Midway through the third quarter of January 10th's nationally televised handcuffing of the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George jumped a passing lane near the top of the key, intercepted a pass, and with an effortless indifference, slammed the basketball through the rim.
Knicks head coach Mike Woodson responded with a quick time-out and shake of his head. Moments before TNT went to a commercial break, color commentator (and the greatest Pacer in franchise history) Reggie Miller declared George as the new face of Indiana’s franchise.
As there are only 30 teams and only one face can be “the face” at a given time, passing-of-the-torch declarations like Miller’s are special. The Indiana Pacers have unofficially been Danny Granger’s team since 2008, when he first led them in scoring and seemed to be the type of player that could help change the franchise’s cracked image.
Now, six years later, at an age that was supposed to be his prime (29 years old) Granger’s...