I knew guys got traded and guys signed with other teams, but it never hit me that franchise guys ever left like that...if it weren't part of a blockbuster for another franchise player. Jordan was always on the Bulls, Stockton and Malone always on the Jazz, Robinson always on Spurs, Hakeem always on Rockets, Ewing always on the Knicks. It just didn't hit me that these types of guys ever left.
So I took Reggie for granted in that sense, but as a player, I don't think I ever did. I, like many others, grew up idolizing him. The amount of adoration I hate for Reggie was through the roof. But I think I fully appreciated him for the first time during the 96 playoffs when he wasn't there for Games 1-4 and the Pacers struggled against an inferior Hawks squad. I knew then that the team had something special in Reggie.
I probably did take the success for granted, or at least the prolonged lack of being really pretty terrible as these recent teams have been at times, but Reggie, no way.
Also, this Reggie '96 thing is one of the reasons I completely justify Joe Johnson's insane contract, because I just know there was a young Hawks fan (I think...are there any Hawks fans, honestly?) being razzed by his uncle that Joe Johnson was leaving Atlanta. I would've hated to see that kid become like the young Cavs fan who thought the same of LeBron James, but that's just me........
Love to get on Pacers Digest and see what the fans have to say...whether it's win or lose...good or bad. I always read...but I decided I need to register and to post and clear up what I said on FS Indiana on Friday night.
One of the posters was right...I meant that Reggie could be taken for granted because he played in one city...for one team for 18 years. That rarely happens in the NBA...let alone pro sports. If it came out wrong...I apologize.
I have lived and worked in this city since the early 80's...and Reggie helped lift the Pacers to a different level. We probably can never appreciate what he truly did...until now. Hard to do that when your in the moment. You don't realize what you had.
But the major thing is...he played and stayed in one place. We sometimes just assumed that to be the case...but that's a rare commodity in the world of sports.
I didn't. I loved every minute of his career and I wouldn't of traded him for anyone, and I mean anyone.
I don't watch sports for the hope that my team will win the championship. I root for players to win a championship when they deserve it. And I never saw anyone who deserved it more. I can honestly say that. How could you not root for that guy? He was tough as nails, clutch, cocky and every bit as great a competitor there is to ever walk on a basketball court.
The only difference between Reggie and the very best to ever play like Jordan and Magic is physical gifts. The guy wore leg braces as a child. He was no gifted athlete. He was tall and skinny. And worked his skinny *** to NBA Legend status. Enough said.
I know I myself and my older brother did not take him for granted. Some of my friends certainly did and a whole lot of my classmates through the years did. To a lot of them the simple fact that he wasn't Michael Jordan was enough for them to go as far as to say he sucked.
Of course these are the same people who hated the Colts and said Peyton Manning would never amount to anything and that Edgerrin James looked like a thug (I was always win or lose a die hard Pacers/Colts fan). Now I see a bunch of these same old classmates on facebook wearing their Colts jerseys. They're a bunch on bandwagon fans and frontrunners...most of the city is.
Try not to take offense as there certainly are some true die hard fans through and through within the city. Everyone here has nothing to worry about. If anyone here was a bandwagon jumper they wouldn't even be here.
So all in all I can agree with Chris to an extent (possibly even full on because I doubt he was talking about the die-hards).
We did not know what we had when we had him in a uniform. Especially in his later years. He did more for the culture around here than what he did on the court. His loyalty was amazing.
I bawled my eyes out his last game. I certainly didn't take him for granted.
Come to the Dark Side -- There's cookies!
Ummmm....sorry Chris.... about the "Denari is an idiot" comment!!!! Sometimes you forget on here who may be reading. No hard feelings?
No hard feelings.
By the way...if there are games when nobody is using my two tickets...I would like to make them available to folks here on Pacers Digest. I'll post if they are available in the upcoming weeks.
I know Chris cleared up what he was saying, but I'll answer anyway. I do not think Reggie was taken for granted. I think people appreciated and understood what he was doing for the franchise, city, and state.
However, I do think Rik, the Davis boys, McKey, Tank Thompson, and Mark Jackson were, as were championship moves like bringing in Chris Mullin, Byron Scott, and Sam Perkins.
I'm not saying people didn't love them, cherish them, and feel passionate about them. I'm simply saying that Reggie couldn't have done it himself, and maybe we took for granted what a special cast of players he had around him.
I was also too young to contemplate Reggie leaving in 1996 and like the other posted said took it for granted that he would always be with the Pacers like Ewing would always be with the Knicks and Dream would always be with the Rockets.
