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You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story

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Old 10-08-2017, 03:45 PM   #1
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You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story

System/Game: PC/NBA 2K18
Mode: MyLeague
Rosters: 2K official (with slight edits) as of 10-06-2017
Sliders: Superstar default -- injury frequency set to 22, severity to 25. Will adjust as needed.

Quarter Length: 12 Minutes
Sim Quarter Length: 12 Minutes
Draft Class:

I've set the quality to 47, may lower or raise it depending on what the league needs.

The classes themselves will be Auto/user created -- I'll be avoiding using actual players in the 2018/19/20 classes, and instead give 2K's draft class generator (and other users) a shot for the first time in many years. I know the CAP system, in terms of features and sculpting, has taken a step back, but I've largely been impressed with the diversity in the auto-generated draft classes.

Ages are skewed too high, but it's easy to edit that in quick edit mode and drop everyone to 18/19/20.

Season Length: 82 Games
Regular Season Rules: 20-24 played, rest simmed.
Playoff Rules: 2 playoff games (randomly determined by number generator, one must be in first four games) per series.
2 games allowed in NBA Finals (randomly determined by number generator, one must be in first four games)
Playoff Format: 7-7-7-7
Injuries: On (Frequency for both CPU and User at 22, effects at 25)
Progressive Fatigue: Off (seems to be too much this year, so I've taken it off -- with chemistry and injuries still on, I anticipate the league will be fine, but will adjust accordingly as we go).
Team Chemistry: On
CPU Trades: Off
CPU Trade Approval: Off
Trade Override: Off
Control: 30 Teams, CPU automation for lineup/coaching tasks on every team but my primary; total control otherwise (roster moves, drafting, free agency, etc).

Welcome to my newest dynasty thread! My last one, Defiance: The Odyssey of Ronald Bazemore (linked in my signature below), was concluded many weeks ago and I've had this one sitting in the oven for awhile. 2K18's gameplay is quite good, but the many bugs/glitches forced me to wait till we got to a point that I felt I could start a league without suffering a patch that forced a restart.

I had a couple of different ideas for this one, but recent events (the natural disasters, the Vegas tragedy) forced me to reconsider some aspects of the story and trash them altogether. The tone of this is going to be different than I originally had planned, but I believe the story has benefited from it.

I decided this year to jump back to a team I first starting writing dynasty's for, way back in 2010, the Pacers. I never finished that one (found here: http://www.operationsports.com/forum...s-dynasty.html) but I did very much enjoy that team.

The Pacers -- by pure luck -- brought back a few players from that squad this year, primarily Daren Collison and Lance Stephenson. That, and their new unis (which I quite like), convinced me that this was the team for me.

This story, much like my first dynasty for 2K17, will be told in a 1st person POV, past tense -- consider it an oral history of sorts, but with a twist this time, as we're going to follow a player.

As always, any and all comments are welcome. I hope you guys enjoy.

Now, with all that out of the way ... let's begin.

(Disclaimer -- all this is FICTION so don't assume any of it is real in any way, other than the game results anyway.)
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Old 10-08-2017, 03:47 PM   #2
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Re: You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story





Ch. 1



When my publisher asked me how I wanted to tell this story, and I told him I wanted to put it on the Net, he about flipped the *uck out.



The Net?!" He screamed at me. “Only people your age go there — you need to appeal to a younger crowd, that’s what drives sales.”



We argued about it for about ten more minutes before I convinced him that this whole thing was going out there, one way or another. He didn’t much like it, but I’m not here to beg for recognition from “the young crowd.” I’m here to tell the the story of my life … and I’m going to tell it exactly how I want to.



For those of you out there who don’t recognize my name or who I am, let me introduce myself: I’m Jack Tate, grandson of the cattle baron John Tate. I come from a family that never had to worry about money, and I certainly never gave a *hit about it. I was born in the late 90s — I know, for some of you, that’s ancient history now, considering we’re not too far away from the 22nd century.



But I was a child who lived and breathed basketball from a young age. It was my coping mechanism after my parents died in skiing accident when I was four. It’s the event that sent me to live with my grandfather (whom I fondly called Gramps for as long as he lived). Basketball was our therapy — he was just as broken up over the death of my parents as I was.



And so, we went to basketball games. College and pro. Gramps was an avid follower of Indiana basketball (he was an Indiana native and spent the first two decades of his life there before he left to make his fortune) and we watched the Pacers play almost as often as the Hoosiers. Now, for those of you unaware, basketball in Indiana is the lifeblood of the state — it’s the one unifying principal. It matters more than football or racing, easily.



