The Jamaal Tinsley Saga -- Please Don't Punish the Good Guys

Cartoon (Indy Star)I don’t really have much to say when it comes to the Jamaal Tinsley “Naptown Shootout” incident. I just think that this has to be the last straw for the Pacers when it comes to Tinsley. The strip club incident, the barfight and now this?

Is he auditioning for The Departed sequel?

Is he sing-handedly trying to fill the crooked sneakers of Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson?

Even after witnessing what happened to Sean Taylor, does Mel Mel the Abuser still have a death wish?

I love the way he’s played this season, and I appreciate his change in demeanor, but this is just too much coincidence for me to believe that his life is totally squared away. With both of his parents gone he is responsible for his seven (I believe) younger siblings, and he’s really not doing too good of a job. Is that harsh? Maybe, because he’s in a tough spot at his age, but his brother James firing back shots like he was some movie vigilante just looks terrible. I understand that you want to give your family important jobs, but security detail should not be one of them. You’re supposed to keep your fam out of harm’s way, not subject them to harm’s way.

Plus, a point guard shouldn’t only be a floor general, but a leader on and off the court. Tinsley hasn’t exactly been a sterling example for Marquis Daniels and Co. recently.

True Hoop‘s Henry Abbott has all the info and some great insight of his own not only on the situation, but also pro athletes and guns in general. Be sure to check that out if you are either unfamiliar with the situation or want to learn more.

Why the entire Pacers franchise isn’t bad news after the jump…

This mainly goes out to the fans — Pacers fans, Indianapolis fans and sports fans in general — don’t let a few bad apples ruin your opinion of the whole Pacers franchise. Yes, Tinsley’s behavior is ridiculous (you can go out real late without running into trouble… lots of us do it). Daniels, Shawne Williams and ex-Pacers Artest and Jackson didn’t exactly exhibit model behavior either.

What about the guys who are class acts, though? What about Danny Granger, the Jehovah’s Witness and all-around great guy who is enjoying a breakout season (18 ppg, 6 rpg)? What about Jermaine O’Neal, who’s followed in the great Reggie Miller‘s footsteps to become one of Naptown’s finest philanthropists? What about guys like Jeff Foster, Kareem Rush, Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy, who do things the right way, both on and off the court? How come we never hear about them?

During Miller’s regime as a Pacer, the Pacers were always one of the classiest and hardest-working teams in all of professional sports. They made they playoffs nearly each of those 18 years, and really represented the city’s blue-collar work ethic. Donnie Walsh, Jim O’Brien and Larry Bird are also classy guys. Sure, Pacers management has gotten caught up with winning and overlooked some character concerns, but that’s the nature of pro sports. After all, the coaches, front office and team leaders can’t chaperon guys like Daniels and Tinsley 24-7, can they?

Additionally, guys like Tinsley are becoming commonplace in today’s sports world. It can, has and will happen to every franchise out there.

Give Bird, O’Brien and Walsh the chance to clean up this mess, the way that Kevin Pritchard and Paul Allen (a couple other good guys who had to deal with a team gone rotten) have in Portland. Give Dunleavy, Granger, O’Neal and Co. the chance to impress you. They’re good people. Most of all, don’t suggest that the Pacers franchise should be shipped out of town. Reggie Miller didn’t give 18 years of his blood, sweat and tears so that the franchise would be moved to another city. He built Conseco Fieldhouse, just like Indy’s other favorite son, Peyton Manning, has built Lucas Oil Stadium.

And what about the efforts of Miller’s ABA forefathers, guys like George McGinnis, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown and Slick Leonard? Should we flush their legacies down the toiliet, too, just because a couple morons have tried to turn Indy into the new Wild West?

Without Miller and those ABA greats, Pacers fans might have been faced with the stark reality of the Baltimore or Memphis Pacers long ago. That would have caused a good portion of many of our favorite sports memories to not exist. Be patient. Walsh and Co. will fix this thing, so that the city, the city’s fans and sports fans in general can continue to enjoy the great Pacers franchise we all became accustomed to for almost four decades prior to these last several turbulent years.

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