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George Hill criticizes lack of Pacers fan support

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10:04 AM ET 03.16 | As we interviewed David West following their bad loss to the Lakers, George Hill was a few feet away talking (pretty loud) to Roy Hibbert about the lack of Pacers fans in the building. Scott Agness (or Young Fella as I call him) from Pacers.com and I asked Hill about all the (Lakers) fans in the building. Hill didn't back down what he was saying to Hibbert. I've decided to post the full transcript of what Hill said. Post your thoughts in the comment section. "It sucks. It was 70 (Lakers fans) -- 30 (Pacers fans) out there. These are the same people that wants autographs after the game. We're out there in the community. We're doing our job, doing what we're supposed to do on and off the court. Something has to change. I tip my hat to this team. We've been trouble free. Been out in the community shaking hands, we're winning. It shouldn't feel like an away game, especially with an important like this. Tonight, that's what it felt like."

Indianapolis Star

George Hill, Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images George Hill, Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images
March 16, 2013  10:09 AM ET

Maybe they should move this team to Seattle...

March 16, 2013  10:09 AM ET

Fans won't like this...but he is right. The fans should get out there and support their team. There are other fans and cities in the NBA who would kill to have an NBA team to root for. Especially one that is playing as well as the Pacers have this season.

March 16, 2013  10:15 AM ET

Fans pick and choose the team(s) that they support. Just because you are the 'home' team does not mean that everyone will cheer you on. The Lakers probably have the biggest bandwagon fan base in the NBA so it's no surprise that they were out in force in Indy.

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March 16, 2013  10:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Fans won't like this...but he is right. The fans should get out there and support their team. There are other fans and cities in the NBA who would kill to have an NBA team to root for. Especially one that is playing as well as the Pacers have this season.

The bad economy has hit. People have to spend their money on essentials and as they don't have enough lose change to go WATCH grown men do their job.

It aint like the players pay to watch me do my 9 - 5 job... This shows how shallow and clueless Hill is... do your job.. with or without fans!

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March 16, 2013  11:19 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Sorry George but this isn't the old school NBA any more. Fans grew weary of being loyal to the brand while watching you clowns pick where you played based on the biggest contract.

You are in a smaller NBA market and there will always be more Laker, Celtic Knick fans around cheering. You have two choices. Either move to a larger market team or win a championship in Indy. That will bring out fan energy.

Yep. Almost word for word of my first thought about this.

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March 16, 2013  11:34 AM ET

I did notice on some of the big plays down the stretch, like Jamison's 3, and Dwight's dunk, that the crowd was cheering loudly, but I thought it was the way they miked the stadium! I guess there were a lot of Lakers fans there.

March 16, 2013  11:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Sorry George but this isn't the old school NBA any more. Fans grew weary of being loyal to the brand while watching you clowns pick where you played based on the biggest contract. You are in a smaller NBA market and there will always be more Laker, Celtic Knick fans around cheering. You have two choices. Either move to a larger market team or win a championship in Indy. That will bring out fan energy.

While I understand your larger point, I still lean towards backing George Hill on this. First, there are smaller market teams who have great fan bases and ride or die with their teams. OKC comes to mind. And while they have superstar players, they haven't yet won a ring. If the NBA was to take the Pacers from Indy, the fans there would scream bloody murder. But why should you have a team that you don't support?

Also, in the earlier part of this decade, Indy had a team that they didn't want to associate themselves with coming off of the Malice in the Palace. Now they have a group of squeaky clean, hard working, overachieving guys. Role model type guys. Guys who DESERVE their support. There is no excuse.

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March 16, 2013  12:14 PM ET

Disgraceful performance by Pacers answers all questions Hill has. Missing 8-10 layups, slogging thru game like they didn't care if they won or lost and he wants folks to spend their $ watching him strut around and count his money? Arrogance doesn't sell when you lose to washed up bench players.

March 16, 2013  12:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Everyone keeps referring to OKC as some example fan base. OKC fanbase is much like a young kid who appears to be a model citizen. Let's wait until that young kid faces the trials of adulthood and see how they handle things then.Let a couple of stars walk out on OKC to go to greener pastures and let the management/ownership make a few mistakes first before we decide that the OKC fanbase is so different than any other fanbase.Fans start to wake up after a while especially as they grow older. Fan "loyalty" in pro sports where players want to walk when they choose may be an outdated paradigm. Pro sports wants you to keep buying into it with your wallet though so they can keep selling shirts and cupholders and keychains.

Good point! OKC has been on an upward trajectory the last few years, first making the playoffs, then advancing to the WCF, then making the Finals. Of course the fans are loyal for that! But what if the Harden trade turns out to be the thing that keeps them from a title, and they even go backward a little?

 
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