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News » Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2009-09-18

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2009-09-18

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2009-09-18One of the two key people that made sure the Pacers didn't move to Sacramento during the early 1980's has passed away.

Co-owner Mel Simon died Sept. 17 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 82.

"To sum it up, Mel was a great businessman, owner, philanthropist and competitor," former Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "Mel was a warm and brilliant man who helped so many people. Indianapolis has lost an icon and a big part of its history."

Simon and his brother, Herb, purchased the Pacers in 1983.

NBA commissioner David Stern credits the Simons for turning the Pacers into a first-class organization. The Simons also brought the WNBA's Indiana Fever to Indianapolis 10 years ago.

"To keep (the Pacers) and to move from Market Square Arena to Conseco Fieldhouse, it was their determination that everything about the basketball team and the NBA in Indianapolis was going to be first-class because Indianapolis deserves it," Stern said.

The Pacers reached the Eastern Conference Finals six times with Mel Simon as co-owner.

"Mel was a giant of a man, and I suspect he was more responsible for making Indianapolis a big-league city than anybody," said Jim Morris, who is now the Pacers Sports & Entertainment president.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 18, 2009


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