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Thread: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

  1. #1
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Long article, but really worth reading.

    Making a Lean Break
    Career overachiever Reggie Miller is calling his shot on retirement. Barring a change of heart, call him slim and done after this season.

    By Mark Heisler, Times Staff Writer

    INDIANAPOLIS — Is it really almost 22 years since Reggie Miller, 6 feet 6 and 170 pounds, most of it bravado, was a UCLA freshman, launching shots from what now is the 818 area code, before horrified Bruin fans and John Wooden himself?

    People wondered why Coach Larry Farmer didn't tell Miller to move in a yard or two. Who knew Reggie was the exception to every rule in the book?

    Who would have believed this stick figure would be the greatest Bruin after Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Bill Walton, the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers and, at Miller's current pace, the No. 13 all-time scorer, right up there with Jerry West at No. 12?

    Not even Miller, whose audacity rivaled his shooting range, bargained on this.

    Tonight, barring miracles, the Indiana Pacer guard will make his last appearance in Los Angeles in the game against the Lakers. He announced his retirement three weeks ago. In the nicest compliment a 39-year-old player can get, the question everyone asks is: Why?

    "I don't know," Pacer President Donnie Walsh said. "It's Reggie. I mean, he's got it in his head he wants to do that.

    "The day after he told everybody he was retiring, he got 36 points. So, I mean, how many guys are going to come in this league the next five years, can score 36 points?"

    Reggie being Reggie, the question won't be answered for the moment, or ever.

    He's walking away from a $6-million contract and a last shot at a title when Ron Artest returns next season. The team hopes he changes his mind. Given his dedication and rare shooting ability, he probably could play until he was 50 if he wanted to.

    "I could but I'm not going to," he says. "It's time to go."


    "Time to move on. I think this team is in a good place. This organization is in a good place. Time to move on."

    The interview lasts two minutes before Miller clasps the writer, who covered him at UCLA, on the shoulder affectionately and, sure enough, moves on.

    No, he isn't like anyone else, either as showman or basketball player.

    "The only thing big on him is his ears," teammate Sam Perkins once said. "Other than that, the man just comes with a big attitude and a big heart. He's very different from everybody else in the league."

    Miller ran on attitude, driven by the disrespect he perceived and courted. In Game 1 of the 2000 NBA Finals against the Lakers, he made one of 16 shots and attributed it to insufficient hatred of his opponent.

    "I don't have any bad feelings about L.A.," he said. "… I'm more upset with myself now. Now I got to contend with myself, which is kind of scary, if you can believe that."

    He averaged 28 points the rest of the way.

    He was the game's premier shooter and its premier hotdog, giving Spike Lee the choke sign, bowing in all four directions after making a game-winning shot on the road.

    Off the floor, however, the attitude vanished. He was low-key, down-to-earth and popular with coaches, players and staffers. He was known within the organization for the charity work he took on, on the condition there would be absolutely no publicity. Team officials often learned he had done something when someone called to thank them.

    The bigger Miller got, the more he fenced with reporters, who once would just ask about some controversy, when they noticed him at all. Now it was worse; they treated him like a star.

    He was Kris Kristofferson's "walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction." The fictional character called out giants and slew them; the real one was embarrassed when anyone noticed.

    During a playoff series against the Chicago Bulls in 1998, Miller acknowledged that he had mellowed, after fighting so long for "credibility and respect."

    When he was asked about it at that day's interview session, he answered, "Where's this talk from?"

    His quote in that morning's paper, someone said.

    "Changed in what way?" Miller asked. "I don't know what way."

    More mellow?

    "I've always been a mellow guy," Miller said. "I'm just more competitive when I'm on the floor."

    Did he do fewer of his old tricks?

    "Such as?" Miller asked.

    "The things we enjoy so much," someone said.

    "Oh, really?" he said. "You guys enjoy that, huh? Well, I'm not going to write your papers for you. No, no, no. I'm out here to win ballgames. If that's a part of it, so be it.

    "Thanks, guys. Go get Mark."

