The Indiana Pacers got their start in the old ABA but they’ve been members of the NBA since 1976. Since then, the Pacers have featured some outstanding players who created memorable moments for fans throughout the world.
Here is a look at the Pacers best players since they joined the NBA. This list only takes into consideration what these players did in a Pacers uniform. The length of time they spent with the Pacers and how well they played for them are the biggest considerations.
4. Mark Jackson
Jackson spent six seasons with the Pacers and was one of the better passers in the game, averaging more than eight assists per game during his tenure with the team. Jackson also had way of shooting over taller players that became known as “The Teardrop Shot.”
The Brooklyn native had two stints with Indiana and helped make the Pacers contenders. In 2000, the Pacers reached the NBA Final with Jackson playing a major role.
As a great passer, he helped make the players around him better and he was the catalyst for some strong Pacers teams in the 1990s.
3. Rik Smits
Smits spent 12 seasons in the NBA and was with the Pacers for all of them, bringing fans the consistency and delight that longevity offers. He helped Indiana reach the NBA Finals in 2000 which was his final year in the league.
His best season came in 1997-98 when he was named to the NBA All-Star Game when he averaged 16.7-points per game and nearly seven rebounds per contest. With the growth of legality in the sports betting and gambling world in Indiana at sites like www.indiana-bet.com/, avid and die-hard fans alike are looking for another such season from current centers Sobonis or Turner.
The 7’4” center earned the nickname “The Dunking Dutchman.” Smits was a clutch performer and always seemed to play his best in the playoffs.
His stellar play and dedication to the team earned him a spot on the Pacers 40th Anniversary Team.
2. Jermaine O’Neal
O’Neal broke into the NBA straight out of high school and was just 17 when he was selected in the 1996 NBA Draft.
He joined the Pacers in 2000 in a trade with the Trail Blazers and quickly became a key player for the team. In his first season with Indiana, O’Neal set a franchise record by blocking 228 shots.
O’Neal represented the Pacers in six straight All-Star Games from 2002-07 and averaged 18.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game during his eight seasons with the team.
His best season came in 2004-05 when he averaged 24.3-points-per-game and helped lead the Pacers to the Eastern Conference Final.
O’Neal struggled with injuries later in his tenure with Indiana but was always determined to lead the team to victory. He will be remembered as one of the best players in franchise history.
1. Reggie Miller
No Pacers player was a dynamic and as dangerous with the ball in his hands as Reggie Miller. Miller was a pure scorer who wasn’t afraid to shoot from anywhere on the court and usually made his shots, especially when it mattered most.
By the time he retired, Miller held the NBA record for the most three-point shots made in his career. He averaged more than 18 points per game and scored 25,279 and was a five-time NBA All-Star.
Miller famously scored eight points in nine seconds in a playoff game against the New York Knicks in 1995 to lead the Pacers to a dramatic comeback victory in the final minute.
His trash talking battles with filmmaker and Knicks season ticket holder Spike Lee at Madison Square Garden were legendary as the two went back and forth yelling at each other and making gestures all in good competitive fun.
Miller’s number 31 has been retired by the Pacers and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.