Team Spotlight: Indiana Pacers

Posted on February 04 2020

Based in Indianapolis, the American professional basketball team, the Indiana Pacers, are part of the NBA’s (National Basketball Association) Eastern Conference Central Division. In the year 2000, they were the NBA Eastern conference champs. Nine division titles have been won by the Indiana Pacers.

Have you ever wondered where the name "Pacers" came from? According to an investor by the name of Tinkham, the moniker combines two different things: the pace car used for the Indianapolis 500 and the rich history of the state for harness racing pacers. Who knew?

Let's take a closer look at the team and some of the history involved.

 Team Spotlight: Indiana Pacers

The Formation of the Pacers

A group of six investors (including the above-mentioned Tinkham) got together in early 1967 and pooled their resources. Their purchase? A proposed American Basketball Association franchise. The Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum was where the team played for the first seven years. For the next 25 years after that, and after a move to the new Downtown Indianapolis Market Square Arena, they stayed put.

Who Are the Pacers?

Based out of Indianapolis, the American professional basketball team known as the Indiana Pacers competes in the NBA (National Basketball Association) League’s Eastern Conference Central Division. Downtown Indianapolis’ indoor arena, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, is where the Pacers call home. It replaced Market Square Arena, opening in November 1999.

Arenas, Championships, and Owners

Through the years, the Pacers have gone through a number of arenas, a couple of owner changes, and have landed a number of championships. See the following:


  • 1967 to 1974 – Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum
  • 1974 to 1999 – Market Square Arena
  • 1999 to 2011 – Conseco Fieldhouse
  • 2012 to present – Bankers Life Fieldhouse


  • Zero NBA championships
  • Three ABA championships – 1970, 1972, and 1973


  • 1967 to 1983 – (in no particular order) John DeVoe, Richard Tinkham, Chuck Barnes, Chuck Devoe, and Bob Collins
  • 1983 to present – Herbert Simon

Mascots and Retired Numbers

Through the years, a couple of mascots have represented the Pacers and a handful of numbers have been retired by them. See the following:


  • 2002 to 2010 – Bowser
  • 1991 to present – Boomer  

Retired numbers:

  • Bobby Leonard – 529
  • Roger Brown – 35
  • Mel Daniels – 34
  • Reggie Miller – 31
  • George McGinnis – 30

Indiana Pacers Most Notable Players

Much in keeping with the retired numbers just listed, let's take a look at the best Indiana Pacers of all time.

  • Reggie Miller – renowned ambassador for the NBA and the Pacers
  • Rik Smits – from 1988 to 2000 he was referred to as the Dunking Dutchman
  • Dale Davis – for the 1990s Pacers, he was an integral player and fan favorite
  • Jermaine O'Neal – 2002 Most Improved Player of the Year
  • Mark Jackson – crafty point guard
  • Vern Fleming – 1984 to 1995
  • Danny Granger – 2009 Most Improved Player of the Year and All-Star
  • Chuck Pearson – "The Rifleman"
  • Paul George – five-time All-Star
  • Billy Knight – 1970s and 80s

There are, of course, numerous other notable Pacers players… but those are thought, by many, to be the top 10.

Indiana Pacers Biggest Rivalries

Though every team you play is probably considered a rival, several teams are considered to be the all-time rivals of the Pacers. Those teams are as follows:

  • Miami Heat
  • New York Knicks
  • Detroit Pistons

Pacers Hats at Hat Heaven

Hat Heaven carries a couple of different Indiana Pacers caps, depending on your budget. Our red, top-of-the-line, high-end Indiana Pacers cap has "HICKORY” printed across the front, in gold. Specifically, it is a New Era 9Fifty snapback referred to as the Pinot Red Hoosiers Cap. Our more affordable model, for those wishing to save a little money so they can buy Pacers tickets, is the 47 Brand Cleanup Dad Hat in Navy. This Indiana Pacers hat has the “P” logo on the front with a basketball in the center.

Whoever your favorite team is, check with Hat Heaven before shopping anywhere else. We have a wide selection of team caps.


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