There is nothing good in Pacers Nation right now. The team is a barge on fire in a sea of gasoline, and watching it play has become a waste of time for anyone who enjoys well-played basketball.
Through the struggle, the team seems to be unraveling at its core. Players are continually talking about one another in the media, and the once-concrete chemistry and togetherness that held everything together seems nonexistent. The players say they have talked and talked and talked, but it has become merely a futile exercise in windbaggery as nothing that they discuss translates to substantive change on the court.
Now we are hearing that, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, George Hill “got into a verbal confrontation” with Lance Stephenson during a timeout last night during Indiana’s loss to San Antonio.
The Pacers are experiencing a leadership void at the moment and the only thing they’re racking up faster than turnovers and bad shots is finger pointing. During a timeout in the second half, George Hill got into a verbal confrontation with Lance Stephenson on the bench and they had to be separated by teammates.
Paul George has battled some negative attention and has turned away some teammates’ offers for support during it. Hibbert has gone on the record calling his teammates selfish. Team president Larry Bird has gone on the record essentially calling his coach, Frank Vogel, soft and his players not committed enough.
Barely a game goes by when one Pacer or another doesn’t seem to be angry at Stephenson for something. Often he earns it, be it ridiculous technical fouls or bizarre decisions, but Stephenson is rarely guilty of not playing with commitment, as Bird has questioned his teammates on.
Your Indiana Pacers, ladies and gentlemen.
UPDATE: Here is another account from Steve Aschburner of NBA.com.
Hill had a heated timeout exchange with backcourt mate Lance Stephenson in the second half Monday, but chalked it up to “wanting to win.” Stephenson likened it to “brothers” squabbling but still being family.