As if the last few weeks haven't been tumultuous enough for Indiana, we have additional tangible anecdotal proof of a rift in the Pacers locker room. So far Roy Hibbert has gone on a media rampage against unnamed selfish teammates that were rumored to be, Larry Bird has lobbed verbal grenades in Frank Vogel's direction and Andrew Bynum is getting halftime hair cuts.
You can add the fist fight between Evan Turner and Lance Stephenson during a practice prior ro Game 1 to that list as well. Reportedly, the fight occurred on Friday when Turner and Stephenson got tangled up on the practice floor before power forward/club enforcers Luis Scola and Davis West dragged the two irate, teammates into the Bankers Life Fieldhouse courtroom. Turner arrived in a trade for the beloved Pacer Danny Granger on February 25. The Pacers finished the season 13-14 pre-Turner trade following a 42-13 start to the regular season. The hope was that he'd emulate his Philly production with Indiana and that they'd sign him to an extension in the offseason, but that appears unlikely now.
His per-48 numbers have dipped drastically in addition to his minutes after getting acclimated to coming off the bench and it's safe to say that it hasn't gone according to plan. Coming to blows with the franchise's most important free agent in a generation doesn't help his chances of returning to Indy with a fat contract and it doesn't appear they'd be too hot on dragging him back him back either. If Indy can get out of this funk, this fight will be forgotten. If not, it'll serve as an exhibit in the Chernobyl meltdown within the Pacers in the final third of the season.