Indiana Pacer Darren Collison Can Weather the NBA Lockout: Fan’s Take

Indiana Pacers fans waited all last season for point guard Darren Collison(notes) to resurrect the flashes of stardom that he displayed during his rookie campaign with the New Orleans Hornets, but he never really developed a consistency that gave us confidence in his ability to run the team on the floor. While Collison was up and down for the Blue and Gold during his first year in Indiana, he revealed in a recent interview that he has exercised financial restraint and shown good judgement over his first two seasons in the NBA. Having witnessed the downfall of the Pacers during the last five years due in large part to bad judgement on the part of their players, I'm happy to hear that at least one member of the current team is level-headed, and it makes me optimistic about Collison's future here.

As Collision told the Los Angeles Times during an NCAA exhibition game on November 8, he heeded some sound advice coming out of college and decided to mind his growing bank account closely over the last couple of years. Preparing for the seemingly inevitable lockout which now grips the NBA, Collison eschewed the typical rookie trappings of lavish spending, limiting himself to a condo in L.A. and a splurge for a new Lexus for his mother. Otherwise, Collison says, he has saved most of the income from his young career, and he feels like he could weather an entire lost season without suffering too much.

Of course, for the average American living paycheck-to-paycheck, or for the many unemployed United States workers, it seems nearly unfathomable for an NBA player to fret about his financial future when he's made a couple of million dollars to this point. But, of course, professional sports is a completely different world than the one in which most of us live, and it's the rare athlete who plans for the future, particularly at such a young age (Collison is 24).

Darren Collison may not have turned the city of Indianapolis upside down with his play on the court during the 2010-11 NBA season, but he has made some good decisions so far in his life. Basketball is not life, naturally, but wouldn't you feel more comfortable having your last-second offense run by a young man with good judgement than one who had blown through all his earnings?

Adam Hughes was raised, and still lives, in rural Indiana. He has been a Pacers fan since the early 1980s and has witnessed the rise and fall of a great NBA franchise. He follows the current club closely and is anxious for the lockout to end so the Pacers can begin their next ascent.

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Updated Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011