Darren Collison and James Posey meet with Indianapolis media Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Ron Hoskins/NBA
Darren Collison has veteran James Posey's support
By Jon Rangel
Indiana Pacers Examiner
August 17th, 2010 9:15 pm
One’s a budding 22-year-old sophomore, slated and itching to be the starting point guard for years to come.
The other’s a 33-year-old veteran swingman, whose 12-season traveling basketball act has made him a two-time NBA champion.
Comparing their resumes, it would be easy to argue why James Posey might be slighted by the lack of attention he received when the Pacers traded for him and Darren Collison.
His addition to the roster seemed like a sacrifice and contract the Pacers had to take on in order to land their prized Collison, but that hasn’t jaded or stopped Posey; he’s ready to contribute.
“I’m going into my twelfth (thirteenth, in reality) season. You know, I’ve been here for a minute,” Posey said. “I’ve learned some things along the way and (I’ll) try to help the young guys have a long career as well. Basketball wise, I want to help them there and (with) things off the court.”
Posey shouldn’t have to worry about Collison off the court; according to Ben Howland, Collison’s coach at UCLA, he doesn’t do much but play basketball and video games.
As one of only three Pacers over the age of 30, Posey trusts Collison as the point guard of the future.
“Last year he worked hard, even when he wasn’t playing. And also, playing and being coached by one of the top point guards in Chris Paul, (It was) tough shoes to fill (when Paul was injured), but he did a great job in it,” Posey said. “He sees the opportunity and he was very productive for the New Orleans team last year. I know he’s capable of doing the job.”
Posey has been a winner, missing only last year's playoffs since the 2003-04 season, and he will seek to show his teammates what it takes to turn the corner.
Posey's vocal leadership can only go so far, though, because It’s Collison who’s yet to have proved himself as anything but a nice replacement for an injured Chris Paul – just look how Matt Cassel’s first year in Kansas City went after he left New England.
Even with a broken right pinkie finger that will keep him out three to four weeks, Collison was all business, declaring he would be healthy in time for training camp and that he's got a goal of making the playoffs.
"I want to make the playoffs this year. You don't come in to this league, not believing that you can win. You have to have some type of belief," Collison said as the cast covering his right arm sat atop his black dress pants.
"Just from last year, not making the playoffs left a nasty taste in my mouth where we could have made the playoffs. Watching on TV in the offseason, that's somewhere you want to be. James (has) been there. That's where he's made his name. That's where all of us are trying to make our name."