SBD/March 18, 2013/Franchises

Pacers Player Frustrated Over Lack Of Fan Support At Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Hill said he felt 70% of the fans at the game Friday were pulling for the Lakers
The Pacers played the Lakers at home on Friday before a seemingly pro-L.A. crowd, and Pacers G George Hill's comments after the game agreeing with that notion "struck a nerve with the fan base," according to Mike Wells of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. The Pacers, who "continue to have attendance problems, have a history of a significant number of fans in the fieldhouse cheering on the marquee teams in the league." Hill said that he "felt like 70 percent of the crowd was cheering for the Lakers." Hill "has the backing of his coach and other members of the Pacers’ organization." Pacers coach Frank Vogel said, "I don’t think it’s bad. I don’t think he’s saying anything negative to the fans. He’s just asking for more support. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that." Hill on Saturday "took to Twitter to clear up his comments." He wrote, "To clear the (air) I’m not talking about the fans that was there supporting us! I’m talking about the ones that were in purple" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/17).

MIDWESTERN HOLLYWOOD: Wells noted Hill in the locker room following the game on Friday was "a few feet away talking (pretty loud) to [Pacers F] Roy Hibbert about the lack of Pacers fans in the building." Hill said, "It sucks. It was 70 (Lakers fans) -- 30 (Pacers fans) out there. These are the same people that wants autographs after the game. We’re out there in the community. We’re doing our job, doing what we’re supposed to do on and off the court. Something has to change." He added, "It’s been all season long where it’s not showing and I don’t think there’s nothing else we can do as an organization and as players" (INDYSTAR.com, 3/16). Wells noted the more Lakers C Dwight Howard "dunked and the more 3-pointers Los Angeles made, the louder the fans cheered." All the Pacers "needed to do was lower the lights in the stands, put Jack Nicholson and Denzel Washington in the high-priced seats and you would have thought you were across the country at Staples Center" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 3/16).
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