The Pacers didn’t try to re-sign Chris Copeland this past offseason, but they still gave him access to their training staff after his contract ended on July 1st, writes Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star. Copeland, who signed a one-year deal with the Bucks on July 29th, is grateful for the help he needed to recover from the injuries that he suffered when he was stabbed outside a New York City nightclub in April, as Buckner details.
“I was just blessed to have guys like [Pacers president of basketball operations] Larry Bird and the training staff who stuck with me way past when they had to,” Copeland said. “Legally by July 1st they’re not obligated to do anything, but those guys took care of me. They did more than they needed to. That’s why I’m forever in their debt. I appreciate the type of people that I was [around] for the last two years.”
See more on the Pacers amid the latest from the Central Division:
- The Cavaliers made it a point to improve their depth in the offseason, in spite of the tax implications, and they’ve benefited from the strategy in the season’s first month, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. “I think that we went through a year last year where we put ourselves in a great position and had a tremendous season and a tremendous opportunity, then at the very end we fell prey to the lack of depth,” Cavs coach David Blatt said. “And we addressed it this summer. Obviously up to this point in the season, it’s really paid off for us because the guys that we brought in are major contributors and the guys that stayed obviously are high-level people and high-level basketball players.”
- J.R. Smith, who re-signed with the Cavs this summer after a midseason trade, credits the team and Cleveland at large for greeting him with a level of acceptance he hasn’t found elsewhere in the NBA, he tells McMenamin for a separate piece, calling it “first place I’ve been where I’ve started off with a clean sheet.”
- Pacers coach Frank Vogel is pleased with the contribution he’s seeing from the back end of his roster, quipping that Bird “gave me too many good players,” notes Mark Montieth of Pacers.com.