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Pacers Co-Founder Dick Tinkham Dies At 86

Tinkham, who passed away on Sunday from muscular dystrophy, was one of the Pacers' founders and its lawyer during the start of the organization and is also credited with the start of the ABA.

INDIANAPOLIS -- One of the men who helped form the Indiana Pacers has died.

Dick Tinkham passed away on Sunday from muscular dystrophy.  He was one of the Pacers' founders and its lawyer during the start of the organization.  Tinkham is also credited with the start of the American Basketball Association.

"[Tinkham] certainly didn't get rich off the Pacers, like all these other founders," says Pacers.com writer Mark Montieth, who said Tinkham had a passion for basketball and wanted to see a professional team in Indianapolis. 

"[Tinkham] just cared enough about the city and wanted to be involved in something and did a great job of keeping the Pacers alive and well in those early days," Montieth says.

The most notable effect that Tinkham had on the Pacers was the trade that he helped facilitate with the Minnesota Muskies that brought Mel Daniels to the team in May 1968.  Montieth says the deal was worked out on a cocktail napkin with the Muskies' owner.

Daniels went on to become the league's Most Valuable Player in 1969 and '71, led the team to three ABA championships and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

Tinkham was 86 years old.
 

Photo courtesy of Pacers Sports and Entertainment / Bill Benner

 

 

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