Hey, who called in the ringers? (Image via scottagness on Instagram)
It's like my grandfather always said: "After you sweep the NBA's only back-to-back-to-back of the season to run your winning streak to five games and retake the lead in the Central Division, you need to find a way to wind down." Clearly, Paul George, Roy Hibbert and George Hill had similarly wise progenitors, because after returning to Indianapolis following their, um, lightly attended Wednesday night win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the Indiana Pacers starters joined a lucky few fans for some spirited games of dodgeball, long the relaxation method of choice for true gentlemen everywhere.
Behold the summer-camp stylings, complete with frenetic multi-ball action, apparently shifting boundary lines and, of course, questionable overalls:
The Thursday dodgeball excursion was part of a joint fan-focused venture between Hibbert's "Area 55" and Hill and George's "G2 Zone," two special cheering sections of fans selected after offseason auditions to receive season tickets to Pacers home games, show up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and go bananas for the home team (and for these three players in particular). As was the case when Hibbert invited Area 55 members out to play Laser Tag over the summer, the players seemed more than willing to mix it up with fans, stalking them down and firing.
Just one problem: It sounds like the sides were a little uneven. According to one poster on Indy message board Pacers Digest, "For the record, any team that has both Paul and George on their side has a VERY unfair advantage. [...] Our squad managed to tie them up in a best of three and then PG and George just turned it on on us in the deciding game." It seems to me like Hibbert could use a partner to even things up the next Area 55 takes on the G2 Zone; may I suggest a certain French superfly Superman? I think I may. (Then again, maybe he should pick David West. I have a feeling David West would be very, very mean at dodgeball.)
One more suggestion: Next time, instead of pinstripe overalls, everyone gets their Max Fischer on. I think the Indiana Bombardment Society is an idea whose time has come, and one we can all get behind.
Here's more from the game, thanks to the Pacers' YouTube channel: