Following the horrible officiating that I witnessed in that Pistons series in 2004 I swore I would never watch the Pacers play again because of what David Stern had allowed. I threw a classic sports fit that only my wife could really describe. That was the year that defense ruled the NBA and the average scores in the playoffs were in the low 80s. Terrible to watch, especially when you lose because you get mugged on every offensive play. I could go on and on.
The irony here is that I didn’t quit watching. I should have, but I didn’t immediately. It took awhile. Early the next season the brawl in Detroit occurred and the Pacers began their three year downward spiral. No one remembers how good they were in 2004. Reggie is gone and the team is trashed. I say all of this because only 5 years ago the Pacers topped every fan poll (specifically the one the Indianapolis Star did every year which showed who the favorite team in the state was). The Colts for years struggled to pull in more than about 10% of the vote even in the fantastic-to-watch early Manning years. It actually kind of pissed me off because I was a huge Colts fan as well. Basketball really is everything in Indiana. Or was. The good news is that in-state college basketball is getting ready for another heyday.