The Indiana Pacers Can’t Stop Getting Guys With the Similar Names

For the 2015-16 season, the Indiana Pacers had all three of the NBA's Hills.
For the 2015-16 season, the Indiana Pacers had all three of the NBA's Hills. /

Looking at the Indiana Pacers roster over the past 7 years, the team has a habit of acquiring players with similar names.

So far this offseason, the Indiana Pacers have continued a trend of acquiring players with similar names by trading for forward Thaddeus Young, who shares a surname with point guard Joseph Young. On draft night they continued the trend by taking Georges Niang with the 50th pick, pairing him with Paul George.

But how long has these name shenanigans been going on? Let’s work our way backward.

Last season, the Pacers cornered the NBA’s market on Hills by signing center Jordan Hill, giving them all three of the league’s Hills.

Sadly, with the trade of George Hill and the likely departures of Solomon Hill and Jordan Hill, this monopoly was broken up after just one season. But at least before that, they had Solomon Hill and George Hill from 2013-16.

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On top of that, last season the Pacers drafted Myles Turner with the 11th pick, pairing him with C.J. Miles for the rare first-last name combination. The other first-last combination in Indiana’s recent past is Paul George and George Hill. The duo came together in 2011 when the Pacers traded a draft pick for George Hill.

At least for now, the George(s) line lives on with Paul and Niang.

In the 2014-15 season, the name C.J. was popular on the Pacers’ roster. C.J. Miles joined Indiana to pair up with C.J. Watson, and for a short time in the preseason, C.J. Fair made it a trio sharing the first name. While the NBA connection has been broken up, C.J. Fair plays for the Pacers’ Development League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. One could argue the C.J. line lives on within Indiana’s organization as a whole.

The next duo in this chain of similar names belongs to the Hansbrough family, as both Tyler and Ben were on the roster in 2013. They are the only family members on this list.

The trend continues with Jeff Foster and Jeff Ayers (known as Jeff Pendergraph when he was in Indiana). But even with changing his last name in 2013, the Pacers streak was still on a roll.

We finally get to the duo that got this all started in 2009 when Solomon Jones and Dahntay Jones joined the team in free agency.

And that is where the chain ends.

Since 2009, there have been at least two players on the roster with very similar or shared names. This almost was extended back to 2008, but Kareem Rush (2007-2008) left the team over the summer before Brandon Rush (2008-2011) joined in the fall.

As an added note, there have been several groups that shared names but weren’t on the roster at the same time since 2009. Those include Solomon Jones (2009-2011) and Solomon Hill (2013-2016), as well as C.J. Watson (2013-2015) and Earl Watson (2009-2010).  Evan Turner (2014) and Myles share a surname as well and Jeff Teague added to the Ayers (2011-13) and Foster (1999-2012) line of Jeffs.

If you want to see how all these names intersect, click here for a map of all the connections.

Next: Getting To Know Teague And What He Brings to the Pacers

Does it mean anything? No, not really, unless you can prove that the various members of the Indiana Pacers front office have purposefully attempted to make Chris Denari’s and Quinn Buckner’s jobs a nightmare at times.