Top 50 Indiana Pacers

In 1967, Indianapolis would become the home of the Indiana Pacers, which arguably was the most successful team of the American Basketball Association.  In retrospect, how could it not be?

Indianapolis was a growing city, but in the late 60s, the had no professional sports team, just the famous (and still famous) Indianapolis 500.  The town was in love with basketball, and it was worth taking a shot, and six investors did just that.  While many of the other ABA franchises relocated or folded together, the Pacers stayed firm and won three ABA Championships (1970, 1971 & 1973) with stars like Mel Daniels and George McGinnis.

When the ABA merged with the NBA, the Pacers were one of four teams who joined, but like the three other teams who entered the NBA.  Unfortunately, they had financial issues where they had to pay an entry fee and were not able to share in television right for the first four years.  This turn of events led to the Pacers being bad for a while, and it took until 1981 for them to make the NBA playoffs.  Afterward, they went in another playoff drought, and in the 1980s, would only have two playoff appearances.

The 1990s would be better, mainly due to Reggie Miller, the sharp-shooting guard who would later be a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee.  They would make the Eastern Conference Finals four times in the 1990s but were unable to get over the hump.  It took their fifth try, 2000, where they finally made the NBA Finals but would lose to the Los Angeles Lakers in six Games.

Going into the new millennium, the Pacers were still good, and Miller was able to will his team into the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals.  They were pegged to win it all in 2005 potentially, but the "Malice at the Palace" event occurred; the infamous incident where Ron Artest was charging into the stands after he a drink was thrown at him.  Several of his teammates followed him in, and Artest was suspended for the rest of the season.  Other suspensions followed, and the Pacers were never the same for the rest of the decade.

In the 2010s, led by a new star, Paul George, they would make the Eastern Conference Finals in both 2013 and 2014.


This list is up to the end of the 2018-19 regular season.

Note: Basketball lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.

It's so strange to think about this now, but when the Pacers chose Reggie Miller with the 11th Overall Pick in 1987, Indiana’s fans were upset that they bypassed local star, Steve Alford.  It didn’t take them long to get over that frustration as Miller would emerge as one of the greatest shooters the court has ever seen.
Mel Daniels was drafted ninth overall by the Cincinnati Royals in 1967, but the Minnesota Muskies of the American Basketball Association also chose him and offered him more money to sign.  As a rookie, Daniels was a dominating player, winning the Rookie of the Year, but the Muskies (like so many in the ABA) had financial problems, and he was shipped off to the Indiana Pacers for $75,000.
After playing one year at the University of Indiana, George McGinnis would sign with the ABA's Indiana Pacers, who would sign underclassmen, whereas the NBA did not at the time.  The "Baby Bull" had a good rookie season where the Power Forward was a starter on the Pacers' 1972 Championship Team, but it was, but in 1972-73 he would go to his first of three straight ABA All-Star Games while averaging 27.6 Points per Game…
Roger Brown has one of the unique stories to the Basketball Hall of Fame, especially considering at one time, he was banned from both the NCAA and NBA.
The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Billy Knight, but he was also chosen by the Indiana Pacers of the ABA.  It was the latter where he elected to sign.  He would immediately become the starting Small Forward, where he would make All-Rookie honors with a Points per Game Average of 17.1.  He followed that up with the best season of his life, increasing his Points per Game Average by double digits (28.1) and averaging a double-double…
The Indiana Pacers fanbase were scratching their heads when their team traded for Jermaine O'Neal and gave up Dale Davis to get him.  O'Neal had been in the NBA for four years and only started 18 Games for Portland, averaging only 11.5 Minutes per Game, so why would they trade for him? Here's why.
While Paul George’s may have had better seasons after he left Indiana, it can’t be forgotten that he cut his teeth as a Pacer and developed his All-Star form there.  The blunt truth is that he became one hell of a player in Basketball's Heartland.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com always admit that we are suckers for cool nicknames.  Here is another admission: corny ones work too.
Dale Davis would play the first decade of his career with the Indiana Pacers, and the product of Clemson would win the starting Power Forward job for the team in his second season.  That year, he would have a career-high of 1.8 Blocks per Game, but the Pacers' workhorse would have his best year ever in the following season.  
Danny Granger played the majority of his career with the Indiana Pacers, where he was a model of consistent progression.  This isn't hyperbole as he became the first player ever to raise his Points per Game Average by at least five points in three consecutive seasons (2005-06 to 2008-09).  In that last season, Granger had the best year of his career as his 25.8 PPG placed him 5th overall, and he would also be named…
Playing the first 11 of his 12 NBA seasons with the Pacers, Vern Fleming was the 18th overall Draft Pick from the University of Georgia, where he would be their starting Point Guard for his seven years there.  Fleming would average 12 Points per Game in each of those campaigns, and in four of them, he made the top twenty in Assists per Game.  He would come off the bench in his final four years…
Detlef Schrempf will always be best remembered in the NBA as a Seattle SuperSonic, but his American stardom really began in the state of Indiana.
Freddie Lewis played just one season with the Cincinnati Royals backing up Hall of Famer, Oscar Robertson, before being chosen by the San Diego Rockets in the Expansion Draft.  Rather than report to the Rockets, he joined the Pacers of the ABA in their inaugural season, where he was a starter bouncing from the Point and Shooting Guard position.  Lewis was an ABA All-Star three times (1968, 1970 & 1972) and was the lynchpin to…
An original Indiana Pacer, Bob Netolicky, signed with the new team as opposed to the San Diego Rockets, who chose him in the Second Round.
Signing with the Indiana Pacers after a good college career at Davidson, Don Buse would emerge as one of the best defensive Guards of the mid to late 70s.  Buse was a role player as a rookie on Indiana's 1973 ABA Championship Team, and he would see more playing time when Freddie Lewis was traded to the Memphis Sounds.  Buse was the best Guard when it came to putting the rock in the bucket, but…
A member of the Indiana Pacers for all thirteen of his seasons in the National Basketball Association, Jeff Foster arrived from Texas State in 1999 as the 19th Overall Pick in 1999.  Playing at Center, Foster played 764 Games and started 345 of them.  While he never averaged more than 27 Minutes per Game, he was a tough on the court player who was a tenacious rebounder, especially on the offensive side of the ball. …
Roy Hibbert was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 2008 but was shipped off in a six-player trade to the Indiana Pacers, where he would play for his first seven seasons in the NBA.  Playing at Center, Hibbert was a fantastic defensive presence in the paint, and he would have three straight years (2011-12 to 2013-14), where he was in the top five in Blocks per Game.  In the last of those years, Hibbert was…
Mark Jackson was a former Rookie of the Year (1988) and was an All-Star in 1989 when he was the New York Knicks, and after a stint with the Los Angeles Clippers, he was traded to the Pacers where he would take over as their starting Point Guard before the 1994-95 season.
A member of the Indiana Pacers for five seasons (2011-12 to 2015-16), George Hill would win the starting Point Guard role in his second season there.  The former IUPUI star was traded from San Antonio, and he would see his minutes increase in Indiana, he was able to post two seasons where he averaged over 16 Points per Game.  Before being traded to Utah in 2016, he would overall average 12.3 Points per Game, and…
David West's best years were with the New Orleans Pelicans, where he would be a two-time All-Star.  That being said, West still had plenty to offer the Pacers when he signed with them as a Free Agent in 2011.