The Indiana Pacers have had plenty of press conferences lately, but should we believe everything that’s been said?
Today, we’re not here to call anyone liars, but it’s easy to forget there are always public relations elements to running a basketball organization like the Indiana Pacers.
Sometimes, you’ve got to massage the message when you’re talking about things. Sometimes it may sound overly optimistic, but that doesn’t make it a lie. Just perhaps means a difference of opinion — a glass-half-full vs half-empty sort of situation.
We’ll call out lies if we see them, but in general basketball teams don’t need to lie as much as they need to handle the egos of situations to make sure someone isn’t pissed off for no reason — unless you’re in the Larry Bird school of public relations.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of Kevin Pritchard and the Pacers’ more recent statements and decided just how truthful they are, and how much is simply public relations speak.
One of the franchise’s best days?
Was acquiring Malcolm Brogdon one of the best days in the franchise’s history?
“I think I started screaming into the phone,” McMillan volunteered on Monday, when Brogdon was introduced at a press conference at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“The most excited I’ve seen him in 10 years,” confirmed Pritchard, the Pacers’ president of basketball operations. “I think he said “Really?!” like 15 times in a row. He kept going, ‘Really?! Really?!'”
It’s safe to say – really safe – that McMillan’s enthusiasm over the acquisition of the combo guard who played the previous three seasons in Milwaukee is widely shared within the Pacers’ front office. Pritchard used the term “epic” four times over the course of the press conference and individual conversations to describe the impact of the transaction and did not hesitate to climb out on a potentially hazardous limb.
“This is one of the best days in this franchise’s history,” he said.
Yes, it is.
When you look down a list of Pacers free agent signings, the top is now David West and Malcolm Brogdon. Yes, this is technically a sign and trade as the Pacers got the deal done thanks in part to Herb Simon, but it doesn’t change the fact Brodgon wanted to sign with Indiana. The two teams just chose to expedite the process.
But as far as acquiring players, it’s hard to think of a better day outside of West joining the team.
I don’t even discount Nate McMillan’s enthusiasm for the sake of a joke here — hell, we’ve seen him get excited once or twice — he probably is thrilled to have a point guard that’s young, dynamic and a perfect fit next to Victor Oladipo.
Other than Malcolm’s injury history, there’s very little downside to the move. Indiana’s first-round pick is likely to be towards the middle or worse and is lottery-protected until 2025, so the risk of regret on that front is minimized.
Outside of the on the court moments, this is certainly one of the better days.