Friday , Dec , 21 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

New-look Tinsley: ‘I’m just happy’

Jamaal Tinsley’s personal transformation has been evident in his improved play this season. Sometimes, it’s even more obvious when he isn’t playing.

Sitting out the Indiana Pacers’ victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday because of a deep thigh bruise, Tinsley played the role of assistant coach. He wore a yellow tie, sat next to the staff, and took teammates aside during timeouts to lend advice and encouragement. He might have the same role tonight in Minnesota.

That picture was a distinct contrast from recent seasons, when he often dressed sloppily when on the bench with an injury, or stayed on the bench during timeouts, ignoring the huddle when he was in uniform but out of the game.

The changes, glaringly obvious to teammates, front office employees and media members, have been more than cosmetic, however.

Fan opinion of Tinsley is still shaped by several nightclub incidents, including one in which he still faces criminal charges…(Click here for more.)