Cheap Shots #71: Marketing The First-Year Coach?

One Response

  1. The Pacers’ best marketing strategy would be to fire Larry Bird. That might actually push them towards having a decent team for the first time in half a decade.

    All joking aside, Henry Abbott’s piece is just another thinly veiled accusation of racism at Indiana, and it’s completely out of place on this topic. The Pacers are de-emphasizing players in their marketing campaign for three reasons:

    1) They have no marketable stars, save O’Neal, whose potential as a marketable star is limited by his own personality and off-court incidents
    2) Their roster is a piece of crap, and hopefully everyone on it will be gone in 12 months or less
    3) The franchise has so totally ruined its reputation in Indianapolis that it has to focus on someone completely new to the situation

    Using last season’s “big trade” as evidence that the Pacers felt a desire to “get whiter” is stupid. The team absolutely had to move Steven Jackson — the combination of the Detroit brawl, followed by the nightclub incident right before last season started, would’ve made him unwelcome in nearly any market. Bird and Walsh stupidly waited until after these incidents before making a move, and had to settle for pennies on the dollar. I’m shocked they got anything for them at all. Oh, but would it make Abbott feel better if one of the players they traded for was black? What a stupid argument.

    Plus, I don’t recall anyone celebrating Al Harrington leaving in that trade…Al was actually quite liked in Indianapolis.

    Is marketing O’Brien a good idea? For that market, probably. Indiana is one of the few markets where a strong, solid coach can be as big of a selling point as a star player. Sadly, O’Brien isn’t a solid coach, proving once again that the biggest problem with the Pacers marketing is the guy putting the team together (i.e., Bird).

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