The Indiana Pacers are a professional American basketball team playing under the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team belongs to the central division playing for the Eastern conference. The team is situated in the largest city, Indianapolis. Also the Pacers have two mascots at every home game, Boomer and Browser, who also appear often for the NBA. The team was founded in the year 1967 but joined the NBA in 1976. Currently the team is owned by Herbert and Melvin Simon. The team is trained by head coach Jim O’Brien. Navy Blue, Gold, Silver and White are the team’s official colors.
In early 1967, a group of six investors among them were the attorney Richard D. Tinkham, sports agent Chuck Barnes and Indianapolis Star sports writer Bob Collins purchased the franchise in the proposed American Basketball Association (ABA).
The ABA folded in 1976, and the Pacers were amongst the few of the team’s that were invited to merge with the NBA. Before merging with the NBA the Pacers had won 3 ABA championship titles. Due to the weak financial situation of the Pacers, the team had to start the NBA season by selling off few of their star players at the end of the ABA season.
In the 1980-81 season the Pacers made their first NBA playoffs appearance. It was the team’s only playoff appearance from 1977 to 1986. But the team went out in the first round itself loosing to the Philadelphia 76ers in two straight games. The following season the Pacers posed the worst record in NBA history by wining only 26 games in the regular season.
After a number of disappointing seasons, George Irwin was replaced by Jack Ramsay as a coach in 1985-86 season and led the Pacers to a 41-41 record in the 1986-87 season. This was the second time in history that the Pacers had made it to the Playoffs. Chuck Person was reputed for his long range shooting and was nicknamed as the “Rifleman.” He was the NBA Rookie of the Year honors as he lead the team in scoring as a rookie. In NBA franchise history the first playoff win was won in the third game of the best of five series of the first round with the Atlanta Hawks however this was the singular triumph in the series as the Hawks were victorious in four games.
In 1997-98 season Larry Bird was appointed as the new coach of the team and the team went on to make a new franchise record, finishing the season with 58 wins, a dramatic improvement by 19 games from the previous season. The Pacers breezed past the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks before falling to the Chicago Bulls in an epic seven-game Eastern Conference Final. In 2000, the Pacers reached the NBA Finals for the first time but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2. Reggie Miller, Jalen Rose, Mark Jackson and Rik Smits were among that Pacers line-up.
Gainbridge Fieldhouse is a sports arena in Indianapolis, and it is home to the Indiana Pacers. The arena has a maximum capacity of 17,923. Reggie Miller, Alex English, Larry Bird, Larry Brown, Jack Ramsay and Isiah Thomas are few of the famous stars from the Pacers who have found their name in the NBA Hall of Famers.
- 3 ABA Division titles (1969, 1970, 1971)
- 6 NBA Division titles (1995, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2013, 2014)
- 1 NBA conference title (2000)