Interesting Article I found, Reggie says he is going to try to play like 3 or 4 years ago, and leaves the door open for playing in 2005-2006
Posted on Mon, Oct. 04, 2004
Pacers open training camp with Reggie vowing to be more aggressive
INDIANAPOLIS - Reggie Miller begins what might be his final NBA training camp determined to be more aggressive, maybe even a little selfish. Who could blame him?
Last season, Miller scored the fewest points of his 17-year career, preferring to let his younger Indiana Pacers teammates take the shots and the spotlight. Despite an NBA-best 61 victories in the regular season, however, Indiana failed to give Miller his first championship.
The bitter aftertaste is what motivated him all summer.
"I put a lot of time in, especially into conditioning my legs as well as my shot," the 39-year-old Miller said Monday, a day before the start of camp. "I'm looking to play how I played three or four years ago, especially in the postseason."
Miller, with 24,305 points in 1,323 games, is second among active NBA players in career scoring and third in games played. He was bothered last summer by an ankle injury he suffered during the World Basketball Championships and averaged just 10 points a game for the season, then turned down a chance to play on the U.S. Olympic team this year to let his body heal.
"I've got to get a little bit more of my aggression back," he said. "I want to be a little more aggressive, especially on the offensive end, because I believe I can help this team out with perimeter shooting."
That's fine with coach Rick Carlisle.
"I have to defer to his judgment. He's the guy that's played 18 years," Carlisle said. "He's been a guy that's been unusually willing to defer to the younger guys on this team. ... I think all of us would welcome him being a little more aggressive at times."
Miller will remain a starter, at least going into the season, Carlisle said.
But Reggie won't say whether this will be his final season. He's under contract only for this year but has an option to return next year if he wants. And that likely will be determined by his health and by how well the Pacers fare.
"I'm going to let my body do its talking," he said. "I know I have (possibly) two years left, but I'm going to play it by ear. As for now, I'm focusing on this year, and we'll see about the option year."
The 61 victories last year marked a franchise record and gave Indiana the homecourt advantage in the playoffs. Still, the Pacers lost twice at home, falling to eventual champion Detroit in the Eastern Conference finals.
"Did they have the best talent? Obviously, I don't think so. But they were the best team," Miller said.
The Pacers hope to bolster their depth this season with Stephen Jackson, who was on San Antonio's 2003 championship team and played last year with Atlanta, where he averaged career-highs with 18.1 points and 4.6 rebounds. Jackson came to Indiana this summer in a trade with the Hawks for Al Harrington.
"It only makes us a better team. That's the ultimate goal, to field a team that can win a championship," Miller said.
Jackson, a starter with Atlanta, said he's so excited being with the Pacers, he won't mind coming off the bench.
"From going to San Antonio to Atlanta was a setback, but it was also a blessing in disguise," he said. "I've got a great opportunity to learn from Reggie. This is a chance of a lifetime for me that I must take advantage of."
The Pacers also acquired free agent guard Eddie Gill, who was a CBA All-Star and played 22 games with Portland late last season, and drafted 7-footer David Harrison and guard Rashad Wright. O'Neal and Ron Artest, the NBA defensive player of the year, return up front, along with Miller and Jamaal Tinsley in the backcourt and Jeff Foster at center.
Other reserves back this year include Jonathan Bender, Austin Croshere, Anthony Johnson, Fred Jones, James Jones and Scot Pollard.