Pacers co-owner: 'Everything but the owner' could change
The co-owner of the Indiana Pacers has had enough of his players making the news for all the wrong reasons.
"We're talking about restructuring, rethinking, all the things you do when your team is in crisis," Herb Simon, who along with his brother Mel owns the Pacers, told The Indianapolis Star. "We're going to be having a series of meetings, and we're going to make changes, yes."
What will be addressed? "Everything but the owner right now," Simon said, according to the report.
In the past few seasons, the Pacers have endured a litany of incidents involving players getting in trouble with the law or behaving badly.
The last three years have been one incident after another. It's not that all these players are bad people, they just make bad judgments and they're in the wrong place. We don't have a community that can tolerate this kind of behavior.
--Pacers co-owner Herb Simon
Forward Shawne Williams was excused for a game when a man wanted on a warrant in connection with a fatal shooting in Memphis, Tenn., was spotted at his house and later arrested after he left as a passenger in a truck registered to Williams.
Days earlier, a woman told police she had been raped during a small gathering at the suburban home of guard Marquis Daniels.
Daniels is not a suspect in the rape, but a man who was at the house could face charges, pending the results of evidence tests in the coming weeks, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.
Daniels and Jamaal Tinsley also face charges stemming from a February 2007 fight at an Indianapolis nightclub. Tinsley faces the most serious charge, a felony count of intimidation.
"Another upsetting situation," Simon said, according to the report. "The last three years have been one incident after another. It's not that all these players are bad people, they just make bad judgments and they're in the wrong place. We don't have a community that can tolerate this kind of behavior.
"Ever since [the brawl with Detroit Pistons fans in 2004 at the Palace of Auburn Hills], we seem to have one problem after another," Simon said. "But we've had 21 great years where we were a shining example in the community. Now it is my responsibility -- and believe me, I'm going to get on it -- to restore that kind of image of our team so we can all be proud of them and concentrate on winning and losing and not so much on outside incidents."
Simon said team president Larry Bird, who has been under the microscope given the Pacers' struggles on and off the court, can't be blamed for everything that has gone wrong.
"The problems we're having [are] not a question of whether Larry's doing a good job or [team CEO Donnie Walsh] is doing a good job," Simon said, according to the Star. "These are situations that it's easy to assess the blame. We're responsible for all the things that have happened, but I can't point my fingers at anybody and say, 'It's your fault' right now.''
Walsh's status with the Pacers after this season remains uncertain, although Simon said he and Walsh are in the midst of a discussion that probably will be "resolved in the next couple of weeks," the newspaper reported.
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