Herb Simon Rumors
“I join our extended Pacers family in offering my sincerest condolences to CeCe and Mel’s family,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment owner Herb Simon. “We will miss him greatly, but when we look at that Hall of Fame banner in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, we will be forever reminded of what he meant to this franchise.”
Pacers owner Herb Simon is asking a court to declare that neither his late brother’s estate nor his brother’s widow has any financial stake in the team. The Indianapolis Star learned about the request in an unusual way. It came to light because a court document filed by Bren Simon, widow of Melvin Simon, contained visible words that were meant to have been redacted. Herb Simon is asking the court to keep the documents, filed last month in Hamilton Superior Court, under seal. He argues that public viewing would create “significant risk of substantial harm” to people who signed a confidential settlement in 2012 pertaining to Melvin Simon’s estate. The brothers, who became billionaires from owning shopping malls, bought the Pacers in 1983. Melvin Simon died in 2009.
With the Indiana Pacers languishing in public perception and on the court in 2007, team co-owner Mel Simon approached his brother and co-owner Herb about selling the team, according to a lawsuit filed in Colorado. Bren Simon, Mel Simon’s widow, is suing the Internal Revenue Service in U.S. District Court for return of $21 million that she paid in protest. She contends the IRS improperly interpreted money Mel received from an ownership reorganization of the Pacers in 2009 as a gift.
The Pacers’ ownership reorganization, according to the lawsuit, came after Herb Simon wanted to retain ownership and Mel Simon grew tired of funding losses for a team “hemorrhaging cash.” The lawsuit says the team’s 2004 brawl at a game in Detroit, where players entered the stands to confront fans, started the franchise’s financial troubles. It mentions subsequent player arrests as causing the team to become “a civic and family embarrassment.”
Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon said he would personally be fine with bringing back Lance Stephenson in a trade, however the judgment would be up to the front office. “I’d be OK with it but it’s not up to me. Larry (Bird) has to decide if he fits,” Simon told The Star prior to Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Several deciding factors would determine the Pacers’ interest in Stephenson, said Simon, and a huge consideration would be chemistry. “First of all, we don’t know if they’re really trading him, at least I don’t know,” Simon said about the Hornets. “I know they made some calls and we would have to (figure out) how he fits back into the team. Those are all basketball decisions and Larry and Kevin (Pritchard) are the best to answer that. “We have the best basketball minds in Larry Bird and Kevin Pritchard and they’re working on it every minute of every day. So, something will happen.”