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The Pacers’ annual FanJam will be held on Saturday, October 14th at 1:00 p.m. — and it will be treated differently than in previous years.

Head coach Rick Carlisle is changing the approach so that they can be more productive and make better use of their time on the court while, at the same time, giving fans their first glimpse of the team.

All are welcome to the free event at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, which attracts roughly 8,000 fans each October.

In previous years, the scrimmage portion usually features a combination of dunks and 3-pointers over two 10-minute halves. Then, there’s been a 3-point contest, a skills challenge and memorable rookie show.

“We’re going to treat it like a real intrasquad game,” Carlisle said. “We’re gonna have league-assigned officials. We’re gonna wear real game uniforms and we’re gonna do this as a real game, not just a normal fun. This will be essentially a fifth exhibition game for us. And that’s going to be real important because that game falls during a period where if we had a fifth game, that would’ve been the perfect time to have it.

“So we’re going to create as competitive a situation as we can.”

Top assistant coach Lloyd Pierce will coach one team and Mike Weinar will coach the other.

Carlisle, who also serves as president of the National Basketball Coaches Association, called the league office to request game officials and they will have a G League crew for the scrimmage.

Scott Agness 12 year pacers beat writer helps us with Pacers

“It’s valuable time,” said veteran center Myles Turner. “It’s an exhibition for the fans, but it’s also a chance for us to keep working on our stuff, working on our sets. I think Rick is just in that mode of where he doesn’t want to waste any time this year. We have strides to make so that’s another opportunity to do it.”

And yes, Turner confirmed, there will be a rookie show. That’s not changing as long as he’s a Pacer.

“Oh, absolutely,” he said excitedly. “I’m still here. We’re definitely doing that.”

Pacers Preseason Schedule

  1. Sunday, Oct. 8: at Memphis Grizzlies — 8:00 p.m. ET
  2. Tuesday, Oct. 10: at Houston Rockets — 8:00 p.m.
  3. (FanJam) Saturday, Oct. 14 — 1:00 p.m.
  4. Monday, Oct. 16: v Atlanta Hawks — 7:00 p.m.
  5. Friday, Oct. 20: v Cleveland Cavaliers — 7:00 p.m.

Pacers FanJam is typically on a Sunday afternoon, but not this year.

Also on Oct. 14th, the Purdue football team has a home game against Ohio State, Indiana is on the road at Michigan, and Notre Dame hosts USC in the evening. (And Swifties may be in the theaters for the movie.)

“It’ll be a different approach to FanJam and I think our fans will really like it,” Carlisle added. “I expect we’re gonna have a lively building.”

The Pacers have a full 18-man roster for what will be a fascinating training camp since both minutes and roles are up for grabs.

Everything must be earned.

“The competition for minutes is real,” Carlisle said after Day 1. “There’s no point in pretending it isn’t. Every second out here counts, every minute counts. We’re being very detailed with every little thing that we’re doing in practice — everything from defensive footwork to offensively to how we’re crashing the boards.

“Everything matters.”

I hope to see you there!

Scott Agness is in his 12th season as a beat writer covering the Indiana Pacers. Click here to read more of his work at

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