Pacers announce plans to celebrate team's 50th season
Fifty years of the Indiana Pacers. Cause for celebration.
On the 49th anniversary of the official unveiling of the name for Indiana's then-new American Basketball Association franchise, the Pacers announced plans Thursday for a season-long celebration of their 50th season. Those plans include a patch to be worn on player jerseys and a corresponding logo to be featured in team marketing initiatives.
The celebration will include era-specific commemoration nights throughout the 2016-17 season, the details of which will be announced after the NBA season schedule is released.
"Our 50th season of professional basketball presents a tremendous opportunity to salute the players, coaches, owners and people who have represented the Pacers for the past half century as well as to underscore the franchise's historic role in Indianapolis and Indiana sports," said Rick Fuson, president of Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
Although it was announced in February 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 said the name "Pacers" 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.