Now, a couple years ago when I read up on his free agency it blew me away as to how lucky we were for him to stick around. Without Reggie in the late 90's there may have been no Conseco and subsequently no Pacers. Reggie Miller and Peyton Manning have really done the world for the city, without them sure we could have gotten other stars, but then again Indianapolis might be Columbus, Ohio without Ohio State.
I think this is a lesson in being tactful when discussing people of Pacerdom. Sometimes we forget they are humans with families and feelings. I can't imagine what Quinn thinks of some of the comments I have made.
But one thing is for certain, Chris you have certainly stepped it up this year.
And I cried as well. But it seem to end quickly, regardless of the prior announcement.
You have stayed true to your convictions Granville. I remember having this same conversation about 6 years ago about trying to get a statue built for Reggie. Seemed the PD membership was split 50/50 at that time. The 1st draft statue is no longer there, but a painting is still posted if you click on the painting link http://bill-wolfe.com/index.html I bet someone probably still has a picture of the mockup statue from our forum parties.
And for good measure here's one an ISU group was trying to gather steam on http://larrylegendfoundation.com/ind...s/Page1183.htm
Speaking of honoring one Reginald Wayne Miller, does the collective still have ReggieMiller.com still on hold?
Last edited by RWB; 02-05-2011 at 02:20 PM.
You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....
I enjoyed every minute from when I became a fan at a young age till when he retired. I tell ya when we got elminated by the pistons and reggie left without a ring. I was ready to go out and start handing out the complete works of Nietzsche, I felt like God was dead and there was no justice in the world after all that man did for the Pacers him to go without ever getting a ring was a complete injustice.
I think you hit on something there. While I do feel that the city recognized Reggie for the gift he was...I don't believe we appreciated the quality level of the supporting cast Donnie put together over the years. That team in the late 90's was deep and talented. I seriously doubt that putting together those pieces was an easy task.
The reality is, the strength of the Reggie era teams was its depth combined with how well the starting unit was put together.
Jackson - great floor general and pass first PG.
Miller - deadly assassin for the late game heroics.
McKey - fantastic defensive player and extremely long for a SF.
DDavis - enforcer, shot blocker and rebounder.
Smits - huge C with fantastic touch.
They fit like a glove baby.
The other pieces were all starting level quality players including Byron Scott, Antonio Davis, Sam Perkins, Chris Mullin and many others. Quality players with just the right mix of skills for the strategy.
Nor did we take other great players like Daniels, McGinnis or Brown for granted. I was privileged to see all 4 play many times.
I was born in 1989, I couldn't help but take Reggie for granted. Reggie's clutch performances were all I knew. Just because I took him for granted doesn't mean he didn't mean more to me than any player to don a Pacers' jersey or that I didn't appreciate the intensity and leadership he brought to the court night in and night out. Sadly though, it was after Reggie retired that I was able to FULLY appreciate him and not take him for granted.
You know those moments in life, when you just kind of stand there, and it's surreal and you can't believe it's happening? The last 5 minutes of game 6 Pacers vs. Pistons 2005 will be etched into my memory as one of those events. It was like trying to catch grains of sand as we watched Reggie pour on 27 more points as he left absolutely everything on the floor, and then the standing ovation, everyone seemed to wish we would see one more miracle, one more jumper, one more Reggie chant....
I wish that night had never ended, because watching Reggie Miller walk off court for the last time in a Pacers jersey was the most emotional athletic moment I've ever had. The man brought me to the game I love, a game that has taught me how to live my life in many ways.
I dunno, take him for granted? Maybe in terms of just expecting him to always be a Pacer, but man if you were there on that night, it's tough to say there's ever going to be an athlete again in Indianapolis who we had that kind of a connection to.
Peyton may have brought us a Super Bowl, but he's never been the enemy. Never been "our guy" IMO. Peyton is too hollywood, he's almost out of place in Indianapolis, even with his southern roots, he seems more at home with the camera on him. While Reggie had a great sense of the moment and was from LA, there was something very Indiana about him. He shot the ball well (a rare talent for some inner city basketball programs), and he just gave us a sense of, "Ok, world, Indiana is here, and we're going to stir some **** up" Reggie could get caught up in the moment, and lost himself in it alongside us. His barbs with Spike Lee and his nut grabbing incident illustrate that the most. Peyton, meanwhile, is almost too robotic, we still barely know who he is.
When Peyton retires, it will be sad, I'm sure, and we'll remember the good time. Do I expect to shed tears like I did with Reggie? I don't think so. I just don't have that connection. Reggie wore his heart on his sleeve, and I think that is something Hoosiers can appreciate.
Last edited by Trader Joe; 02-06-2011 at 02:47 AM.