The Indiana Pacers have been putting together a new look since the middle of last season, hiring Dick Versace as coach, shaking up the roster and launching a new ad campaign promoting the team as one that is fun to watch.
It was apparent new uniforms were needed to symbolize that fun look, and president Donnie Walsh said he wanted to hire a name designer, as the Charlotte Hornets did when Alexander Julian did theirs.He hired Flo-Jo.
"She has visual effect that I don't think I've ever seen anybody have before," Walsh said. "Quite simply, the lady has style."
She said she already has drawn up about 13 designs for the team, keeping their blue, gold and white colors.
"It's time for a change for the Pacers," Flo-Jo said. "Some of the designs I've already come up with are quite different than what's out there today."
The final choice will be announced in three weeks but not used until the 1990-91 season, after the league has a chance to display them in its merchandise catalogs.
Flo-Jo said she anticipated some initial skepticism from the critics.
"They're going to think something bizarre, and they may be hesitant about agreeing with it," she said. "I don't think the men are too shy about wearing anything different."
Dreiling, a 7-foot-1 center, said players generally don't like anyone messing with their uniforms - "You think, `Oh God, it's going to be worse' " - but the input Flo-Jo is soliciting from them should generate some interest.
"We have some fashion-conscious guys on the team," he said.
Versace, whose own clothing indicates an appreciation for fine fashion, has no qualms with Flo-Jo tinkering with his team's look.