72ºF

That time of year

It is too early to get excited about the NBA playoffs. I am concerned that despite their big turn around from last season, the Rockets can't beat Indiana. For some reason the Pacers have had Houston's number over the years. 

I usually hope the Pacers do well. I reported on that team on a daily basis many years ago. The job I HAD was at Channel 6 in Indy. I started there covering the team when they were in the ABA. That league was weird enough but near the end, it was real strange. In one week the Pacers had to play the Carolina Cougars 3 times because 2 other teams had folded. The Pacers sent out the likes of Billy Keller and Don Buse to do battle against teams that had DR. J. and MOSES MALONE. Indiana's muscle man was Darnell Hillman. Bob Netolicky carried the torch for the state of Iowa. HE claimed to have played college ball for every team in that state.

My first year there the team finsihed 5th in a 9 team league. Eventually the NBA took the team into their league and things suddenly made more sense. George McGinnis was the pride of I.U. and he would become a Pacer. He almost killed me at a practice. I HAD JUST gotten rid of my sling after a shoulder surgery. George slapped me on that shoulder and told me was glad to see me. He was surprised I was on the floor with tears in my eyes. I guess he figured I got emotional. Before a game with the SIXERS the team had a media vs. celeb game. The celebs had CHEECH AND CHONG. Now those were some interesting time outs.

I had fun covering the ABA-NBA but getting here in time for the COOGS to get to three straight final fours sure put Indiana in the rear view mirror. However, the Pacers long time coach, Slick Leonard, did try to sell me insurance.