This season will be Indiana’s 50th, and we commemorate the team’s history with this countdown of the 50 greatest Pacers. Here, we look back on the good, the bad and the many dramatic moments brought to us by the state’s greatest pastime.
No. 30 -- George Hill (2011-2016)
POS: PG PPG: 12.3 AST: 3.9 REB: 3.7 3P%: 37.6
This Broad Ripple native and IUPUI alum always stressed the fact he was never a pure point guard, a truth reflected in his stat line. But Hill’s game is as blue collar as they came. He’s a versatile and lengthy defender, a worthy ball handler and a knockdown shooter from long range. His game isn’t sexy, but it rarely disappoints.
FIRST TIMER: Hill became the first player from IUPUI to be selected in the NBA draft when he was taken 26th overall in 2008 by the San Antonio Spurs.
No. 29 -- Chris Mullin (1997-2000)
POS: SF PPG: 9.4 REB: 2.7 FG%: 47.2 3P%: 44.1
Once a shooter, always a shooter. Such is the case for Mullin, who came to Indy near the end of his Hall of Fame career. Though on the wrong side of 30, he started 134 of his 179 games and bolstered a squad loaded with 3-point shooting. The team ranked among the best long range units in the league during Mullin’s three-year tenure.
BACK TO HIS ROOTS: Mullin was a standout at St. John’s University, where he was a three-time Big East Player of the Year. He returned to his alma mater in 2015 to coach the men’s basketball team.
No. 28 -- Herb Williams (1981-1989)
POS: C PPG: 15.0 REB: 7.8 BLK: 1.9 FG%: 47.6
Williams spent an impressive 20 seasons in the NBA, with his best years coming in a Pacers uniform. During his eight-year stay in the Circle City, he was one of the few bright spots on a team that languished in irrelevancy. His lone playoff appearance with the team came during the 1986-87 season.
GOOD RETURN: Williams was traded from Indiana to the Dallas Mavericks during the 1988-89 season. The Pacers received Detlef Schrempf and a second round pick later used to select Antonio Davis.
No. 27 -- David West (2011-2015)
POS: PF PPG: 14.0 REB: 7.0 AST: 2.8 FG%: 48.7
He’s a baaaaad man. The Xavier alum often did the team’s dirty work. Whether banging in the post, getting tough rebounds or spacing the floor with a crisp jumper, West was a model of consistency. He was also the moral compass for teams that made back-to-back trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, serving as the elder statesman to the cartoonish antics of Lance Stephenson.
TAKING A STAND: Throughout his career, West has performed a silent protest during the playing of the National Anthem. While his teammates stand in a straight line near midcourt, West places himself roughly two feet behind them.
No. 26 -- Jeff Foster (1999-2012)
POS: C PPG: 4.9 REB: 6.9 FG%: 49.7
Foster’s game-day itinerary was simple: clean the glass, play defense and stay the hell out of the way. Foster will never make the Hall of Fame, but remains a fan favorite for his willingness to get his hands dirty -- some think too dirty. A 2012 Sports Illustrated survey of NBA players listed Foster as one of the dirtiest players in the league.
LONG STAY: Foster spent his entire NBA career with the Pacers and played 764 games with the team, the fourth most in franchise history.
No. 25 -- Roy Hibbert (2008-2015)
POS: C PPG: 11.1 REB: 6.8 BLK: 1.9 FG%: 46.2
Big Roy entered the league as a lanky 7-foot-2 enigma, but became one of the league’s elite defensive players. By the 2013-14 season, he was a two-time All-Star and the centerpiece of a stifling defense that pushed the Miami Heat to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
LOCAL CELEBRITY: Hibbert made three cameo appearances on the NBC sitcom, Parks and Recreation along with other Indy sports stars, including Reggie Wayne, Detlef Schrempf and Andrew Luck.
No. 24 -- Antonio Davis (1993-1999)
POS: PF PPG: 9.0 REB: 6.7 FG%: 48.2
One half of the Davis Brothers, Antonio came off the bench for the majority of his tenure as a Pacer, backing up teammate and not-actual-brother Dale Davis. His 6-foot-9 frame added depth to the team’s frontcourt, and he was a steady post presence during an era when Indy consistently contended for a title.
OVERSEAS TRIP: Davis was drafted by the Pacers in 1990 but spent the next three years playing in Greece and Italy before making his NBA debut.
NO. 23 -- Darnell Hillman (1971-1977)
POS: PF PPG: 10.6 REB: 8.4 BLK: 1.5 FG%: 47.6
Hillman may not be the greatest Pacer, but he ranks among the coolest. Sporting an afro as regal as a lion’s mane, Hillman’s athleticism and knack for rocking the rim earned him the nickname Dr. Dunk. He often played a supporting role, but his trips to the rack were exclamation points for a team that won back-to-back ABA titles in 1972 and 1973.
A WORTHY NAME: Hillman won the inaugural NBA slam dunk contest which took place throughout the 1976-77 season. Dr. Dunk defeated Golden State’s Larry MacNeil during the finals and won a cash prize of $15,000.
No. 22 -- Clark Kellogg (1982-1987)
POS: PF: PPG: 18.9 REB: 9.5 AST: 1.5 FG%: 49.7
Had Kellogg played in today’s NBA complete with advanced medicine and smarter recovery methods, perhaps his career extends beyond the paltry 260 games he played with Indiana. While Kellogg was an admirable post player, chronic knee pains forced him to retire at 25.
BEATEN BY OBAMA: Kellogg, now a basketball analyst for CBS, played a game of H.O.R.S.E. with President Obama in March 2010. The game was called, “P.O.T.U.S.” given the circumstances. The Prez bested Kellogg by one bucket.
No. 21 -- Don Buse (1972-1977, 1980-1982)
POS: PG PPG: 7.7 AST: 5.1 STL: 2.5 FG%: 43.4
Buse rarely lit up the scoreboard and played a backup role, but his defensive acumen and ability to run an offense made him an asset. He led the ABA in steals and assists in 1976 and gave a repeat performance the following year when the Pacers joined the NBA. During that two-year peak, Buse appeared in back-to-back All-Star Games.
EVANSVILLE LEGEND: Buse grew up in Southern Indiana and played Division-II basketball at the University of Evansville, leading the team to the 1971 championship.