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 2020-21 regular season.

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

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.
Wayman Tisdale was drafted 2nd Overall in 1985, and he was a good player, but he sometimes gets maligned as there were players who were chosen after him (Charles Barkley, Chris Mullin, and Karl Malone) who would go on to have Hall of Fame careers.  Looking back, you can see why the Pacers chose him as he was a three-time First Team All-American at the University of Oklahoma, and he did have a good career…
Johnny Davis arrived in Indiana in a trade from Portland, and he would embark on the most productive seasons of his career.  In his first year with the Pacers, he would post an 18.3 Points per Game Average, which would be the best of his career.  His best year would be his second one in Indiana (1980-81), where he had a 14.4 PPG with a career-highs in Assists (6.3) and Steals (1.3).  That year he…
Brad Miller only played 101 Games for the Indiana Pacers, but in the year and a half he played in the Hoosier State, he was one of the better Centers in Association.
Thaddeus Young was a Second Team All-Rookie with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2007, and a decade later, he would join the Indiana Pacers for three seasons from 2016-17 to 2018-19.
Chris Mullin went to five All-Star Games when he was with the Golden State Warriors, and he was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team.  Those facts may have occurred years before he arrived in Indiana, but he did not become a Pacer with his gas tank on "E."
Known for blowing in the ear of LeBron James during a game, Lance Stephenson knew how to get attention, and if you let him, he would get under your skin.
Named the Rookie of the Year in 2017 as a Milwaukee Buck, Malcolm Brodgon’s career continued to improve as he was traded three years later to Indiana. As of this writing, Brogdon has started all 110 of his Games with the Pacers, mostly at the Point Guard position.  Proving to be a balanced player, though not necessarily a superstar, Brogdon provides stability at the Point, and last year he broke the 20 PPG threshold for the…
Clemon Johnson was traded from Portland before the 1979-80 season and after his rookie campaign.  Johnson would get to play more than he did in Portland, though he was still mostly used off of the bench.  His run with the Pacers would last for three and a half seasons, where he would average 7.9 Points and 6.0 Rebounds per Game.  Johnson was a good blocker, and he finished in the top twenty in Blocks per…
Dan Roundfield began his career in Indiana, where he would play the first three years of his professional career.