Sarunas Jasikevicius reflects on frustrating time with Pacers
Former Pacers guard Sarunas Jasikevicius shares stories about his basketball journey in, ‘To Win is Not Enough: My Life, My Basketball' which includes details on his time in Indianapolis with the Pacers.
Sarunas Jasikevicius has had a remarkable basketball life spanning the globe to play the game he loved. After growing up in Lithuania, Saras played high school and college ball in the United States before becoming a star in Euroleague and really catching the attention of NBA folks with his play in International competitions for Lithuania.
Larry Bird liked what he saw and was able to win a battle for his services against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The initial signing turned out to be the highlight of the relationship, but Jasikevicius addresses all of the issues with the Pacers and his preparation which includes a few interesting stories.
- After signing with the Pacers, Jasikevicius admitted not working out with the expectation he would play himself into shape during training camp. No only did he not pick up a ball the summer prior to starting with the Pacers, but he hurt his knee jumping up and down at a U2 concert. He had great things to say about the Pacers training staff but understood the hole he dug.
Meanwhile, I soon realized that I had committed a serious mistake by not touching a single ball throughout the whole summer. With a body like mine, I should have trained constantly: Jamaal Tinsley was the starting point guard and he was definitely better than me, because he could provide a much more consistent defensive presence. Things went worse than I ever expected.
- Jasikevicius loved Larry Bird and Donnie Walsh but didn't like the way he was treated by his coach, Rick Carlisle. Considering the shape he arrived in, it actually makes sense that Carlisle would move on to other options thinking he couldn't rely on Saras. He also thought Carlisle was a little strange because he taped his ankles like the players before games.