordan might be the GOAT, but for me, Larry Legend will always be the man.

The young Reggie tales were also great. The battles in the backyard with Cheryl and his brothers, his “crazy” college years, and my personal fave, the street ball hustle he and Cheryl would pull on unsuspecting players. Reggie would play against bigger, stronger kids on the block, and when money got involved he’d call out his shy-looking sister from behind the bushes. They’d up the bet after looking amateurish, and then, BAM, turn on their games and smoke the poor bastards. I so wish they had footage of that.

Another aspect of the book I found interesting was all the stuff Reggie said about players and other issues at the time, which we can now reflect on 20 years into the future.   For instance, Reggie raved on about two rookies at the time, Jason Kidd and Grant Hill, calling them future superstars in the making (they’d go on to win co-Rookie of the Year and fulfill that prophecy), but he also said Kidd was great because he doesn’t get involved in politics with his coach. As some of you might know, Kidd would go on to be ushered out of Brooklyn as coach precisely because he got too involved in team politics.

reggiejordan

Reggie also spoke of the need for a rookie salary cap, noting that it was crazy and detrimental for players for rookies to come into the league earning more than the vets. He was right about that and he was also right about the greatness of Penny Hardaway, who would later eliminate the Pacers that season. The best prediction, if you can call it that, is his thoughts on former Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whom he didn’t think very highly of.

Not all his predictions were right, of course. Reggie did think JR. Rider was going to be something special, and he believed Kevin Garnett should have gone to college. He also thought OJ Simpson was innocent and that his marriage was going to last forever (oops!). Oh, and he thought he’d never make it into the Hall of Fame.

If I were being objective, I’d tell you that I Love Being the Enemy is just another sports memoir on the market that doesn’t do much to distinguish itself from its competitors. It’s not exactly a masterpiece of the genre, though it reads better today than it did 20 years ago because we now know what kind of career Reggie will be remembered for and the hindsight to reflect on the things he wrote at the time. I’d say it’s a solid read for the average basketball fan and a must for lovers and haters of Reggie alike.

4/5

Finally, Reggie Miller is a Hall of Famer

September 10, 2012 in Basketball, Best Of, Indiana Pacers, NBA, Sport

This is an article first published on Pacers Pulse.

Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller was finally inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend, along with former Pacers legend Mel Daniels. I say “finally” even though this is only his second year of eligibility because I, like many others, thought he should have been on the ballot last year.

This is not a time to debate whether Miller actually deserves to be in the HOF like his big sister Cheryl, a fellow HOFer whom is described as the greatest female basketball player of all time. Reggie’s credentials speak for themselves (you can check them out here), but his career has always been about much more than just stats.

Miller is a unique player and there will never be another player like him. He is almost single-handedly responsible for a whole generation of Pacers fans, including myself. Pacers Pulse would not exist with him. Well, maybe it would, but I wouldn’t be blogging on it.

Reggie was an NBA superstar despite not being known as a prolific scorer. He was an average defender in a league of great defenders. He could be regarded as one-dimensional (by NBA standards, of course). He was consistently good but rarely great, having only made the NBA Finals once and retiring without a ring. He was on a small market team. And yet he was undoubtedly a superstar that struck fear into the hearts of his opponents and their fans.

Miller inspired me because he always looked like the guy you would pick last on your team on the playground. My friends (who all went for the big market and traditionally successful teams) joked that he was an alien who should was in danger of literally slipping through the cracks in the floorboards.

Yes, he wasn’t a competitive psycopath like Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. He wasn’t dominant like Shaq or Lebron. He’s not athletic like Vince Carter or Blake Griffin. He looked awkward too — he didn’t have the sweet stroke of Ray Allen. But he had the audacity to believe that he belonged on the same court as them. And even if he couldn’t beat all of them, he sure tried his hardest every night. If it meant playing the villain as he often did against the Knicks, then so be it. He was never going to back down from anyone despite his physical disadvantages.

