We Changed the Game is a story-the real story-about the very beginning of the Indiana Pacers professional basketball team. It’s about the laughable new league founded in the 1960’s in which the Pacers got their start as a team, the American Basketball Association (ABA), which gave many unsung players a shot or a second chance to make it in pro basketball but faced constant struggles during its brief existence from 1967-1976 before it merged with the NBA.
During those early days in the ABA league, the Indiana Pacers captured three ABA league championship titles. But also—and only known by a select few—the Pacers, and the ABA league as a whole, barely survived through some incredibly close calls and financial fiascos, facing the brink of extinction more than once. But it was with the unwavering support of Pacers fans, very creative negotiating by Pacers’ co-founder and team protector Richard Tinkham, an ABA-NBA league merger, and two Indianapolis-based real estate legends that ultimately saved the ABA and secured the Pacers’ future as one of the top-contending professional basketball teams in the country.
The love that Indiana basketball fans had for the Pacers also triggered the explosion of downtown Indianapolis, transforming it into a vibrant, progressive state capital over these past 50 years. Through the eyes of Robin Miller, Richard Tinkham and Bob Netolicky who were there through it all, sit back and enjoy one of the most improbable and inspirational stories in professional sports history. The Pacers and the ABA league proved that with big dreams, loyalty and perseverance, even the impossible really can be possible… and ordinary people truly can change the game.
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