Maybe Tyreke Evans hasn’t been around an organization that holds its players accountable much in his career to this point, but the Indiana Pacers aren’t looking to play any games. Evans was late to practice and will not play in tomorrow night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“This is the most professional and team-oriented organization I have been with in my career,” said Evans in the team statement. “They deserve my best every day and I am disappointed in myself for causing a distraction that prevents me from being able to help my team tomorrow. I will do better.”
Evans did not attend practice today with the only word coming from the team was that it was for “personal reasons” before the annoucement that he would not travel with the team to Cleveland.
The Pacers will be hoping that this will just be a wake up call for Evans, who hasn’t played on many good teams during his career in the NBA, and this is the last issue the team has with him.
Evans missed many games last year for personal matters at the end of the season while with the Memphis Grizzlies and also was dealing with personal issues while with the Sacramento Kings in 2010 as well. Hopefully, in this case, it is just Evans making a mistake and being held accountable for being late to practice and he isn’t dealing with something more serious in his personal life.
Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan often talks about wanting his players to respect the game and shared his pet peeves at media day.
“My biggest pet peeve is being on time,” said McMillan on media day. “Be on time in everything we do. Another one is we don’t F with the game at any time, whether we are practicing or playing the game. “The respect for the game, the organization, our staff, our fan base, those are things that it’s hard for me to deal with when we are not doing what we are supposed to do.”
J. Michael of the Indy Star reported that the Kings teams that he was on use to text during film sessions and has seen some unprofessional behavior. This jump to a good team with high expectations may be a slight culture shock for Evans, who has been a terrific fit off the bench as a secondary playmaker.
Evans has bought into the team concepts on the court and played better defense than he has during much of his career. He’s been a fantastic fit alongside Victor Oladipo and has been key to the Pacers bench depth that has been one of the best second units in the league with him and Domantas Sabonis leading the charge.
In the short term for the Pacers, this gives an opportunity to Edmond Sumner, who is the most likely candidate to take over the minutes that Evans would have received. The 2-way contract guard had a terrific preseason and looks ready for an opportunity.