He was the ultimate professional and teammate, a guy that set an example with his relentless work ethic for 18 years. It’s not often that you see a player that hated by opponents and fans during his career be that revered by the end of it. You only need to take a look at this video to understand the impact he had in New York, where he tormented Knick fans for much of his career.

And check out the end of his final game. I don’t recall opponents doing something like this to any player other than Michael Jordan. And remember, this was merely a few months removed from that infamous brawl.

When it comes to memorable moments, Reggie Miller has a truckload of them. My favorite, unlike most others, was not the 25-point fourth quarter or the 8 points in 8.9 seconds. It was game five against the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 playoffs (back when it was a best of five series in the first round), a game I watched live on TV, where Miller hit that 40-footer at the buzzer to force overtime, and then forced a second overtime with a two-handed dunk in traffic against three Nets defenders. The Pacers eventually lost that game, but the fact that they, as the number eight seed, pushed the first seed and eventual NBA finalist that far was something I’ll never forget.

I had a final exam later that day and I remember I needed to get going soon. I was almost glad when it appeared that the Nets had put the game out of reach. And when Reggie hit that improbable bank shot, I went nuts. And so did the telecast, which went black momentarily after the shot went in, driving me even more nuts.

Then when Reggie faked the shot at the top of the key and drove into the lane instead, throwing down that insane two-handed dunk, I lost it again. This was a guy that dunked only a handful of times every season, and he had the balls to drive the ball down the throat of three defenders down by two in the dying seconds of an overtime elimination game. That’s the type of player Reggie Miller was, and I hope that is the way he will always be remembered.

Thanks for the memories Reggie, and congratulations.

Defending Reggie Miller’s Hall of Fame credentials

April 7, 2012 in Basketball, Best Of, Indiana Pacers, NBA, Sport

This is an article first published on Pacers Pulse.

I can’t believe I am doing this, and the fact I feel I need to infuriates the hell out of me. But here I am, defending Reggie Miller’s induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Last year, Miller didn’t just miss out on being a first-ballot Hall of Famer — he missed out on being on the finalists’ ballot completely. At the time, some said it was fair. Others called it a travesty. He may not be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he certainly deserves to be on the damn ballot. At the end of the day, however, no one really thought it was that big of a deal, as long as Miller’s name eventually ends up in Springfield.

This year, Miller is headlining the class of inductees, which also includes, amongst others, coach Don Nelson, former NBA champ Jamaal Wilkes and ABA star Mel Daniels. And all of a sudden there are now people who are suggesting he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame at all? Seriously?

If you want to criticize anything, criticize the HOFs selection guidelines, or lack thereof, not the people that get selected because of it. It’s not Miller’s fault that they are letting in so many people most fans have never even heard of.

Inductees are voted in by a small committee based on subjective considerations of merit, meaning whatever they think is relevant. It’s not based on how many championship rings they’ve won, how many All-NBA First Team selections they’ve earned or their career Player Efficiency Rating. And while we’re at it, please remember that it’s the Basketball Hall of Fame, not a list of the greatest or most dominant players to have ever played the game.

Miller may not have any championships (neither does Barkley, Ewing, Malone or Stockton), an All-NBA First Team honor (he has three Third Team selections) or a higher career PER (18.4, according to Basketball-Reference.com — good for 116th in NBA history) to his name, but is he any less deserving than the people that have been selected before him (say Bailey Howell, Maurice Stokes, Adrian Dantley or Chris Mullin)? Is he any less deserving than the people selected for the class of 2012 (a class he is freaking headlining)? The Basketball Hall of Fame needs to be accepted for what it is, not what people think it should be or want it to be.

In any case, let’s take a look at Miller’s basketball career as a whole.

Miller’s raw numbers speak for themselves.

