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Friday, October 1st, 2010 at 10:15 am  |  17 responses

The Uneasy Co-Existence Between T.J. Ford and the Pacers

He doesn’t want to be there, and the Pacers can’t get rid of him. Good times in Indy, as the Star details: “T.J. Ford thought he was making his last trip inside the Indiana Pacers locker room when he packed up his belongings April 15. His tenure had been filled with more negatives than positives — he lost his starting job twice — and an obvious communication gap with coach Jim O’Brien. The Pacers clearly felt that way, too. They tried to trade him, then offered him a buyout when there were no takers. Fast-forward to late September, and here’s Ford wearing his No. 5 practice jersey, preparing to be Darren Collison’s backup this season. ‘I thought there would be more options for me to be traded in the summertime with all the movement going on,’ Ford said. ‘There was talk about a possible deal, but it didn’t happen and once the deal didn’t go through, they started talking about a buyout. That’s when I knew I would be back.’ Ford was supposed to bring stability to the point guard position when the Pacers acquired him from Toronto in the summer of 2008. The opposite happened. O’Brien twice benched him because Ford had difficulty grasping what his coach wants on offense. ‘I think he has struggled on the pick-and-roll hitting the roll guy in the past,’ O’Brien said. Ford took a lot of heat during the summer for not agreeing to a buyout. The Pacers offered $5 million. Had he agreed, the New Orleans Hornets, who had just traded Collison to the Pacers, were going to sign Ford to be Chris Paul’s backup. ‘I don’t see any reason why I should have to take less money,’ said Ford, who picked up his $8.5 million player option after last season. ‘My contract says I’m scheduled to make a certain amount of money, and that’s what I expect to get paid.’”

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  • k.o.

    Ford’s a quality shoot-first PG, but he definitely thinks he’s better than he really is. Can’t even count the number of times I saw him ignore an open wing man to force a drive on his own and throw up some ridiculous layup while in TO. Gotta play within the system no matter how much money you think you’re worth…

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    real talk. sucks to get left on the bench, but if your contract is guaranteed, why leave money on the table? especially when you’re a hard fall away from an early retirement.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    You know what? The Raptors had their best season with TJ Ford… Don’t know why people were so quick cast him as a scapegoat.. just saying…

  • MikeC.

    If TJ didn’t agree to the buyout, then he should shut his word-hole and take his spot on the end of the bench. He’s scheduled to make the money, which is true. He’s getting that money from the Pacers, who don’t have much use for him and control his destiny. If he takes the money, he has to be the happy soldier for the Pacers. If he really wants to play, then he should have taken the buyout and gone to a team willing to give him some minutes. Considering his status in the league, and a pending lockout, I think he made a tactical error in not taking the buyout and getting another reasonable contract locked down. Sure, leaving $3mil on the table is tough, but he’s likely leaving a lot more than that by not getting a 3 or 4 year $9-12 mil contract before the lockout and cap changes.

  • T-Money

    They wanted him to take 5 instead of 8.5?! That’s a shakedown!

  • JoeMaMa

    The Pacers can use him for a trade chip; they’ll still looking to deal, I believe. With a salary of 8.5, they can get a fairly good player, and a team looking for immediate relief can trade for him and either buy him out late, or sit him and have him come off the books next year. And NIQ: I agree. He was nice for us back then…who knew he’d fall off like this.

  • blackice87

    Trouble hitting the man on the pick and roll? that’s a load of crap, TJ and Chris Bosh were pretty effective using it as a weapon… maybe it’s the dude rolling that’s the problem? just a thought.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    co-sign chiqo

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    Darren Collison is the future AND Mr. Right Now.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He used to be pass first, then his whole mentality changed after the injury or something. It’s kind of weird.

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    T.J. Fix Or Repair Daily

  • bashmo

    niQ youre right if youre talking in recent years however Vince Carter gave the raptors their best season in 2001…47-35 plus second round playoff appearance, something they havent accomplished since.

  • Exile

    Co-sign Chiqo

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    @bashmo, I was referring to regular season. But yea, was also more intended for post-vc days.

  • dma

    He’d get more minutes backing Collison than Chris Paul. Paul is guaranteed 40 minutes a game while Collison could get anywhere from 30 to 40, depending on matchups since he’s so little. and young.

  • Seven Duece

    Allen, I was thinking the same thing. After he had that nasty fall, he came back with a completely different mindset and I wonder if the two are related – and not in a conscious kind of way.

  • Groves

    Tinsley 2.0… what the hell is with the pacers and point guards? Plaese dont ruin collison for us

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