No matter how hard we try to wrap ourselves up in our pastimes, no matter how deeply we immerse ourselves in our Pacer obsession, the real world always seems to find us. Today, it intruded with news of the passing of Melvin Simon, co-owner of the Indiana Pacers.
I wouldn’t presume to eulogize a man I didn’t know, but I feel that it is imperative that we note his passing and pay our respects. Without Mel and his brother Herb, the franchise we so ardently follow would be in Sacramento, and the “Indiana Pacers” would be nothing more than a bittersweet and distant memory. Beyond that, he was instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Indianapolis and one of the biggest benefactors to the community over the last few decades.
As Pacer fans, I want to thank Mel for all he’s done and send my most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
His brother Herb eloquently summed up what he meant as a brother and to the Pacers with some heartfelt words last summer when Mel’s health began to take a turn for the worse:
“Whatever we have accomplished, I know in my heart he’s a legend of all legends for me,” Herb Simon said at the time. “He started this thing.”
You can find more on Mel Simon’s life and career below.