Indiana Pacers Team History
In early 1967, a group of six investors among them attorney Richard Tinkham, John DeVoe, Chuck DeVoe, sports agent Chuck Barnes and Indianapolis Star sports writer Bob Collins pooled their resources to purchase a franchise in the proposed American Basketball Association. For their first seven years, they played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum. In 1974, they moved to the plush new Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis, where they stayed for 25 years.
The 1970 ABA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the American Basketball Association’s 1969 – 1970 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Division champion Indiana Pacers defeating the Western Division champion Los Angeles Stars, four games to two in the ABA Finals.
The Indiana Pacers finished the season with the league’s best regular season record (59-25, .702) before going on to win the ABA championship. This same feat was accomplished by the Oakland Oaks during the prior season and by the Pittsburgh Pipers in the year before that.
The Pacers became the first ABA champions to return in the same form for the following season. The Oakland Oaks became the Washington Caps for the 1969-1970 ABA season; the Pittsburgh Pipers had become the Minnesota Pipers after winning the ABA championship the prior season.
Roger Brown of Indiana was the Most Valuable Player of the ABA playoffs.
The 1972 ABA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the American Basketball Association’s 1971 – 1972 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Division champion Indiana Pacers defeating the Eastern Division champion New York Nets, four games to two in the 1972 ABA Finals.
The Kentucky Colonels, despite finishing the season with the best record in the history of the ABA (68-16, .810), winning 8 of 11 regular season games against the New York Nets and finishing 24 games ahead of the Nets in the regular season standings, lost their first round series to the Nets.
The Floridians played their final game on April 6, 1972, losing at home in their Eastern Division semifinal series to the Virginia Squires 115-106. The Squires swept the series 4 games to none behind rookie Julius Erving who grabbed at least thirty rebounds in three of those four games. On June 13, 1972, the league bought the Floridians and disbanded the team.
The Indiana Pacers became the first team to win a second ABA championship.
Freddie Lewis of the Pacers was the Most Valuable Player of the ABA playoffs.
This was the first season in which two future NBA teams met for the ABA Championship. This only happened one other time in the league’s history, during its final year in 1976 when the Denver Nuggets edged past the Colonels 4-3 to meet the Nets in the ABA championship series.
Five of the seven playoff series ended in final games in which the home team lost.
The 1973 ABA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the American Basketball Association’s 1972-1973 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Division champion Indiana Pacers defeating the Eastern Division champion Kentucky Colonels, four games to three in the ABA Finals.
The teams with the three best records in the ABA that year failed to win the championship. The Carolina Cougars had the league’s best record at 57-27 (.679), one game ahead of the Kentucky Colonels (56-28, .667) in the Eastern Division. The Utah Stars won the Western Division with a record of 55-29 (.655), four games ahead of the Indiana Pacers, who won the league championship after posting a regular season record of 51-33 (.607).
The Pacers became the first team to win a third ABA championship.
The Colonels became the first team to lose two separate ABA championship series. The series also marked the second time in three years that the Colonels lost the ABA finals 4 games to 3; the same happened at the end of the 1971 ABA Playoffs against the Utah Stars.
Two years after the 1973 finals the Colonels and Pacers would meet again at the end of the 1975 ABA Playoffs with the Colonels winning the championship series.
The Pacers’ George McGinnis was the Most Valuable Player of the ABA playoffs.
Reggie Miller was drafted by the Pacers in 1987, beginning his career as a backup to John Long. Many fans at the time disagreed with Miller’s selection over Indiana Hoosiers’ standout Steve Alford. The Pacers missed the playoffs in 1987 – 1988, drafted Rik Smits in the 1988 NBA draft, and suffered through a disastrous 1988 – 1989 season in which coach Jack Ramsay stepped down following an 0–7 start. Mel Daniels and George Irvine filled in on an interim basis before Dick Versace took over the 6–23 team on the way to a 28–54 finish. In February 1989, the team did manage to make a trade that would eventually pay off, as they traded veteran center Herb Williams to the Dallas Mavericks for future NBA 6th Man-of-the Year Detlef Schrempf.
The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis. The Pacers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The Pacers were first established in 1967 as a member of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and became a member of the NBA in 1976 as a result of the ABA–NBA merger. They play their home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The team is named after Indiana’s history with the Indianapolis 500’s pace cars and with the harness racing industry.
1977 – Present / National Basketball Association
1967 – 1976 / American Basketball Association
1967 – Present / Indiana Pacers
Pacers – When professional basketball came to Indianapolis in 1967, one of the key decisions would be what to call the new American Basketball Association franchise. According to Indianapolis attorney, Richard D. Tinkham, the nickname “Pacers” was decided on through a collective decision of the original investors. Tinkham, one of those investors, recalled that the nickname was a combination of the state’s rich history with the harness racing pacers (investor Chuck Barnes was a horse racing enthusiast) and the pace car used for the running of the Indianapolis 500.
Tinkham said the “Pacers” decision was an easy one, but the real debate was whether the team should be called the Indiana Pacers or the Indianapolis Pacers. Since one of the original ideas for the team was to have it playing throughout the state with its base in Indianapolis, the official team name became the Indiana Pacers.
NBA Championships 0
ABA Championships 3
1973, 1972, 1970
2012 – Present / Bankers Life Fieldhouse
1999 – 2011 / Conseco Fieldhouse
1974 – 1999 / Market Square Arena
1967 – 1974 / Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum
1983 – Present / Herbert Simon
1967 – 1983 / Richard Tinkham, John DeVoe, Chuck DeVoe, Chuck Barnes and Bob Collins
30 George McGinnis
31 Reggie Miller
34 Mel Daniels
35 Roger Brown
529 Bobby Leonard
1991 – Present / Boomer
2002 – 2010 / Bowser
*Blue is this team’s history