INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Pacers will celebrate their 50th season by honoring the great players of the past with commemorative bobbleheads to be distributed free to arriving fans on "Decade Games" at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The season-long celebration begins with the Pacers Opening Night presented by Kroger on Wed., Oct. 26, when the team plays host to Dallas and celebrates the 50th season as Hall of Fame Coach Bobby "Slick" Leonard bobbleheads will be given to every fan in attendance. In addition, the Pacers' first General Manager, Mike Storen, will be recognized along with representatives of the Pacers' first ownership group.
"There can be no more fitting way to lead off our 50th season than to recognize the man who embodies all the decades of the Pacers, Bobby Leonard," said Todd Taylor, Sr. VP & Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for Pacers Sports & Entertainment. "Indeed, without Slick and his wife, Nancy, we might not be here today." Leonard coached the Pacers to 529 victories and three American Basketball Association championships. He now is in his 32nd year as radio analyst alongside play-by-play voice Mark Boyle.
Other bobblehead honorees:
- 1960s Decade Game, Nov. 12 versus Boston: Hall of Fame forward Roger Brown
- 1970s Decade Game, Dec. 10 versus Portland: Hall of Fame center Mel Daniels and former ABA Most Valuable Player George McGinnis
- 1980s Decade Game, Jan. 7 versus New York: Forward Chuck "The Rifleman" Person
- 1990s Decade Game, Feb. 11 versus Milwaukee: Hall of Fame guard Reggie Miller
- 2000s Decade Game, March 12 versus Miami: All-Star forward Danny Granger
- 2010s Decade Game, April 4 versus Toronto: All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist Paul George
In addition to the bobbleheads, Bankers Life Fieldhouse signage and decor will reflect that particular decade, as will in-game music, videos and entertainment. Pacers players will wear shooting shirts that will be similar to the uniforms worn in those decades. The Pacemates will also don outfits from those decades.
"Much like our Hickory Nights are meant to capture the essence of the great Indiana game, our Decade Games will be a platform to celebrate Indiana's team and recognize all those who have participated in making the Pacers such a transformative presence in our city and state," said Taylor.
Fans interested in tickets to any of the Decade Games, including Opening Night presented by Kroger, should visit Pacers.com/tickets.