INDIANAPOLIS – “Danny Granger will be missing the remainder of the 2012-2013 NBA season”, reported the Indiana Pacers on Thursday. It seems as though the long awaited return of the former All-Star Forward will be something that Pacer fans will have to wait for next season. That is assuming that Donnie Walsh sees it fit to keep Danny Granger in the blue and gold after seasons end. After all, Paul George seems to have made a break through of his own and has certainly cemented himself as the Indiana Pacer’s “go-to” guy. Many sources around the league have claimed that Granger is no longer untouchable as far as the Pacer’s front office is concerned and furthermore that the Pacers were even shopping the star forward around the league before the trade deadline. Fans also seem to be okay with the thought of parting ways with Granger much like they parted ways with Jermaine O’Neal back in 2008. Granger would certainly add something to another NBA franchise. His scoring ability and his leadership are things that are direly needed on many young teams throughout the league. Teams like Cleveland, Sacramento (soon to be Seattle), and even more established teams like Dallas and New York would love to get their hands on a guy like him. Heck, I could even see him taking his talents to South Beach with LeBron’s blessing of course.
Of course there is his injury this year, his declining play, and well, the guys isn’t going to be in his prime for much longer (if he hasn’t already fallen off). All of these reasons seem like good reasons for the Pacers to pat him on the back, thank him for his services, and cut their losses to avoid the 14 million dollars in salary that they will owe him in the last season of his contract in 2014. They could probably add some younger pieces to come off the bench and give the Pacers their much needed offensive boost.
All of this sounds great, except for one thing. Danny Granger is the Indiana Pacers. People seem to forget what Danny Granger has done for this Franchise. It wasn’t too long ago that the Pacers where the laughing stock of the league. It wasn’t too long ago that the Pacers were anchored at the bottom of the league in almost every statistical category. Including the one that matters most (wins). The Pacers were hopeless. Well, almost hopeless. They did draft this kid from New Mexico that came in a year after the “Malice at the Palace” and worked his way into the starting lineup. A kid who rose up and became the face of a broken franchise. A kid who was the ray of hope that the Pacer faithful needed in those times of darkness. You know the one I’m talking about.
The point is, Danny Granger was a Pacer when it wasn’t cool to be a Pacer. He had his chance to leave, and trust me, I wouldn’t have faulted him if had. However, he didn’t. He stood by the team that had given him a chance to play ball. He gave us a chance. His loyalty to the Blue and Gold has shown throughout his career. From his decision to stay in Indiana, to his on-the-court scuffles with LeBron James. Danny Granger is THE Indiana Pacer. Isn’t it our obligation to give him his chance?
All I am saying is, when I go to opening night next season and those lights go off with Boomer suspended from the raptors of the Banker’s Life Field House, it would be music to my ears to hear at the announcers conclusion: “And at the other forward, number 33, DANNY GRANGER!”. Music to my ears indeed.