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Pacers legend Bobby “Slick” Leonard dies at 88 

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Longtime Pacers coach and commentator Bobby “Slick” Leonard, 88, has died.

The longtime Carmel resident spent more than 50 years with the Pacers organization, winning three ABA championships and 529 games as a head coach from 1968 to 1980 before becoming a broadcaster.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment owners Herb Simon, Steve Simon and the Simon family responded to news of Leonard’s death with a statement issued April 13.

“Pacers fans will remember Bobby ‘Slick’ Leonard as the spirit of our franchise. With a charisma, intensity and wit to match his nickname, Slick made us champions. He was our biggest fan and our most loving critic, and he personified Pacers basketball for generations of Hoosier families,” the statement read. “Most importantly, though, Slick and Nancy are our family, and his passing leaves an unfillable void in the hearts of everyone associated with this organization. We keep the entire Leonard family in our prayers, and we recognize and honor Slick for what he meant to our state both on and off the court.”

Leonard and his wife, Nancy, have five grandchildren, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Leonard joined the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. He was named one of Indiana’s “50 Greatest Players” and was a two-time All-american at Indiana University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 56 before playing seven years in the NBA with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers.


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