INDIANAPOLIS -- On this day 50 years ago, the name for Indiana's then-new American Basketball Association franchise was officially unveiled: The Pacers.
Although it was announced in February of 1967 that Indianapolis would field a franchise in the startup ABA, it wasn't until June 16, 1967 that the team was named the Pacers and the official logo was unveiled. That same day, General Manager Mike Storen also announced that Larry Staverman would become the team’s first head coach.
Storen revealed the Pacers name was chosen because the franchise intended to "set the pace in the ABA," the team played at the Fairgrounds Coliseum where pacers (a type of horse) race, and finally, because the Indianapolis 500 sets the pace in auto racing.
The iconic original Pacers logo featured a hand holding a basketball to make the shape of the letter "P" while the colors of blue and gold were chosen to mimic the Indiana state flag.
For the past years, the Pacers have embarked on a season-long celebration of their 50th season. The celebration will included "Decade Nights" throughout the 2016-17 season, each of which paid homage to a specific decade of Pacers basketball. All fans at each Decade Game received a commemorative bobblehead honoring an iconic Pacers players from that era.
For more information about the Pacers' 50th season celebration, including stories, videos, photos, graphics, and merchandise, please visit Pacers.com/50.