But Indiana basketball, in the early 2000s, wasn’t a place where championships were won. The Hoosiers could barely make it out of the Sweet Sixteen and the Pacers had one, fleeting appearance in the NBA Finals before being crushed by the Shaq/Kobe Lakers. Basketball in Indiana wasn’t in a great place and the state’s attention had shifted to the other sports.



By the time 2017 rolled around, the Hoosiers had missed the NCAA Tournament and fired their head coach. The Pacers barely made the playoffs, but got knocked out easily. Then, they traded their best player — Paul George — for a former Hoosier and the son of a great player from Lithuania. The Pacers were a joke and their owner, Herb Simon, was in his 80s.



Gramps was in his 60s and he smelled an opportunity. After the George trade, he engaged Simon in negotiations to buy the team. It was all kept quiet, very hush-hush. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, as the NBA was having one of the most exciting offseasons in league history.



On September 26th, 2017, Gramps completed the sale — $2B dollars he paid for the Pacers.



I overpaid, honestly,” he told me later. “But damn if I was going to let the team have another *hitty year to drive the price down. I figured I’d make it up in the long-run anyway.”



Gramps bled Indiana basketball — and he was a businessman who wasn’t content to just let things be. If he saw something he didn’t like, he changed it. If he saw how things could be better, he’d speak up.



I’m paying for everything, why shouldn’t I speak my mind?” he’d ask rhetorically. As a cattle guy, he wasn’t much for subtly; he made a habit of speaking his thoughts and that habit sometimes got him in trouble.



It was a family trait that I had inherited. When the news came to me that Gramps had bought the team, I was floored; at the time, I was looking into going overseas to play in Europe. I had gone undrafted and no one seemed interested in me … which was to be expected.



I was a loudmouth as a kid and too damn smart for my own good. I graduated high school at 16 and went to Indianapolis University or UIndy as we liked to call it. The school wasn’t my first choice — in fact, I wanted to get a Division I scholarship to the Hoosiers. But they didn’t offer me. At 16 I was barely 6’ tall and I hadn’t exactly lit up the high school scene (in truth, I spent a lot of time glued to the bench because my high school coach hated me — I constantly nitpicked his plays and he punished me by not playing me).



Gramps offered to pay for me to go to school anywhere, but I told him flat out I was going to go to the school that would let me play ball. UIndy was the only school in state that would — gave me a full scholarship and everything. So, I went and graduated from there in two years (it wasn’t hard). In that time, I grew six inches, practiced religiously, scored a ton, helped me team get a winning record … but got no national coverage at all.



Or any coverage, actually, because we were UIndy. There were half-a-dozen other schools in the state that were more popular than us and had a better shot at making March Madness than we did. I stuck my name in for the draft, I didn’t get drafted, and I was officially a free agent.



With no prospects of playing in the NBA until my grandfather bought the Pacers.



I’m gonna get you a try out, boy,” Gramps told me when he informed me of his most recent purchase. “But that’s it — I’m not going to tell them who you are, just that I owed your agent a favor. You have to do the rest.”



The next day, on the 27th, Gramps fired the front office and the coaching staff.



We need to move forward, not back,” Gramps told the press. “I didn’t buy this team to keep doing the same things … I have a plan and I have people ready to help me execute that plan. The Pacers are under new management — don’t assume we’re doing anything that was done before.”



Gramps was never one to sit on his hands. He got rid of Pritchard and McMillian and hired guys he knew well (and liked): Gersson Rosas (VP of the Rockets), and Kevin McHale (former coach of the Rockets). Rosas was ready to take on the challenge of building the Pacers into a contender, McHale was ready to get back into the coaching game after two years off. Both were guys who had spent years in Texas, which is why Gramps hired them — he knew them well from all the times he had gone and visited the Rockets.



Gramps was sure he had made the hires he needed to get the Pacers back into title contention. “As much as I loved Larry Bird, he never understood how to win in this day and age,” Gramps said. “Rosas is a forward thinker, McHale can adapt, and I don’t employ a losing strategy — if *hit ain’t working, you have to change. If you don’t, then you have to go: adapt or die, it’s the name of the game.”



I had my tryout on the 29th. I went in and nailed it — 6’6” with the ability to play 1-3, I wasn’t going to be denied. My training had paid off and I impressed. I was signed to a contract the next day, negotiated it myself — cheapest deal they could give me for four years. I didn’t need the money … I had plenty thanks to my family, and I had invested pretty well with the funds I had to my own name.



