How about the year Jermaine had a triple-double and made Shaq cry?
Of course you don’t.
Those things never happened, because the All-Star weekend has not exactly been full of magic moments for the Pacers through the years.
Maybe things will begin to change. Paul George is completing a rare triple: after participating in the dunk contest last year, he is in both the 3-point shootout and the All-Star Game this weekend, the first Pacers player to pull of that particular sweep.
Gerald Green is in the dunk contest and he’s won it before, so will be considered one of the favorites in his hometown of Houston.
In the meantime, here’s a primer on the Pacers’ occasionally productive, sometimes sordid All-Star history.
ROUGH TIMES FOR REGGIE
The greatest Pacer, Reggie Miller, was hardly at his best in All-Star events. He appeared in five games, starting once, and averaged just 8.0 points on 46 percent shooting. His best outing came in 1998, when Larry Bird was the East coach, and Reggie scored 14 points in 20 minutes, hitting 6 of 8 shots. But that was an anomaly.
Perhaps the greatest clutch 3-point shooter in NBA history was 5-of-19 (.263) in All-Star Games. He also came up consistently short in the 3-point shootout, participating five times but never winning, though he did finish second in 1990 (to Craig Hodges) and ’95 (to Glen Rice).
His best chance came against Hodges, when he could’ve won by hitting his final money-ball shot, but it missed and he lost 19-18. Larry Bird, who was shockingly ousted in the first round, had the most memorable quote:
“I felt like I went to Las Vegas and lost $20,000 (the winner’s prize). … But I feel better than Reggie Miller because he had a chance to win $20,000 and blew it on his last shot.”
The other highlight in 1990 was Michael Jordan’s embarrassing performance, scoring just five points in getting wiped out in the first round. He never participated again.
JERMAINE AND THE ONE-TIMERS
Jermaine O’Neal actually stands as the Pacers’ most productive All-Star. In five games (two starts), he averaged 11.2 points and 7.6 rebounds and has the team highs for points (16 in 2004), rebounds (10 in 2003) and blocked shots (four in 2003).
Beyond Reggie and J.O., the Pacers have had only one-timers: Don Buse and Billy Knight (1977, when the team was in the Western Conference), Detlef Schrempf (1993), Rik Smits (1998), Dale Davis (2000), Brad Miller (2003), Ron Artest (2004), Danny Granger (2009) and Roy Hibbert (2012). Of that group, Smits had the best game with 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Three Pacers have served as head coach for the East: Bird in ’98, Isiah Thomas in 2003 and Rick Carlisle in 2004.
FREDDIE THE PACEMAKER
Perhaps the greatest highlight of the weekend for the Pacers was Freddie Jones’ victory in the 1994 dunk contest. His signature dunk came on a reach-back, one-handed dunk of a ball bounced off the floor.
George actually could’ve won last year, had technology not failed him. After wowing the crowd by jumping over 7-2 teammate Roy Hibbert for a preliminary round slam, he produced the first glow-in-the-dark dunk in contest history. Problem was, the lights-out performance would’ve been much better had all of his assorted paraphernalia – including the ball and highlights on his uniform — actually glowed. Even so, he finished a respectable third.
Bender was hosed in 2001 when he was the first player to complete the free-throw line takeoff dunk with his left hand. The problem was, the judges weren’t paying particularly close attention and didn’t realize he’d done it with his off hand and thus his score did not reflect the degree of difficulty.
Another major moment came in 1985, the only year the All-Star weekend was in Indianapolis, when Pacers rookie Terence Stansbury finished third in what was probably the strongest field in the history of the dunk contest. Stansbury finished behind two of the greatest dunkers of all-time, as Dominique Wilkins bested Jordan in the final. Others in the contest included Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler, Darrel Griffith and Larry Nance.
So if you watch the big events this weekend, do so with muted expectations.