Eyebrows were raised and boos rained down when the Indiana Pacers decided to select power forward Tyler Hansbrough with the thirteenth overall pick in the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft. Hansbrough, a superstar in his college career at North Carolina, wasn’t scouted to be much of an NBA pro. Hansbrough hasn’t set the world on fire in his first few NBA seasons, but his promise far outweighs his production so far.
The Indiana Pacers have made more moves recently than they have in many off seasons previously, bringing in role players and making trades to build up their bench. Hansbrough found himself thrown into the fire in his rookie season, with a lot expected from him, being on a team that was mediocre to say the least at that time. Due to injures and the rebuilding process, Hansbrough didn’t have much of an opportunity to get acclimated to his coaching staff and his new teammates. As the Pacers were still trying to rotate away from the expiring contracts and bad attitudes that remained after the 2004 brawl in Detroit, Hansbrough found himself with a lot of weight on his shoulders, and with not much help to go around from others on his team.
On top of everything else, Hansbrough found himself battling issues of vertigo for much of his rookie season. Vertigo can cause nausea, headaches, and dizzyness when coupled with too much motion. Obviously, flying around the country to play basketball would make this condititon nearly unbearable. As a result, Hansbrough only played in 29 games as a rookie.
Now coming off the Indiana bench, with a full off-season to work beside a coaching staff that has also finally had a full season under their belts, Hansbrough has the chance to be a sturdy role player. After the NBA lockout, coaching changes, player changes, illness, and injuries, Tyler Hansbrough should be able to change a lot of attitudes in and around this area. The Pacers made a good choice by holding on to Hansbrough, who should be able to exceed those lofty expectations in this upcoming season, as this team attempts to make another deep playoff run.