The Indiana Pacers held their annual media day on Monday as they began preparations for their 2016-17 season. With training camp starting on Tuesday, here was the big news from Monday:
Myles Turner to enter training camp in concussion protocol: Head coach Nate McMillan mentioned that only Jeremy Evans and Turner entered training camp on the injury report. Turner is in the league's concussion protocol after being hit in the head by undrafted rookie Alex Poythress. "I'm fine," the second-year Pacer said. "I took a shot last Monday. Me and Alex were going up for a rebound, and his elbow threw out there a little bit, just caught me in the side of the head. But I'm all right. Rested up this weekend, did the protocol, and they'll evaluate me (Tuesday)."
The Reinvention of Monta Ellis: Ellis will turn 31 years old on opening night next month. The veteran point guard explained how he needs to refocus his offseason priorities. "I rededicated myself this summer in the gym... With the team Larry [Bird] put around us, the pieces he brought in, we have a great opportunity here. I have to do better. I have to do a better job of being the person I've been throughout my career. Last year was tough. I felt like I let the team down, the organization down, the fans down by not doing what they normally see me do."
Paul George has earned the respect from the Pacers front office: George embraces his role as the team's leader and team president Larry Bird fully supports him. "He's our best player. If he wants a new contract, whenever he wants it, we'll give it to him." Bird said. For now, George wants his team to win. He's not worried about his contract, which expires after the 2017-18 season. "Right now it's all about the season," George said. "I'm not even thinking about contract stuff. New group, new opportunity, fresh start. Unbelievable talent. (My) heart and soul is going into this season. Contract-wise, that'll happen."