  • 11th overall pick in the 1987 NBA Draft
  • 18 seasons for the Indiana Pacers (retiring in 2005)
  • 5 All-Star appearances (90, 95, 96, 98, 00)
  • 3 All-NBA Third Team selections (95, 96, 98)
  • 1 NBA Finals appearance (2000)
  • 6 Eastern Conference Finals appearances (94, 95, 98, 99, 00, 04)
  • regular season career averages: 18.2 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.7 turnovers
  • regular season career shooting averages: 47.1% FG, 39.5% 3P, 88.8% FT
  • playoff career averages: 20.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1 steal and 1.8 turnovers
  • playoff career shooting averages: 44.9% FG, 39% 3P, 89.3% FT

Very good, but not flashy, right? And before I forget, let’s throw in numbers from his college and international careers as well, since it’s the Basketball Hall of Fame, not the NBA Hall of Fame (which doesn’t exist).

  • 4 seasons for UCLA (graduating in 1987)
  • NIT championship (85), Pac-10 championship (87)
  • college averages: 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2 assists, 54.7% FG, 43.9% 3P, 83.6% FT
  • FIBA World Championship (1994) gold medal; All-Tournament Team selection; 17.1 ppg
  • Olympic Games (1996) gold medal; 11.4 ppg

These raw numbers and achievements probably won’t blow anyone away, but his career looks a lot more impressive when you start to put them in perspective.

NBA regular season

  • 14th all-time scorer (25,279)
  • 2nd all-time in three-pointers made (2,560; surpassed only by Ray Allen in 2011)
  • 9th all-time in free throw percentage (88.8%); 12th all-time in free throws made (6,237)
  • 3rd all-time in Offensive Rating (121.48)
  • 6th all-time in True Shooting Percentage (61.39%)
  • 7th all-time in games played (1,389)
  • 3rd all-time in games played with one team (1,389); 2nd all time in seasons with one team (18; behind John Stockton’s 19)
  • 11th all-time in Win Shares (174.40); 7th all-time in Offensive Win Shares
  • Led the league in free throw percentage 5 times (90-91, 98-99, 00-01, 01-02, 04-05)
  • Led the league in three-pointers made 2 times (92-93, 96-97)
  • Led the league in True Shooting Percentage 2 times (90-91, 93-94)
  • Led the league in Offensive Rating 4 times (90-91, 92-93, 93-94, 98-99)
  • Career-high 57 points (@Charlotte in 1992)
  • 1 of 5 players in NBA history to have had a 50-40-90 season (ie, to have shot 50% FG, 40% 3P and 90% FT — others being Larry Bird, Mark Price, Steven Nash and Dirk Nowitzki)

NBA Playoffs

  • 20th all-time scorer (2,972)
  • 1st all-time in three-pointers made (320)
  • 9th all-time in free throw percentage (89.3%); 15th all-time in free throws made (770)
  • 11th all-time in True Shooting Percentage (60.1%)
  • 11th all-time in Offensive Rating (119.21)
  • 19th all-time in Win Shares (19.9); 8th all-time in Offensive Win Shares (16.18)
  • Career-high 41 points (vs Milwaukee in 2000)

Indiana Pacers

  • Franchise leader in games, points, minutes, field goals, three-pointers, free throws, assists and steals
  • One of 5 Pacers to have jersey retired (others being Roger Brown, Mel Daniels, Bobby Leonard and George McGinnis)
  • First franchise player to start in an All-Star game

UCLA

  • 3rd all-time scorer, 3rd all-time in field goals made, 3rd all-time in 3P%, 4th all-time in FT%, 2nd all-time in free throws made, 8th all-time in steals
  • 2nd all-time in single season points (behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
  • Holds single season records for league points (1986; 500), league scoring average (1986; 27.8), free throws made (1986; 202)
  • Holds single game record for free throws in a game (17) and in a half (13), and points in a half (33)

Team USA

  • 2nd leading scorer at 1994 FIBA World Championship (behind Shaquille O’Neal)

Miller’s numbers start to speak a lot louder when you consider the company he is in. While you ordinarily wouldn’t put Miller in the same category as some of the all-time greats because he wasn’t the type of player that regularly dominated the game, some of his numbers and records suggest otherwise. In particular, Miller’s Similarity Score at Basketball-Reference.com, which finds players throughout NBA history with the same career quality and shape, puts him in the same league as guys like Kobe Bryant, John Stockton, Clyde Drexler, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Jerry West, Jason Kidd and Magic Johnson — all current or future Hall of Famers.

