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Pacers Re-Sign Dale Davis, Antonio Davis; Miller Still Out

July 17, 1996

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Two down, one big one to go.

The Indiana Pacers on Tuesday re-signed veteran forwards Dale Davis and Antonio Davis to multi-year contracts, leaving Reggie Miller as the last of the team’s Big Three free agents without a new Pacers contract.

At separate news conferences announcing the Davis’ signings, Pacers president Donnie Walsh refused to discuss negotiations with Miller.

``This is Dale Davis’ press conference. I don’t want to talk about anybody but Dale Davis,″ Walsh said. ``I said before all this started: Our priority is to sign our own players. That’s what we’re looking to do.″

The Pacers got off to a good start Tuesday by reinforcing their front line, which next season will include the Davises, Derrick McKey, center Rik Smits and rookie Erick Dampier.

The Pacers refused to release details of either contract, saying only that they were multi-year deals.

Earlier reports valued Dale Davis’ contract at $42 million over seven years and Antonio Davis’ deal at $38.5 million for seven years, a figure Antonio Davis said was ``too high.″

``Dale, along with Antonio, form a real formidable duo on our team,″ Walsh said at a news conference announcing Dale Davis’ signing, which came just hours after Antonio Davis signed.

Dale Davis, Indiana’s first-round draft pick out of Clemson in 1991, is the team’s third all-time rebounder with 3,256 boards in five seasons. The 6-foot-11, 230-pound forward has averaged 9.6 points and 9 rebounds a game over his career.

Last season, he averaged 10.3 points and 9.1 rebounds while shooting 56 percent in 78 games.

Dale Davis had been considering an offer from the Los Angeles Lakers, but decided to re-sign with Indiana because the Lakers would have withdrawn their offer if Shaquille O’Neal had signed with them.

``I had a great deal here on the table,″ he said. ``There was no need to wait around.″

Antonio Davis, who played in Europe for three years after the Pacers picked him in the second round of the 1990 draft, has been used mainly as a reserve in his three NBA seasons.

The 6-9, 230-pounder was the only member of the team to play in every game this past season, averaging 8.7 points. He’s averaged 8.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in three seasons.

``It’s very hard being a free agent and not knowing what’s going on. I knew that I wanted to be here. I expressed that to Donnie all the time,″ Antonio Davis said. ``I can call this place home now, and I can go and I can rest and get prepared. ... There are a lot of things we’ve accomplished. But we’ve just started.″

Davis said he signed with the Pacers after receiving some offers for more money. The Detroit Pistons were the only team he would name that had expressed interest.

``Nothing could surpass what I have here, so why leave?,″ he said.

Immediately after signing his contract, Antonio Davis gave $50,000 of his new money to charity. Davis and his wife, Kendra, presented checks for $25,000 each to two Indianapolis charities that work with children, Pleasant Run Children’s Home and Child Advocates Inc.

Dale Davis said the Pacers must now focus on re-signing Miller, who led the team to consecutive 52-30 seasons the last two years and the Eastern Conference championship series in 1994 and 1995.

``We definitely need him,″ he said. ``He’s a great player. He means a lot to this team.″

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