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.

Herb Williams played the first eight seasons of his career with the Indiana Pacers, and the big man's best seasons were playing in the Hoosier State.  Williams could score, and over his Pacers tenure, he averaged an even 15 Points per Game, peaking at 19.9 in 1985-86.  Williams was a decent rebounder but a much better blocker.  On four occasions, Williams was in the top ten in Blocks per Game and would overall average 1.9…
Oh, what could have been. Clark Kellogg looked like a superstar in the making as a rookie.  That year, after being the 8th Overall Pick from Ohio State, he would make the All-Rookie Team with what would turn out to be career highs of 20.1 Points, 10.6 Rebounds per Game, and a 20.3 PER.  It didn't quite work out that way, though Kellogg did have similar (though not better) numbers in his next two years,…
Steve Stipanovich was the Big Eight Player of the Year at the University of Missouri, and he parlayed that into the second overall pick in 1983.  The 6' 11" Center would quickly start for the Pacers and over the next five years, would put forth very consistent numbers.  He would average between 12.0 and 13.7 Points per Game in each season while also posting between 6.9 and 8.3 Rebounds per Game during that same run. …
Chuck Person shot out of the gate in 1986-87, winning the Rookie of the Year Award with an 18.8 Point and 8.3 Rebound campaign.  He remained a good scorer and would peak with a 21.6 PPG in his third year in the NBA.  Nicknamed "The Rifleman" for his shooting skills, Person was in the top twenty-five times as a Pacer in Three-Point Field Goals, and in his six seasons in an Indiana uniform, he averaged…
Jalen Rose was a member of the University of Michigan's famed "Fab Five," and it was with the Pacers where he first showed what he could do an elite level.  It didn't happen right away as he was clashing with the Pacers' coach, Larry Brown, as to what his role should be, and he would actually see fewer minutes than he had in Denver, which was where he played his first two years.
The best seasons of Derrick McKey were when he was with the Seattle SuperSonics, but the Small Forward would spend eight seasons as a Pacer, the first four where he was their starter.
This one will take a bit. When Metta World Peace was Ron Artest, he was traded in his third year in the league from the Chicago Bulls to Indiana.  It was a good fit, and in what was his first full season as a Pacer, he would earn a Second Team All-Defensive Selection, while leading the league in Steal Percentage, the second year in a row he would do so.
Troy Murphy was part of an eight-player deal that saw him join the Indiana Pacers in the 2006-07 season.  Murphy would take over the starting Power Forward role for the Pacers, where he would play for three and a half years.  Murphy averaged 12.2 Points per Game in his first full year in Indiana, but he increased that to over 14 Points in the next two years.  Murphy's rebounding numbers went up in those two…
Antonio Davis would be drafted by the Indiana Pacers in the 2nd Round of the 1990 Draft, but the Power Forward would ply his trade in Europe for a few years before he joined Indiana.  Davis joined Indiana in 1993 and would play there for six years, used mostly off of the bench.  Over his tenure as a Pacer, Davis would average 9.0 Points and 6.6 Rebounds per Game.
Bill Keller would be drafted from Purdue by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 7th Round in 1969, but he had a much better chance playing in the ABA, and he would sign with the Indiana Pacers of the ABA.
A star on the rise, Myles Turner has been in the NBA for four seasons now, all of which with the Pacers. 
Darnell Hillman was not the best Pacer during their days in the ABA, but for many, he was the one that their fans may have remembered the most.
Austin Croshere played 540 Games and the first nine seasons of his career in the National Basketball Association with the Indiana Pacers.  Playing at Power Forward, the former Providence Friar rarely started but was an excellent role player who fought for every bucket. 
The best statistics of James Edwards' career took place in Indiana, where he arrived in a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers in his rookie season (1977-78).  Nicknamed "Buddha," the big Center would play three and a half seasons for the Pacers, and while his rebounding and blocking numbers were arguably soft for his minutes logged and position, he had good numbers on the offensive side of the ball.
Travis Best was chosen by the Pacers in the 1st Round (23rd Overall) from Georgia Tech, and he was a dependable backup Point Guard for the team for the first six and half years of his NBA career.  He would help the Pacers reach the 2000 NBA Finals and the season after he had his best season.  That year he would average 31.9 Minutes with career-highs of 11.9 Points and 6.1 Assists per Game.
An All-Rookie Selection with the New Orleans Hornets in 2010, Darren Collison arrived in Indiana the year after as part of a four-team trade.
Jamaal Tinsley was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies (27th Overall), and then two trades later (on the same day), he was an Indiana Pacer.
Mike Bantom would play four and half seasons for the Pacers late in his NBA career.  In three of his campaigns with Indiana, he would average over 14 Points per Game, and he was a strong rebounder who had over 7 RPG in his first two years with the Pacers.  He would overall average 13.7 Points per Game with Indiana.
Victor Oladipo was expected to do great things on the court when the Indiana Pacers drafted him in 2nd Overall in 2013.  That didn't quite work out, and he was traded to Oklahoma City, who would then trade him to Indiana before the 2017-18 Season.  It was in Indiana where the promise of Victor Oladipo has come to fruition.
An NCAA Champion with Duke in 2001, Mike Dunleavy arrived in Indiana as part of a mid-season trade with Golden State in 2007.   He would take over immediately as the Pacers' starting Shooting Guard and did well, as he averaged a career-high 19.1 Points per Game in 2007-08.  Dunleavy would also have a career-high of 17.3 in PER that year.