Remembering The Pacers Profession Of Jeff Foster

Remembering The Pacers Career Of Jeff Foster

  Jeff Foster was one of the scrappiest players in Indiana Pacers franchise history. He’s also one of the feistiest big men who ever donned the Blue and Gold. Hall of Fame Pacers shooting guard Reggie Miller gave credit where it was due – that’s why he nicknamed Foster “The Feisty One.” Sadly, Foster hasn’t […]

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Indiana Pacers mascot with fans against the Golden State Warriors at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 13, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(Picture by Andy Lyons/Getty Pictures)

Jeff Foster was one of many scrappiest gamers in Indiana Pacers franchise historical past.

He’s additionally one of many feistiest huge males who ever donned the Blue and Gold.

Corridor of Fame Pacers capturing guard Reggie Miller gave credit score the place it was due – that’s why he nicknamed Foster “The Feisty One.”

Sadly, Foster hasn’t garnered sufficient recognition since he hung up his sneakers following the 2011-12 NBA marketing campaign.

It’s about time that modifications – Foster was one of many the explanation why Indy was a perennial title contender within the years main as much as the notorious “Malice on the Palace” fiasco.

Jeff Foster Rose From Obscurity Throughout His Unheralded NBA Profession

The Pacers acquired Foster by way of a commerce with the Golden State Warriors for fellow rookie Vonteego Cummings and a future first-rounder in 1999.

Cummings by no means panned out – he performed simply three seasons within the NBA earlier than strutting his wares abroad.

Foster’s story was solely totally different.

Some 13 years later when Foster rode off into the sundown, it was crystal clear Pacers GM Donnie Walsh and co. fleeced the Warriors.

They positively did their homework on Foster.

No person in Indianapolis knew who he was after he signed with the Pacers in 1999.

He wasn’t a big-name rookie who belonged in the identical stratosphere as Elton Model or Lamar Odom.

Nonetheless, he proved he belonged within the Affiliation.

Foster’s arrival coincided with a significant shakeup within the Pacers’ frontcourt.

He was a rookie throughout Indy’s historic run to the NBA Finals in 2000.

He languished totally on Larry Chicken‘s bench that 12 months whereas studying the ropes of the professional sport.

Keep in mind Rik Smits, “The Dunking Dutchman,” retired following the 1999-00 NBA season as a consequence of nagging foot points.

Indiana then traded huge man Dale Davis to the Portland Path Blazers for teenager Jermaine O’Neal that offseason.

Earlier than lengthy, Foster and O’Neal turned a formidable frountcourt tandem for Pacers head coaches Isiah Thomas and Rick Carlisle in subsequent years.

O’Neal had an unlimited offensive repertoire within the low put up – he may shoot medium-range jumpers and dunk ferociously with both hand.

J.O. was additionally a grasp shot blocker.

Foster complemented O’Neal’s sport completely – the previous specialised in putbacks, rubbish factors, rebounds, and continuous hustle from the opening tip-off.

Oddly sufficient, the best way they complemented one another was strikingly much like the best way Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner complemented one another greater than a decade later.

It’s a transparent indication of how Indy’s administration builds its groups – the Pacers should act as a cohesive unit on each ends of the court docket.

As for Foster, his profession stats of 4.9 factors and 6.9 rebounds per sport definitely aren’t mind-blowing by any stretch.

Don’t allow them to idiot you – he was the right instance of a participant whose affect went past the stat sheet.

To place it in the same means, he went above and past the decision of responsibility for the Blue and Gold.

Foster may rating 14 factors and seize 20 rebounds any night time.

He additionally may produce comparable numbers towards guys such because the Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace, which is not any imply feat.

If there was a stat for protecting unfastened balls alive, Foster would’ve been the Pacers’ all-time franchise chief palms down.

Foster’s nostril for the ball was second to none.

With him round, the Pacers earned helpful second possibilities each time they virtually muffed a possession.

Foster performed 13 seasons within the NBA – his longevity and sturdiness had been indicative of his worth to Indiana.

He stays among the finest unheralded huge males in Pacers NBA franchise historical past.

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