Of course, with me on the roster, the Pacers were full up on guys. The new front office waived Damian Wilkins, then engaged in a trade to move some guys out.







We unloaded Thad and Joe Young, along with Al Jefferson and a scrub. The trade freed up playing time for the team’s younger guys, gave us a defensive anchor in Lopez, and a prospect in Valentine that Gramps loved.



Kid can play and he needs a fresh start,” Gramps told me. “He’ll be important to this team before it’s all said and done.”



The team was definitely different and the goal had been set: we were going to grow this season, together, as a squad, and we weren’t aiming to tank. McHale and Rosas were there to build a contender, and so was I.



Pacers basketball wasn’t about to be doomed because Paul George wanted out. It was his right to skip town if he wanted to, but I wasn’t about to let the team and the state down. Indiana basketball was special … it was something that no one else had, that nowhere else understood. It was something the state used to be proud of.



Gramps and I were absolutely determined to make it that way again.



Little did we know how hard it was going to be.

Last edited by trekfan; 10-09-2017 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:20 PM   #3
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Re: You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story

REALLY looking forward to this!
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:28 PM   #4
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Re: You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story

Hey Trek, I've been a longtime lurker of your dynasties. Just wanted to say they are fantastic, and I've been looking forward to this new one to start. Not a huge a huge basketball fan (more of a hockey guy but I always watch the finals and love my boy LeBron) but man do you ever get me sucked in through your dynasties.
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:18 PM   #5
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Re: You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story

Awesome, love the premise and backstory. This will be great!
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:02 AM   #6
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Re: You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teleo
REALLY looking forward to this!
I'm looking forward to it too -- thanks for the comment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OilCountry93
Hey Trek, I've been a longtime lurker of your dynasties. Just wanted to say they are fantastic, and I've been looking forward to this new one to start. Not a huge a huge basketball fan (more of a hockey guy but I always watch the finals and love my boy LeBron) but man do you ever get me sucked in through your dynasties.
A hockey fellow, welcome! I'm flattered that you read my stuff, thanks for the follow. Feel free to comment as much as you want, all questions/comments are welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by studbucket
Awesome, love the premise and backstory. This will be great!
Thanks, stud, looking forward to rolling this one out -- definitely got some cool things in the can for it, assuming stuff goes the way I *think* it will.

We'll have our first game and results up this afternoon, stay tuned.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:17 PM   #7
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Re: You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story



Ch. 2


Training camp with McHale was interesting, to say the least. Not so much for the system – pace and space is about movement, of the players and the ball, and constantly being aware of scoring opportunities. Me, VO (Victor Oladipo), Lance (Stephenson), DC (Daren Colinson), and CJ (Corey Joseph) were the ball-handlers. We were the guys who were going to primarily run this offense.






Training camp was about getting the basics down. All that season, we were going to be learning stuff on the fly about each other, about the system, about our coaches, and about our place in the NBA. Training camp wasn't anything special, but it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.



The country was suffering pretty badly in the year 2017. We had a new president, who was about as divisive as you could get, and the month of September had been full of hurricanes, hammering away at Houston and Puerto Rico. Everyone knew someone affected.






Then the Vegas shooting happened.






Then you had the anthem protests going on in the NFL.






Then there were the California wildfires.






The USA seemed to be falling apart. If it wasn’t natural disasters, it was man-made ones. Players across all sports were being challenged to take a side, pick a lane, make their voices heard … it wasn't good enough just to play sports now. You couldn't just be someone who “stuck to sports” and just went out and played.






For the first time in a long time, athletes were looked at to add to the conversation. To guide it, to shape it, to fuel it. Political activism, long held as a great way to get blackballed, was allowed. The NFL was trying to muzzle their players. The NBA?






They let us speak up. They let the coaches speak up. And did we ever speak.






Training camp was important not because of the system *hit or the coaching *hit, but because of the conversation it forced me and my teammates to have. As a privileged, rich *rick of a white-kid, I wasn't exactly effected by the issues brought up. But I had friends who were, and I watched *hit go down in high school and college that I could have solved with money.






But the people actually affected by it couldn't solve at all. The world was – and still is – a messy place. That's just the fate of it as long as humans are around. We're a *ucked up bunch, trying not to *uck up too badly, but failing more often than not. Basketball players are human, too, despite the things we do on the court. Sure, we look like superheroes, but really we're just a bunch of guys who won the genetic lottery – just the right amount of some things that gave us the physical gifts to succeed in a sport predicated on being a physical specimen.