One of the most common arguments critics use to discredit Miller’s career is that he was “one-dimensional” or that he was a poor defender. I even read a recent article which claimed that all Miller did for 18 seasons was curl off screens. Sorry, but you don’t become the NBA’s 14th all-time leading scorer by just curling off screens. The Knicks’ Steve Novak is one dimensional. Former Pacer James Posey, in his last season, was one dimensional.

But anyone that has watched Miller play, especially during his prime, will know he had a surprisingly wide offensive repertoire. Defensively, his weight and lateral movement gave him problems against bigger, quicker guards, but his height (6’7”) and length troubled them too. And what do you think chasing Miller around all game did to their stamina?

In any event, being an all-round player or a wonderful defender are not prerequisites for the Hall of Fame. That’s like saying Dennis Rodman doesn’t deserve to be in it because he is not a great scorer or because Wilt Chamberlain wasn’t a good free throw shooter. If Rodman can get in for being one of the greatest rebounders of all-time, then why can’t Miller get in for being one of the greatest, if not the greatest three-point shooter of all-time?

But to debate whether Miller deserves to get in on his three-point shooting or any other of his records is missing the point entirely. The Hall of Fame should, and does, go far beyond numbers and statistics. Miller’s fame (this is the Hall of Fame, mind you) and the impact he has had on the game of basketball, especially in Indiana, the Hoosier state, puts him right up there with the all-time greats.

Miller was the face of a franchise for almost his entire career. He was Indiana’s best player for more than a decade. How many players in NBA history can say the same thing?

If you ask anyone to name a single player to have played for the Indiana Pacers, even now, chances are they would say Reggie Miller. If you ask any New York Knicks fan which player has tormented their team more than any other, apart from Michael Jordan (and possible Carmelo Anthony — kidding), chances are they would say Reggie Miller. If you ask who they would want to take a last second three-pointer with their team down by two, Reggie Miller would likely be in the top five, if not number one.

Miller might have had a couple of championships but for the guy on his left and a prime Shaquille O'Neal and a rising Kobe Bryant in 2000

If you ask someone to name the most memorable moments in NBA playoff history off the top of their head, chances are they will include Miller’s 25-point fourth quarter against the Knicks in the 1994 playoffs, and if not, certainly his 8 points in 8.9 seconds against the Knicks a year later. And what about his game-winning three-pointer over Michael Jordan in the 98 East finals, or my personal favorite, the 39-foot buzzer-beating bank shot to force the first overtime, and then the two-handed dunk to force the second one against the top-seeded Nets in 2002? How many players outside of Michael Jordan has had so many defining moments in their careers?

I get it if people want to diminish Miller’s achievements because he’s not the type of player traditional fans like. He plays for the small market Pacers. He looks like an alien and is so thin he might slip through the cracks in the floorboards; he flops a lot, likes to talk trash and enjoys playing the villain. And yes, he pushed off Jordan and then danced around in circles like a little girl (and that was because he was playing with a badly sprained ankle, for those who don’t remember). But he also struck fear into the hearts of his opponents like only the greats could.

He was a truly unique player, the kind the NBA might never see again. For that, and the impact his remarkable career had on UCLA, the Indiana Pacers, the NBA, Team USA and the sport of basketball in general — for more than two decades — no one should question Reggie Miller’s rightful inclusion in the Hall of Fame ever again.

NBA 3-Point Shootout Contestants Announced!

February 5, 2009 in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA

Granger takes aim

Granger takes aim

 3P Shootout Contestants Announced!

Danny Granger’s going to have a busy All-Star Weekend this year.

The first time All-Star (of the Indiana Pacers) will also be competing in his maiden Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout against two-time defending champion Jason Kapono (Toronto Raptors), Mike Bibby (Atlanta Hawks), Daequan Cook (Miami Heat), fellow All-Star Rashard Lewis (Orlando Magic) and Roger Mason (San Antonio Spurs).

