Current day fortunes and overall thoughts
Following this series and the Cavaliers' Finals loss to the Warriors, LeBron would move to the Los Angeles Lakers, and battles with the Pacers became more scarce as time went on, with James going 5-5 against Indiana in his Lakers tenure.
That is not to say that the rivalry has not had its moments though. Most notably, the second most recent game on November 28, 2022, was one of the most exciting Pacers games in recent memory. Of course, most people know about Bennedict Mathurin's comments on LeBron following draft day 2022.
Although some took his quote at face value, Mathurin still backed up his talk with actions, outplaying James on the night as Indiana won off an Andrew Nembhard buzzer-beater.
Overall, LeBron James has a total regular season record of 40-24 against the Indiana Pacers and a dominant 20-10 record vs Indiana in the playoffs. Indiana has notoriously never been able to get over the hump of a LeBron James-led playoff team, and with James turning 39 at the end of the year, this might be Indiana's last chance to get a meaningful win over the all-time great before his career comes to an end.
Indiana fans have been very vocal about their dislike of LeBron James over the past decade or so, but there has always been an element of respect there. Regardless, Pacers fans would like nothing more than to rain on LeBron's parade one last time and snatch the inaugural tourney championship away from the Lakers.
One thing is for sure, though: win or lose, Saturday's In-Season Tournament final should be a great game, and if Tyrese Haliburton can get a big win over James and company, he only furthers his status as the next golden boy of Indiana.