We were all human beings and so we all had to decide what we were going to do, as a team, to comment on things. There was talk about kneeling for that national anthem – that was what the NFL was doing – but the NBA had a policy against that. We all decided that wasn't the way we were going to go.






But we weren't simply going to stand there. We figured, after the game, we could all give our takes on things – there'd be no shortage of media people who would ask us questions. On the court, though, we wanted a strong message. We wanted to do something that might piss a few people off, but was an integral part of the sport – of any sport, really.






Game 1 of the 2017-18 season was against the Nets in our building. During the anthem, we didn't just stand in a line.






We decided to rally together.










It was different, to be sure, and it was something we did for the rest of that year – we didn't just stand together, we came together, rallied around one another, and showed that we were a team. Ultimately, that was the message we wanted to get across – that rather than *itching and moaning at one another because of how we voted or whether we stood or knelt, we needed to *ucking support one another.






We needed to come together and get this *hit fixed.






The Indy crowd was cool with it – no boos, no racial *hit. After the anthem, we took the court – after all we had a *ucking game to play and we wanted to be sure to send another message: that we weren't going to lie down.






All offseason, NBA pundits were telling us that the team was going to be hot garbage. “Pacers will tank” and “Indy devoid of talent after George” were the kind of headlines we were seeing online. Even with Gramps buying the team and me getting there, the tone was the same.






Tate benefits from nepotism” was the common thread for pundits. ESPN was hammering my addition to the team (even though no one knew who I was when I was told I made it – yet the media skipped over that detail) and Gramps was getting hammered for adding me.



Let 'em whine,” he would say. “You got talent, boy. Talent and drive and that's why you made the team, not because of your damned name. When you're out there, you gotta show them that.






He was right, of course, but it pissed me off to no end that I was being made to look like a pity case. I didn't need pity. I didn't need a favor.






So I took it out on the Nets. Hell, the whole team used the Nets as a cathartic release. The first quarter was a barn-burner, as we both traded the lead back and forth. I was matched up against Russell, VO was going against Crabbe, and MT (Myles Turner) was facing off against Trevor Booker. We had ROLO (Robin Lopez, the big goof) going against Mosgov. Boddog (Bogdanovic) was matched up on Hollis-Jefferson.






The game's pace was FAST. We didn't try to play slow – I certainly didn't want to play slow. Get up, get down, get a good shot before the defense is set, get it done. That was my mindset. The first quarter we went, and went, and went – but so did the Nets. We just weren't able to get our defense set fast enough to counteract their offense.






It was a shootout through the first, we were only leading by one point, but MT was lighting them up – he hit two deep triples (both off beautiful assists from myself) and had 10 points at the end of one.



In the second, our offense exploded — VO took over as point man, I shifted to the three, and ROLO got in foul trouble. With him out, we had to shift in DS (Sabonis) and DS played like a man who was tired of hearing he was a bust. He played like he was ready to remind people why his last name meant something. He was left open for triples and he took them — and made a few!



We were all floored, but *uck if the Nets had any idea what to do. They brought in Carroll to play as the four, shifting Booker onto DS. Nope — he just lit into Booker in the post and on cuts. Sabonis was ALIVE and he set hard screens, cut to the rim, and slammed in dunks.



If he wasn’t doing that, he was boxing guys out. He was the star of the second quarter and the reason why we had such a huge lead at halftime.







In the second half, it became a game within a game. Sure, we were beating the pants off the Nets, but now we — the players — wanted to see who could beat them better. MT was schooling the Nets bigs all over the floor, but VO was playing nasty defense and forcing the Nets into bad passes, which I happily picked off. VO didn’t slack in the scoring department either — he was ready to show off his hops.



But so was I.







By the fourth, we were running away with it. We played our starters all the way to the 3:20 mark before subbing in our bench guys — it was an epic beatdown and a game we were feeling pretty good about. I came away with the player of the game honors … the second half, I made the Nets my *itch and made sure they knew it.








The headline for our win?



Tate, Pacers, blow away Brooklyn”


Have that one framed on my wall.
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Old 10-12-2017, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re: You Don't Know Jack: A Pacers Story

Following!

I always love good storylines with these dynasty threads. It really adds a lot to the enjoyment of it for me instead of just stats.

Big win over Brooklyn. I'm looking forward to seeing how this season plays out for Tate as he tries to prove the haters wrong that he's only on the team because of Gramps. I'd say he's off to a good start.

Looking forward to more updates!

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