Pacer players, including captain Danny Granger, Paul George, Darren Collison, Roy Hibbert and recent acquisition George Hill, gathered on Tuesday for some shooting drills and scrimmaging. It was the first time the team has come together to this degree for a work out, reports Mike Wells.
“We’ve been separately doing our own stuff for so long that it’s good for us to get together,” Granger said. “A lot of times we’ll get together right before the season starts, but we don’t have that opportunity now because we have no clue when the season is going to start. We’ll just do little camps like this as often as we have to so when it’s time to play, it won’t be the first time that we’ve all been together.”
Jeff Foster, who helped organize the meet-up along with Granger, Tyler Hansbrough, Josh McRoberts, Lance Stephenson, and AJ Price were the other players to show up.
Players’ union head Derek Fisher has urged players to “stay ready for a season.”
Along those lines, Indiana fans should be encouraged that a squad full of so many young players are taking the individual responsibility to stay in shape and put in work. During the last lockout in 1998-99, many players badly let themselves go, with “young stars like Shawn Kemp checking in at more than 290 pounds” — something that eventually spawned the excellent blog Fat Shawn Kemp. (via this excellent Hoopspeak chronology of the last lockout.)
“You have to make sure you’re physically fit,” Collison. “You don’t have the coaches to check on you and let you know what you have to do. It’s a matter of self-discipline, knowing how good of shape you need to be in when the season starts. I think this camp is putting us on the right track.”
Speaking of not playing NBA basketball …
One website has reported that Josh McRoberts may be on his way to Serbia to play. (via Faith Uzuner) This is the only place I have seen anything about Josh going overseas and it’s a website I have never heard of, so take it with a grain of salt. Interestingly, however, while essentially the whole Denver Nuggets team, not to mention many others throughout the league, this is the first real talk we have seen about any Pacers playing abroad.
In still other informal basketball news, the Indy Pro Am league will soon play the Goodman league.
Hopefully, the union and owners will soon reach a deal. Because I’m not sure about you, but informal shootarounds, Serbian professional leagues and barnstorming games between glorified AAU teams aren’t that exciting to me.