The Three-Point Shootout has always been one of my favourite events at the All-Star Weekend and it will be great to see Granger showing off his long-range skills against the best in the league.  I’m rooting for him to take the title that Reggie Miller came agonizingly close to a couple of times, but Granger is definitely a favourite to go out in the first round judging from guys he’s up against.

Analysis

Let’s compare the contestants’ 3 point statistics so far this year.

Player (Games)

3PM

3PA

3P%

PPG

Bibby (47)

 114

279 

0.409

15.9

Cook (45)

 105

256 

0.410

10.3

Granger (45)

 120

299 

0.401 

25.5

Kapono (48)

 52

124 

0.419 

  7.9

Lewis (47)

 137

327 

0.419 

19.0

Mason (48)

 103

229 

0.450 

11.9 

 
The 3P Shootout is always a bit of an unpredictable affair in that game stats don’t necessarily translate to success in this type of continuous shooting format.  You’ve got the 2-time defending champion Jason Kapono who has only made about half the 3PMs of the next guy on the list.  You’ve got Roger Mason, who’s shooting at an impressive 0.450 (5th in the league and the only player in the top 20 for 3P% that has over 100 3PM) but has never really been a great 3P shooter before this season.  There’s the man who has shot more and made more than any other player, Rashard Lewis.  Then there’s the guys that rely significantly on their 3-point shot to get their points, Mike Bibby and Daequan Cook.  Lastly, there’s Danny Granger, who sticks out a little more than the others because he scores so many points and the 3-point shot is just part of his repertoire.

My Pick

Can Jason Kapono make it 3 in row?

Can Jason Kapono make it 3 in a row?

With this field of amazing shooters, anything can happen.  Especially if a streaky shooter gets hot, it could be all over for everyone else. 

The guys that tend to do well are rhythm shooters who can launch the balls consecutively and effortlessly.  The guys who struggle are those who take a long time to set their shots and have slow, methodical releases. 

While I would like to see Granger take it out, he’s just not enough of a 3P specialist yet – the only chance he would have is if he gets hot and his opponents struggle.  I’d have to say Kapono, with his experience, remains the strong favourite.  Roger Mason would be next in line, and Daequan Cook would be the dark horse.

Holy crap it’s Danny Granger’s knee!

January 30, 2009 in Basketball, Indiana Pacers, NBA

granger-block

Van Wafer can't bear to see his dunk stuffed by All-Star Danny Granger

 Before we all start dancing in the streets over Danny Granger’s somewhat expected All-Star reserve selection (yay!), the news is that Danny’s been suffering from a nagging knee injury (which caused him to miss the last game against Milwaukee and makes him uncertain for the next game against Miami).

Apparently, the knee has been bothering him for a while, bad enough to cause him to miss workouts during the summer.  He also says he’s been icing the knee during timeouts as of late.  This might explain why his shooting has been off for quite a few games now.

This is enough to shoot a chill down the spines of all Pacers fans (and Granger fantasy owners).  So far, Granger’s been the only bright spot in this lackluster season.  And if he’s going to miss any significant amount of time, the Pacers might as well start looking at the top 5 picks for next year’s draft.

It seems Pacer players have a tendency to get injured more than other teams (or am I being too sensitive here?).  As of today, Jarrett Jack has been the only Pacer to play in all 46 games of the season.  Granger, Ford, Daniels, Murphy, Nesterovic and of couse Dunleavy have all missed a few games here and there.  And if we go back a bit in time, you have chronic injuries to Jermaine O’Neal (which led to his departure) and Jamaal Tinsley (what’s going on with him, by the way?).

Remember that other hugely talented player the Pacers drafted, Jonathan Bender?  He’s doing great things with his life now, but the Pacers can only wonder what type of player he could have been.  Let’s pray this knee injury is not serious or long-term.

PS: Has anyone seen the Pacers’ website?  It’s like Danny Granger’s been elected President.  Within hours of the announcement, we’ve got interviews, videos, pictures, wallpapers – even an extra front page – all dedicated to Granger’s All-Star selection.  They even had a dig at former Pacer legend Reggie Miller for suggesting that players on losing teams should get less recognition.