Miller mouths off, gets tossed early
2 technical fouls for Indiana veteran result in 1st-half exit
BY SAM SMITH
March 27, 2005
The Indiana Pacers' Reggie Miller had an unpleasant return in what probably was his last NBA game in Chicago, but it wasn't from the crowd.
The Bulls roughed up Miller a bit. He drew two technical foul calls from referee Blaine Reichelt and was ejected with about three minutes left in the first half.
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle also was ejected by the seemingly thin-skinned Reichelt for comments made toward the ref.
Mum's the word
Carlisle said before the game he didn't want to discuss Friday night's bomb threats in Auburn Hills, Mich., before the Pacers defeated the Pistons.
"It's over with," he said. "It's not worth talking about."
But the bomb threats and the Pacers' refusal to play until they were satisfied it was safe in the arena will have consequences. NBA insiders say Commissioner David Stern was furious with the Pacers and threatened massive fines if the Pacers didn't play, which was discussed among the players during the delay. Eventually players were persuaded to take the court, though bitter feelings remain among the Pacers regarding their treatment from the brawl with the Pistons and the league's subsequent handling of the matter.
"We've been penalized so much this year, and nothing has ever happened to the Pistons or the Palace or even the city of Detroit," Miller said. "It's almost like it's always our fault. The league knows it, and the league ought to be ashamed to let security be as lax as it is around here.
"David Stern has to take a hard look in the mirror every morning he wakes up on his decision on the way he penalized us and the way he penalized the Pistons."
The Bulls' Scott Skiles, Phoenix's Mike D'Antoni, Seattle's Nate McMillan and Washington's Eddie Jordan are considered the front-runners for coach of the year.
But considering all the Pacers' suspensions and injuries--367 player games missed, 27 different starting lineups, 17 different starters and their top three players now out--some are saying Carlisle deserves consideration.
"We did something I don't think any team in this league could do," said Jermaine O'Neal, who is with the team but not playing due to a shoulder injury. "Take the top three players off any team and key role players, and who's going to be in the position we're in?"
Skiles said the team is hoping Kirk Hinrich will play Monday against Memphis. . . . Eddy Curry, who fell short of his career-high 31 points with 27, said he bumped his right knee with Jeff Foster before coming out at the end of the third quareter. "I noticed it swelled up a little bit," Curry said. "We don't think it's anything serious. I sat out for precautionary reasons." . . . Skiles said he's a big fan of Miller's: "If you're not impressed with the guy, you don't have any blood. He got the most out of his talent. He reached his potential. What bigger compliment can you give a human being?"
While in Detroit for Friday's game, four of the Pacers charged in the November brawl--O'Neal, Anthony Johnson, David Harrison and Stephen Jackson--went to Auburn Hills police for fingerprinting. Their next court date is April 8.
Copyright © 2005, The Chicago Tribune