For Pete's Sake

Indianapolis mayor says 'Indiana is the center of the basketball universe'

Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner, left, drives past Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jose Calderon, from Spain, in the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 98-95.
Indiana Pacers’ Myles Turner, left, drives past Cleveland Cavaliers’ Jose Calderon, from Spain, in the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 98-95. AP Photo

Whew, Pacers fans were really ticked off by that missed call in the final seconds of Indiana's Game 5 playoff loss at Cleveland on Wednesday.

The NBA acknowledged Thursday that Cleveland star LeBron James' block of a Victor Oladipo shot was actually goaltending. James then hit a three-pointer and the Cavaliers won 98-95.

On Thursday, Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett issued an executive order that outlaws goaltending in the city.

That is kind of funny, but then Hogsett tried to oversell hoops in the Hoosier state.

In the proclamation, Hogsett wrote "WHEREAS James Naismith, who invented the sport of basketball in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1891, claimed later in his life that, 'basketball really had its origin in Indianapolis, which remains the center of the sport;' and

"WHEREAS, in the Hoosier State, we play basketball the way it should be played..."

Hmmm. Should be played?

The Pacers have zero NBA titles since joining the league in 1976 and have been to the finals once. The University of Indiana has missed the last two NCAA Tournaments and has one tourney win in the last five years.

Still, Hogsett told Fox59: "Indiana is the center of the basketball universe, and sometimes that means we have an obligation to stand up and defend the basic rules of the game. With this Executive Order, I hope Indianapolis residents can be confident that our city is ready to watch our Pacers win Game 6 on Friday."

Of course, the original rules of basketball are housed in Lawrence, where Kansas has won 14 straight Big 12 titles and is coming off a Final Four appearance.

After KU alumnus David Booth purchased James Naismith’s original rules of basketball for a total of $4.3 million in 2010, the DeBruce Center was built adjacent to Allen Fieldhouse to house the historic two-page document.

North Carolina is home to two of the game's blue bloods: the Tar Heels and Duke. Villanova has won two of the last three NCAA titles, and the Golden State Warriors have won two of the last three NBA championships.

Now I get it: Hogsett's proclamation is clearly intended for his constituents and to get people ready for Game 6 of the Pacers-Cavaliers series. But no one in Indiana really believes it is the center of the basketball universe, right?

Here is Hogsett's proclamation:

The road and history connect nine towns in rural Kansas -- if not the birthplace of basketball, then the place where the game took its first steps, writes Kansas City Star reporter Kent Babb.

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