View Full Version : Some good articles about Reggie out of NY

04-06-2005, 09:49 AM

Marc Berman

April 6, 2005 --

THREE MINUTES re mained in the Pacers' demolition of the Knicks when a Garden fan yelled to Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, "Let Reggie fill it up."

Reggie Miller was on the bench, removed with 7:20 to play during Indiana's 97-79 blowout win. Miller did not have his Garden stroke last night, but the Knicks were so pitiful that he didn't need it.

Carlisle reflexively shook his head no. This was beneath Miller, playing garbage time against an awful Knick team which had already surrendered on the game and season.

There were two minutes left now and the half-empty Garden chanted, "Reg-gie, Reg-gie" as the sickly rout reached its conclusion. The past is all the Knicks fans had to hold on to last night, a chance to grasp the 1990's again. The Knicks fans were a lot better than their team, giving Miller a classy sendoff.

When the buzzer sounded, Miller darted for the third row of seats to kiss three female business associates. Then he returned to the floor to bear-hug his longtime foil Spike Lee at midcourt as the dwindling crowd cheered on. Lee had been silent throughout the game, munching on peanuts as his Knicks self-destructed.

"We need more Spike Lees in every building someone that loyal, fanatic, win or lose, still wearing the colors," Miller said later.

Miller's 3-of-15 shooting was insignificant last night. As Miller said, "It's sweet because I wanted to go out here a winner. It's probably the last time I'll be in this building ever."

When he stepped onto the Garden floor for the final time and started to shoot his last lasers, he was also getting the last laugh on the Knicks after all these years.

Miller is going out the right way: another playoff berth assured and still playing a major role for his team, despite last night's shooting yips. The Knicks, meanwhile, are headed to their third trip to the lottery in four years.

"We still got the playoffs coming up; it's not over," Miller said. "Hopefully there's still some magic left."

The toothpick-thin shooting guard has outlasted Pat Riley, Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, John Starks and even ailing Allan Houston, who's out for the season perhaps his career but not on his own terms.

"Reggie's still playing at a very high level," Pacers president Donnie Walsh said. "For a guard at 39, that's almost unheard of."

Stephen Jackson, 12 years Miller's junior, was the Pacers guard shooting the daggers last night. Jackson celebrated his 27th birthday in 33-point style.

It didn't matter. The crowd was still here for Miller, not for the current Knicks. Dozens of fans last night were wearing No. 31 Reggie Miller jerseys. When he was introduced, half the fans stood and cheered; the other half booed.

Miller is the last link to the Knicks' glory days of the 1990s, when the Pacers and Knicks seemed like the center of the basketball universe.

"That was as intense as it gets," Walsh said. "It was a different era, more physical. And the Knicks were a great defensive team. To play them, it was like a world war."

The Knicks' present is miserable, the future uncertain, no matter how bright Isiah Thomas tries to spin "The Youngest Team in Knick History."

Miller is living in the moment, averaging 19.5 points over the past 15 games. "In the last three years, Reggie started to defer to the younger players, pass the torch," Walsh said. "He had less of a role. Now he looks like he did seven, eight years ago."

The Pacers never hit the skids while rebuilding their '90's powerhouse. "We were able to get around it, but we had Reggie," Walsh said.

"Most players want to play well here because it's the media capital and it's Madison Square Garden," Walsh said. "With Reggie, it was more. The Knicks were the team to beat. We knew we had to get by them."

No longer. The last link to the electric '90's has now been severed in a sad Garden night.

04-06-2005, 09:50 AM


MILLER TIME: Reggie Miller (left) shoots over Knicks' Jermaine Jackson during Pacers' 97-79 win last night at Garden. Miller scored 13 points in Garden farewell.
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg

April 6, 2005 -- Pacers 97 Knicks 79

How bad has it gotten for the Knicks?

There was the home crowd vociferously booing their home team, and passionately chanting "Reggie! Reggie!" as the celebrated their former Public Enemy No. 1.

And there was Stephen Jackson abusing Tim Thomas and then flu-ridden Trevor Ariza, personally turning their perimeter defense into Swiss cheese.

