The Indiana Pacers are going to have to run the Picket Fence at least once next season.
You may recall that play from one of the best sports movies of all-time: “Hoosiers.” The Gene Hackman flick about the high school basketball team from Hickory, Ind., winning a state title is awesome.*
*And it was when there was just one class, not four like there are today in Indiana.
The film was released in 1986, so next year will mark 30 years since it debuted.
That’s why the Pacers announced they will wear special Hickory jerseys in select games during 2015-16 NBA season:
On its website, the Pacers wrote, “The Hickory uniform is a tribute to the rich tradition of basketball in the State of Indiana and will serve as inspiration to fans everywhere that no matter how improbable the challenge may be, amazing things can be accomplished through teamwork, determination, heart and hustle.”
Pacers president Larry Bird, who grew in Indiana, endorsed the move.
“Our team will be honored to wear the Hickory uniforms because of the attention it will bring to the storied history of Indiana basketball and the success of that movie,” said Bird on the team website. “Hoosiers takes us all back to a special place and time.”
Like Jimmy Chitwood, I’m guessing Bird at one time in his career told a coach that he would make a game-winning shot*.
*Chitwood’s shot was as NBA a play as you’d find. Just listen to coach Norman Dale (Hackman) give instructions to his team: