by Kent Sterling
The Indiana Pacers came so close last June to pulling off a huge upset against LeBron James and the Miami Heat in the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals, so exactly four weeks before the preseason opener against the Chicago Bulls, it was time to check in with all-star forward Paul George on 1070 the Fan about what he and his teammates are doing to prepare for the 2013-2014 season.
George is the new face of the franchise, and the biggest reason for optimism unseen in Indianapolis since the retirement of Reggie Miller in 2005, and prior to that the disemboweling of the group that advanced to the NBA Finals in 2000. The versatility and work ethic of George and continued development of his young teammates has resulted in a significant bump in season ticket sales, and given cause for the media to pay attention more often during what used to be a quiet period for the Blue and Gold.
Both George and teammate George Hill spent part of the day outside Ross-Ade Stadium hosting a tailgate party prior to the Boilermakers taking on Indiana State. They are drumming up enthusiasm for the G@ section at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for home games. The two will supply 72 tickets for fans who pass the audition to attend home games and behave with manic enthusiasm.
This upcoming season will be the third year that George and Hill have supplied tickets for the G2 Zone winners (72 is Paul George’s No. 24 multiplied by George Hill’s No. 3) for Section 120 of the Krieg DeVault Club Level. Members of the exclusive section will receive a ticket to EVERY home game; participate in theme nights; receive a G2 Zone T-shirt and a Gatorade towel; and attend exclusive events with both Hill and George.
To be eligible to join the G2 Zone, Pacers fans must team up in pairs and submit a photo along with a brief bio to Pacers.com/G2Zone. The deadline to submit a photo is Friday, Sept. 13, at 11:59 p.m. Finalists will be notified the next day and must attend the Finals in Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Thursday, Sept. 19. The 72 winners will be announced that evening.
George spoke to Chris Hagan and I today on “Ahead of the Curve” on 1070 the Fan. As with all the Pacers, he is a great interview – honest, funny, and a solid ambassador for the city and franchise.