Finally, there was Reggie Miller's Garden swan song reminding the Knicks of their playoff duels of yesteryear; while getting dominated by Indiana reminded them just how far away from any new playoffs they really are.

How bad is it? Last night's 97-79 loss to the Pacers showed just how bad.

"They came out with a little more effort than we did. I thought they wanted it a little more," Herb Williams said. "They played a little harder than we did. You can't have that happen. You've got to compete night-in and night-out. It's an 82-game season. You can't stop at 79. You've got to keep playing to the end."

Jackson finished with 33 points, including 13 straight Pacer points in one stretch that sent the Knicks scurrying into a timeout and the Garden crowd into a chorus of boos. The crowd cheering Miller as he checked out with 7:20 to play was just salt in the festering wound.

"He's been an evil enemy," Tim Thomas said, then grudgingly, "but you've got to love him."

As the buzzer sounded, Miller trotted across the court to embrace archenemy Spike Lee and hug three of his former business partners business manager Gail D'Agostino, as well as Kristi Ensign and Elissa Grabow. It may have been a feel-good moment for Miller, but not for the home team.

"There were a few '[Reggie] sucks' in there too. It's been a love-hate relationship, but they want the best for the Knicks," said Miller, who had 13 points but shot 3-of-15. "I was more excited to get the win. Ask any ballplayer, it's the one place you want to succeed."

The Knicks have had little success this season. After Stephon Marbury suffered through a 5-for-17, four-turnover night, the Knicks lost their seventh straight and fell to 29-44 with nine games left on the schedule to salvage some dignity.

They led 41-35 after Malik Rose's 19-foot jumper midway through the second quarter. But Indiana went on a 19-4 run, capped by 10 straight. Dale Davis' foul shots pushed the Pacers' lead to 54-45 with :51.4 left in the half.

Leading 63-54, Jackson scored Indiana's next 13 points, hitting 3s, running jumpers and finally an acrobatic layup that made it 73-57 with 4:02 left to send the Knicks into a timeout and the crowd into a vitriolic frenzy. By the time Miller acknowledged the crowd from the bench with 2:33 left, the game was decided.

04-06-2005, 09:52 AM
This is a good article here. Some Pacers scouts wanted Tellis Frank. I hope they were fired along the way.

Also interesting that Stern was not at the garden last night


Miller light on makes but
scores points with fans

Reggie Miller opts to pass on off shooting night as he gets win in MSG finale.

Boos rained down at the Garden last night and Reggie Miller wasn't even the intended target, leading one to wonder whether all the losing around here is starting to make Knick fans soft.
This was one of those rare nights when there was a good reason to enter the Garden. Reggie Miller, the best villain New York had for a long time, played his final game here.

"I didn't know what kind of reception I'd get," he said. "We had a love-hate relationship."

You'll never believe all the love showered in Miller's direction. He got cheered during introductions. In the final minutes, during timeouts, he heard fans behind the Indiana bench shout out compliments, and he bowed in appreciation. After the final buzzer sounded, he ran cross-court to hug several female fans and then worked his way to midcourt to embrace one bespectacled middle-aged film director.

Believe it or not, he heard chants of "Reg-gie!" in the one NBA arena where that once was considered traitorous.

No, this wasn't the Garden of all those memorable Knicks-Pacers playoff wars when Reggie delivered choke signs and engaged Spike Lee in a war of words.

So what'd he think of the "Reg-gie" chants? He said he appreciated all the kind words, but noted, "there were a few (stinks) in there, too."

Well at least some fans remembered how to act. Those were probably the same ones who gave the home team an earful during another wretched loss, 97-79, to the Pacers.

This was Reggie's night, and yet it was clear from the start that it wasn't his night. Fans carried signs imploring him to stay one more year. Unaccustomed to such a nice reception, he came out and missed everything in sight. He left the building with a 3-for-15 shooting performance and only 13 points as his night was stolen by Stephen Jackson.

Afterward, Jackson couldn't wait to hold court with some fans standing near the Indiana locker room.

"With Reggie gone," said Jackson, who hit six threes and scored 33 points in his first 33 minutes, "you've got to deal with me for six more years."

We can only hope Jackson gives us half the thrills Miller did. It didn't start that way, of course. Indiana fans wanted Hoosier hero Steve Alford in the 1987 draft. Some members of the Pacers scouting staff leaned toward taking a forward, Tellis Frank, with the 11th overall selection.

What about the skinny gunner out of UCLA named Reggie Miller? Jack Ramsay, the Pacers coach at the time, remembered the pre-draft talk. If you wanted a scorer, you had to go with Georgetown's Reggie Williams or Ohio State's Dennis Hopson. But by the time the Pacers were on the clock, those two were long gone, to the Clippers and Nets, respectively, who ultimately lived to regret their decisions.

"There was some resistance in our organization to drafting Reg,"Ramsay said from his Florida home yesterday. "He had the game and he liked to take the big-time shots. But there was a feeling he was too frail and he didn't have the legs to play in the NBA."

Miller proved them all wrong, of course. Once he learned how to use screens to get open for shots and expanded his repertoire, he turned himself into one of the great shooting guards in the history of the league. We're not breaking any news here to Knicks fans. Unless it was Michael Jordan, nobody tormented the Knicks in the spring like Reggie Miller. He called his memorable nights at the Garden "magic," and they were.

We could have used a healthy dose of that magical Reggie Miller last night. But it's hard to recapture youth, and let's face it, the Knicks are 29-44 for a reason.

Everyone wanted the night to be special. But there was little juice in the building, and the night fell as flat as a Scot Pollard jumper.

At least Miller got what he came for. The win helped Indiana's bid to finish in the playoffs, despite suspensions, injuries and more disruptions than a team should have to endure. Oddly, none of the league's honchos, including commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Russ Granik, was in attendance.

Afterward, somebody wanted to know if Miller would ever come back to the Garden, as a fan or maybe a coach, one day.

"Absolutely not!" he said. "It's probably the last time I'll be in the Garden. That's why it's sweet for me. You want to leave as a winner."

And that's exactly how he left, amid the strange sound of cheers.

Originally published on April 6, 2005

04-06-2005, 09:53 AM

Reggie goes out with whimper
in Garden swan song


From his uncharacteristically scattered shooting at hoops he has regularly strafed to his extended time on the bench to the utter lack of doubt about the game's outcome to the fans' generally tepid response, Reggie Miller's final Garden game failed to live up to anybody's expectations.
It did not, however, leave the guest of honor feeling empty.

Touched by the respect New Yorkers gave him when they saw him on the street the last two days and when many chanted his name in last night's final seconds, one of the most despised Knicks opponents in franchise history left town feeling warm all over.

"I especially felt it (Monday), when we got here and walked around the city," Miller said. "The respect has always been there. There's always been a love-hate relationship with New York.

"But it was only because they want the best for New York and New Yorkers and the New York Knickerbockers. I understand that."

What many Garden fans desired last night was for Miller to put on a show. As usual, the Indiana Pacers guard didn't give them what they wanted - shooting 3-for-15 to score just 13points in only 29 minutes.

Removed for the final time with 7:20 left and Indiana up by 15, Miller enjoyed his final moments on the Garden floor - the last he'll ever spend in the building, he later vowed - from a seat on the bench. His bewildered head shake toward teammate Dale Davis served as the only sign that he was bothered that he couldn't have gone out with one more big Garden bang.

He heard a strange sound during the final minute: New York fans chanting his name - "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!"

He noted, however: "There were a few 'sucks' in there too."

But Miller wouldn't have wanted it any other way. The animosity between him and the Knicks and between him and Knicks fans fueled some of his greatest moments - the ones, Indiana coach Rick Carlisle pointed out, that will get him into the Hall of Fame.

"You ask any ballplayer and this is the one place where you want to succeed, whether you're playing for New York or you're playing against New York," Miller said.

"A lot of things have been said both ways - from me to them and from them to me," he said of the Garden fans. "But I really felt the respect and the love from the New Yorkers (last night), which is tough. Because if you're a real New Yorker, you still boo and you still say the same things.

"But at the end of the day, hopefully they respected our team and myself as a ballplayer."

After the final buzzer, Miller strode across the court to embrace his business manager and two of her friends. Then he walked down the far sideline to embrace his diminutive longtime foil, Spike Lee, later saying that every NBA arena needed more fans like the Brooklyn-born film maker.

