The Indiana Pacers were founded in 1967. That was a crazy year. That year the Smothers Brothers comedy show premiered on CBS, and employed a young writer named Steve Martin. Steve Martin became a star in the basketball comedy, “Pacertown Punk,” the story of a star Pacer rookie with a heart of gold who can’t break away from his criminal past of boosting golf carts from local courses.
The Pacers were a founding member of the American Basketball Association and joined the National Basketball Association in 1976 when those two leagues emerged. The other ABA teams to join the NBA included the Denver Nuggets, New York Nets and San Antonio Spurs. The NBA made the ABA teams pay an expansion fee of more than $3 million. One Pacers fan said, “I pay an expansion fee, too. Everytime I have a bag of donuts, my waist expands another six inches. So far my expansion fees total a 75-inch waist.”
While the Pacers were in the ABA, they won three championships. That’s kind of like being the best comedian in Cold Lake, Iowa. There isn’t a lot of competition. In fact, in Cold Lake, Iowa, the only comedian is Johnny Kornpone. Johnny Kornpone is famous for his catchphrase. “What? You’ve never milked a cow? Well, jibber, jibber, jibber!”
The Pacers have several players in the Hall of Fame: Alex English in 1997, Adrian Dantley in 2008, Gus Johnson in 2010, Chris Mullin in 2011, Mel Daniels in 2012, Reggie Miller in 2012, and Roger Brown in 2013. Rick Smits, the Dunking Dutchman, was also in the Hall of Fame. Not the NBA Hall of Fame, but the Tallest Players in the NBA Hall of Fame. At 7 foot four, he anchored the Pacers from 1988-2000. He is the highest paid Dutch athlete ever. The second highest paid Dutch player is Pim van Hop, a soccer player who would hop like a Kangaroo every time he score a goal.