What They Said: Roger Brown

Pacers.com Staff

September 4, 2013

On Sunday, Pacers and ABA legend Roger Brown will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, the honor comes several years after Brown's death, but his memory lives on through his teammates, coaches, and fans.

While many of those watching the ceremony this weekend will be too young to have seen Brown play, many people have written about Brown over the years, preserving his memory for generations to come. Below are links to some of the many remembrances of Brown compiled over the years:

  • Gary Hardy (Remember the ABA): "When he passed away recently, I was reminded of his greatness, especially in one-on-one situations with the game on the line. Before the Pacers figured out how to incorporate the three-point basket into their regular offense, he was their three-point play: Just clear the lane for the 'Rajah' to go one-on-one, make the lay-up, and draw the foul."  Read More »
  • Mike Littwin (Sports Illustrated): "When the obit writers summed up Brown's life, they might have said he was the best player never to play in the NBA. But if they did, they missed the essence of his career. He was of the ABA, by the ABA and certainly for the ABA."  Read More »
  • Scott Howard-Cooper (NBA.com): "Roger Brown was a reserved man. He would have been gracious at the podium if he had lived to see his Hall of Fame enshrinement, those who knew him best say. Public displays of emotion were not his thing. But how could this not be a special vindication?"  Read More »
  • Zak Keefer (Indy Star): "You hear the joy in her rising voice, you see the pain in her tears, you feel the triumph as she clenches her 84-year-old palms together. Arlena Smith is going back. She’s talking about Roger...Before he became the backbone of the ABA’s Indiana Pacers, Roger Brown became her adopted son, a member of the family."  Read More »
  • Peter Vescey (New York Post): "Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James are not the only two players to produce zaftig playoff numbers: 45 points, 15 rebounds and five (or six) assists. On May 19, 1970, I’ll have you know, in Game 4 of the ABA Finals between the eventual champion Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Stars, Roger Brown of Indy accumulated 53, 13 and six with barracuda Willie Wise (trying) to guard him."  Read More »
  • Ken Sothman (Fox 59): "Considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of the league and perhaps the best athlete to don the Pacers uniform, Brown's mythical stature lives on not through TwitVid or descriptions in 140 characters, but from archived articles of the past, aging books, and the memories of his teammates that shake their head in disbelief at the thought of how good Brown was."  Read More »
  • David Friedman (Hoops Hype): Friedman compiled an oral history of Brown's career to make the case for Brown's induction to the Hall of Fame all the way back in 2004, talking to several ABA stars including Slick Leonard, Rick Barry, Mel Daniels, Darnell Hillman, George Gervin, and Julius Erving. Said Erving: "When I first got into the ABA, Roger Brown and the Indiana Pacers were the best franchise in the league. They had the guys with the biggest reputations, they had big game players in terms of clutch play – but Roger Brown was the go-to guy and when you are the go-to guy on a team with Darnell Hillman, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Mel Daniels, you are talking about a pretty special player." Read More »
  • Roger Brown, Jr. has uploaded several videos with highlights from his father's career. Watch Video Tribute »   Additional Videos »
  • Undefeated: The Roger Brown Story is a documentary about Brown's life that premiered in February. Watch Trailer »   More Voice Trailer »
  • The NBA recently uploaded this short compilation of highlights from Brown's career with the Pacers. Watch Highlights »
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