Sunday, May 2, 2004
Pacers take 'blue-collar'
approach to winning
The Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS - Before the start of every home playoff game for the Indiana Pacers, a whistle sounds and the phrase, "It's time to go to work" appears on the scoreboard.
It's a fitting slogan for these Pacers, who keep piling up the wins with little glitz and even less fanfare.
Their secret? Good old-fashioned hard work.
"With as much talent as we have, these guys really bought into a system of being a blue-collar team - knowing they have to bring their hardhat and lunch pail every day in order to win ballgames," assistant coach Mike Brown said.
The attitude adjustment has been an about-face from recent Pacers teams that languished while the young players learned how to handle distractions and the inevitable peaks and valleys in a long season.
This year, they've been all business. They show up for work, punch their time cards and methodically go about accomplishing the goals they set.
That mentality was never more evident than in their first-round sweep of Boston. After cruising to two home wins, the Pacers dismantled the overmatched Celtics from start to finish of Games 3 and 4 to close out the series.
MAVERICKS: Nearly two hours after coach Don Nelson bid Dallas farewell for the summer, Steve Nash was the last player left in the locker room. How symbolic: He didn't want to leave.
Though Nash actually was there Saturday because he'd been chatting with the team's president of basketball operations, the sentiment is true. He hopes to remain in Dallas, even though he plans to opt out of his contract and become a free agent.
"If the Mavs came to me today with an offer I couldn't refuse, it'd be over, because this is where I really want to be," Nash said.
Opting out gives him the chance to double the annual salary, plus get the security of being signed for up to six years.
Considering the Mavericks let Nash get this close to the open market, they're likely to let him see what he can get elsewhere, then match it.
130th KENTUCKY DERBY
wins with sentimental journey
Elliott, it's just a race - but a big one
Jones draws a crowd at home track
sees good things in the future
special place in their hearts
make for a contrasting infield
ads raise no fuss
gallery: The race
Photo gallery: The scene
FLYING PIG MARATHON
push each other in Pig Relay
age 82, marathoner's been a long time running
test doesn't trouble Panthers
lose 4th straight
Faraway fan reminds us of what we have
will test free agency
AL: Tigers hand
Mariners eighth loss in 10 games
NL: Rockies get
win against Braves
need funding for new stadium
hoping to shake his past
struggles require patience
McEachern exudes that star quality
combine continues to grow
Walton-Verona both lose in All 'A' Classic
Sistrunk hurdles to Roosevelt event victory
take 'blue-collar' approach to winning
season ends in Game 7
remain alive on Sakic OT goals
MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
celebrates 18th birthday with the lead
shorty goal tops Russia for USA
baseball team has 29 wins, 5 losses, 1 proposal
may get another shot at Illini
now is 'beautiful' and successful
quick chat with ... Mark Cassis
up with that?