Jamaal Tinsley has a history of making bad decisions. But perhaps the saddest part of his latest mistake is that he was just starting to get his act together.
It is common knowledge by now that the Pacers' starting point guard was involved in a shooting over the weekend, one for which the Pacers will not punish him, as the extent of his involvement appears to be minimal, and if anything, Tinsley himself was likely a victim. However, the man has admitted that he put himself in a position he shouldn't have been in and that, while the shooting was not his fault, he was in the wrong merely for being involved in the problem.
What isn't common knowledge in enough places outside of Indianapolis is that, prior to this latest incident, Tinsley had been in the midst of the best stretch of his professional career, both on the court and off. Reports out of Indiana have indicated that he has been a changed man since his last batch of incidents from early last season, when he was involved in both the Stephen Jackson strip club incident and a separate bar fight alongside teammate Marquis Daniels. His conduct had changed, and he was finally taking a position of leadership as a veteran on a relatively young Indiana team.
There is even less question with regard to Tinsley's on-court performance. He has upped his per game and per 40 numbers, averaging 14.8 points, 8.7 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game in what has the early makings of a renaissance season for the floor general of an upstart Pacers squad. He still can't shoot the ball, but beyond that, Jim O'Brien has Tinsley doing virtually everything right on a regular basis. He has been an enormous part of Indiana getting off to a 10-10 start out of the gate, which was far better than many pundits expected.
So for the sake of Jamaal Tinsley and his basketball team, here's hoping this is just an isolated blip on a radar that was growing cleaner by the day.