Originally published on April 6, 2005

04-06-2005, 09:55 AM

Reggie gets W & hand

Cheered in finale at Garden


Pacers' Reggie Miller has off shooting night, but he gets win and cheers in final Garden game.

Stephon Marbury can't drive Knicks to a victory as skid hits seven with loss to Eddie Gill and Pacers.

Miller embraces former Garden nemesis Spike Lee after scoring 13 points to help beat Knicks one last time.

Marbury shows just how exciting Knicks have become.

The chant of of "Reg-gie, Reg-gie, Reg-gie" came without the usual derogatory verb at the end of it.
"There were a few (stinks) in there too," said Reggie Miller, who must have been hearing voices from the past.

In fact, this was a 48-minute love-in for the skinny villain New Yorkers loved to hate the past 18 years. The loudest and only boos heard throughout Miller's final performance at Madison Square Garden were directed at the home team. It was a sign of respect for a brilliant opposing player and a sign of how ugly things have gotten at the Garden.

"I really felt the respect and the love from the New Yorkers, which is tough," Miller said following Indiana's convincing 97-79 victory. "Because if you're a real New Yorker, you still boo and you still say the same things. But at the end of the day, hopefully they respected our team and me as a ballplayer."

Miller's last act didn't come with a last-second three pointer that will haunt the Knicks all summer. Those days are long gone. Instead, there were just a lot of misses.

Miller, who is retiring after this season, made only 3 of 15 shots and scored 13 points. But he also exited stage right with a victory and added more misery to the Knicks, who have lost seven straight for the second time this season and appear completely lost and somewhat disinterested. "I would hope that's not the case," Stephon Marbury said. "But I don't know."

The Knicks dropped to 29-44 and are seven games out of eighth place with nine games left, not officially done even though they seem to have vacation on their minds. "You have to come out and compete night in and night out," said Herb Williams, who received a strong endorsement from Miller, his one-time teammate. "You have to be aggressive on both ends of the floor."

The Knicks played with surprisingly little emotion against a team and player that usually brings out the fight in them. Marbury scored 19 points but missed 12of 17 shots and had more turnovers (4) than assists (3). Jamal Crawford scored 10 on 4-for-14 shooting, including three-pointers at the end of both the first and second quarters. Kurt Thomas added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Indiana (39-34) held a double-digit lead over the final 16:45 despite playing without Jermaine O'Neal, Jamaal Tinsley, Jonathan Bender and Fred Jones, who are all injured, and without Ron Artest, who began serving his season-long suspension in November.

If the Pacers reach the playoffs, Rick Carlisle may be hard to beat for coach of the year honors. Carlisle started Anthony Johnson, Scot Pollard and Dale Davis, and his top three subs were Jeff Foster, James Jones and Eddie Gill.

Coincidentally, Stephen Jackson, Miller's successor, was the star of the night, scoring 33 points, all through three quarters. In the third, Jackson scored 17 straight for the Pacers without so much as the Knicks lifting a hand in his face. Jackson, who was also suspended for his part in the Detroit riot, was Miller-like in the quarter as he knocked down all four three-pointers.

Just for old time's sake, Miller hit one final three in the fourth and came out for good with 7:20 remaining. During a timeout, Miller walked out onto the floor and began looking around the Garden, perhaps savoring his last few minutes in the building.

"I think this will probably be the last time I'm ever in the Garden for anything," said Miller, who embraced Spike Lee after the game. "And it's kind of sweet for me, because you want to go out as a winner. I didn't come in as a winner, but at least I can go out as a winner."

Originally published on April 6, 2005

04-06-2005, 10:15 AM
Boyle related a story during last night's game that I thought was pretty cool.

He saw Jeff Foster going to the game and he was wearing a suit, which he doesn't normally do. When Boyle asked why he was wearing the suit, Jeff said, "It's my friend's last game in New York. I thought I should wear a suit." :cool:

04-06-2005, 10:42 AM
He did not say there were a few stinks in there he said there were a few sucks in there.

04-06-2005, 01:40 PM
WOW, nice read, thx UB