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Longtime Indiana Pacers Coach And Broadcaster Bobby "Slick" Leonard Passes Away

Leonard spend more than 50 years with the Indiana Pacers organization.

Posted: Apr 13, 2021 2:10 PM

Boom, baby!

The author of the previous statement has passed away at the age of 88.

Bobby "Slick" Leonard, former Indiana Pacers Head Coach and broadcaster, spent more than 50 years with the organization.

"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," Simon family said in a statement on the Indiana Pacers website.

Leonard played high school basketball for Terre Haute Gerstmeyer High School before heading to Indiana University.  He helped lead the Hoosiers to the 1953 NCAA Championship.

Leonard was drafted in the 1954 NBA draft and spend most of his professional playing career with the Lakers organization. 

He is remembered for his time with the Pacers organization.  He was the team's head coach from 1968 to 1980, where he won 529 games and three ABA championships.

After his coaching career, he remained a fixture with Pacers fans as a broadcaster.  "Boom, baby" was his favorite phrase to say after a Pacers player hit a three-pointer.

"To me, Slick was a real Hoosier, he loved the State and everyone that lives there," Larry Bird said about Leonard.

"He was a great mentor to me and a friend that everyone should have.  Slick will be greatly missed and remembered with respect and admiration forever.  My family and I send our sincere condolences to Nancy and the Leonard family."

Leonard is a member of the 2014 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.  He is also a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and a member of Indiana University's All-Century Basketball Team.

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