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Herb Simon talks Naismith Hall of Fame, Pacers, and more

One-on-one with Pacers owner Herb Simon

GLENDALE, Ariz. (WISH) — Pacers Sports & Entertainment chairman and owner Herb Simon will be joining an exclusive club later this year.

Simon will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame during Aug. 16-17 in Springfield, Mass.

He was named one of 13 inductees to the Hall of Fame in this year’s Class of 2024. Simon is joining the Naismith Hall of Fame under the “contributor” category.

“It means a lot,” Simon said. “For someone who never hit a three-pointer, never dunked the ball, to be in the Basketball Hall of Fame is a real special honor. I owe it to a lot of people in the fact I was put in a position to guide the Pacers for the last many years.”

Simon and his late brother Mel bought the Pacers in 1983. In fact, Herb Simon is the longest-tenured governor in NBA history.

He joked that he didn’t believe it at first when he found out he was joining the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

“I hope I represent the Pacers and the Fever and Indiana as well as I can,” said Simon.

News 8 Sports reporter Andrew Chernoff spoke with Simon on Saturday, after the official announcement was released to the public.

Chernoff asked Simon about what he’s most proud of over the course of his tenure within the Pacers organization.

“Feeling that I was a steward for the Pacers for the community, rather than being the owner of the Pacers,” Simon said. “It was something that I felt – I owed it to the community. They’ve been very gracious and good to us.”

The Pacers are currently locked in tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference as they hope to avoid having to play in the Play-In Tournament.

“We got some young players that still have to develop,” Simon said. “I think we can grow internally. It’s always possible that we could pick up another player or two, but I like the team the way it is.”

The Pacers play at the Cavaliers on Friday at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

Entering Thursday, the Pacers were 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings, making them the final team that would avoid having to play in the Play-In Tournament if the season ended today.