Mark Montieth tells the dramatic story of the noble, widespread effort to establish a new pro basketball franchise after a 14-year hiatus in Indianapolis, as well as the tumultuous and electrifying early seasons when the franchise that thrives today took root. More than merely recounting the games, he delves into the personal stories of key players -- some joyous, some heartbreaking -- and the volatile social issues of the time. He also captures the carefree, raucous nature of professional basketball in a basketball-crazed state in the Sixties and the fateful events that allowed the Pacers to survive and thrive.
It was an era unlike any other, when teams played in primitive arenas before 200 fans, fights in games were commonplace, a player could pack a gun in his carry-on tote for a road trip and a $6,000 down payment could claim a franchise. The Pacers will celebrate their 50th birthday in October, 2017, so this is the perfect time to tell the story of their birth and infancy in the American Basketball Association.