The Indiana Pacers were never a well-known bunch, but they are now.
Losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat was agonizing. They wanted to push their playoff bill to the NBA Finals. They couldn't.
For them, that's difficult to cope with, but that doesn't change what they were able to do.
"Everybody in this country knows who the Indiana Pacers are now," head coach Frank Vogel said after the game.
He's right. We know who they are and what they stand for. We also know they aren't going anywhere.
Few predicted the Pacers would come this far. Even fewer thought them capable of contending for an NBA title sans Danny Granger. They proved everybody wrong.
To come within a victory of the franchise's first finals appearance since 2000 is quite the accomplishment. Their route to Game 7 is even more impressive.
The Pacers dismantled the second-place New York Knicks in the second round. Then, they pushed the best team in basketball, the reigning NBA champions to seven games.
After all that they faced, all they were forced to endure, that's incredible.
"We represented our franchise, our city and our state extremely, extremely well," Vogel said. "And we have a lot to be proud of."
That they do, and the world knows it.
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