A look at how the Pacers new management team went about building their culture with the “Three T’s” – Togetherness, Toughness and Trust.

Love the way they engaged their players:

“Looking back, I think the most important thing that we did as a front office was get our players’ input,” Buchanan said. “We asked Darren Collison, ‘What do you want from a front office?’ At the time, Boston had just traded Isaiah Thomas after he had played in the playoffs right after his sister died. He said, ‘Do you want the honest truth? Players in our league don’t trust front offices, for the most part. You guys can just trade us – regardless of how loyal we are to the team.’” 

When asked how the Pacers could earn back their players’ trust, Collison said, “I want to know ahead of time if I might be traded. I don’t want to find out on Twitter or ESPN.”

After hearing similar things from veterans like Thaddeus YoungAl Jefferson and Cory Joseph, the front office reached an agreement with their players: If they entered serious trade discussions, they would inform each player involved in the possible deal – but if the deal fell through, the player needed to stay committed to the organization. 

The arrangement worked well. Buchanan said that in 2017-18, two different trades nearly happened and both sides held up their end of the bargain. Indiana’s front office told the two players about the potential trades once the talks became serious and, after the deals fell through, both players didn’t let the news affect their commitment to the team.

When Victor Oladipo joined the Pacers, he was impressed by the front office’s communication with players and willingness to listen.

“I haven’t played on many teams, but based on the teams I have played on, it’s pretty rare for upper-management to take the players’ input and opinions to heart and really try to apply those things throughout the entire program,” Oladipo explained. “For them to do that, it just shows what kind of people they are and it shows what kind of organization we’re trying to build.”

Also love the “Reset” button in the training room on the way out to the court.

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