    That was teammate Mark Jackson. Miller picked up his stuff and strolled off.


    The Millers of Riverside

    I still remember the night I came home from a high school game. I had scored 39 points. Man, I was feeling good about myself. Then Cheryl came home.

    "Cheryl, I got 39."

    "Reggie, that's great."

    "Yeah, so how'd you do?"

    "Uh, I got 105."

    — Reggie Miller,

    "I Love Being the Enemy"

    Cheryl was a prodigy. Older brother Darrell would play five seasons with the Angels. Reggie was the one born with pronated hips, who slept with braces on his legs until he was 4 and was always trying to catch up.

    He got the UCLA offer at the end of Farmer's tenure, only after Reggie Williams, Antoine Joubert and Tom Sheehy, the three national recruits they were saving it for, turned it down.

    Pac-10 crowds chanted "Cher-yl" at Reggie but it went back further than that.

    "I think that's when it all started, you know, always being compared," Reggie once said. "And there's nothing wrong with having, in my mind, the greatest woman basketball player of all time as your sis.

    "Every opposing arena we went to, that's where it always started in high school and it's been like that ever since."

    Reggie became a star too, if a notorious one. As a sophomore, he spat at a Brigham Young player. As a senior in a loss at Arizona, he rubbed his fingers together at referee Booker Turner, suggesting he had been paid off.

    Walsh interviewed Miller, discovered he didn't have fangs, and drafted him at No. 11 in 1987. With Indiana University's Steve Alford available, coming off an NCAA championship, the pick produced a furor — "Everybody from Red Auerbach, who said it publicly on television, to people in the street," Walsh says.

    Instead of the local icon, Pacer fans got a brat from California, which, the way they reckoned, was somewhere between Sodom and Gomorrah.

    What were the odds that 18 years later, Alford would be coaching an IU rival, Iowa, and Miller would be an icon in Indiana?

    If the truth were known, Miller was probably as happy to come to Indiana as Indiana was to have him.

    "You know, it was different, obviously, coming from L.A.," he says. "But I think anything would be different, coming from L.A., or coming from New York. But I wanted to make the best of it, which I have. I'm happy with that."

    He even moved there year-round and didn't come back to California for the summer, although a few years ago, he did buy a place in Malibu. He's not entirely Hoosier, but close.


    Prince of the City

    Everyone needs a foil. For Miller, it was New York, itself, where they'll never forget him.

    He took it to a new level in the '90s "Hicks-Knicks" battles when Pat Riley's team was in his "Game of Force" heyday and his players did everything but put a price on Reggie's head.

    "A lot of guys told me, 'This guy won't last; look at his legs, look at his body.' " Walsh says. "And I used to laugh at that. Then when we started playing against the Knicks, I started to worry about it.

    "This was back when they were really good and they were after Reggie. They hit him after every single play, hard. They would knock him down and he would get up, hit the three and say, 'Take that, you….'

    "One game, Reggie went to break to the ball, they overplayed him and he cut backdoor. And [Charles] Oakley was coming to help and when he saw Reggie go backdoor, he knocked him so hard, I didn't think the kid was going to get up. Reggie never saw him. They didn't even call a foul.

    "But that's the way he was treated back in those days. Yet, he just picked himself up, shot the ball."

    In Miller's 1994 breakout in Madison Square Garden, he scored 25 points in the fourth quarter, making five three-pointers, and gave Lee, who had been taunting him, the choke sign.

    In the 1995 playoffs in the Garden, Miller scored eight points in the last 8.9 seconds, bringing his team back from a 105-99 deficit to win, 107-105.

    Only the greatest players did things like that. In those moments, Miller was as great as anyone who ever played the game.

    When the games ended, the tempest ebbed. Miller may have been a Knick nightmare, but he was a coach's dream.

    After the Pacers lost in the 2000 NBA Finals to the Lakers, they broke up their nucleus, sending away Miller's best friend on the team, Jackson. Nevertheless, Reggie willingly took a step back to let the young players develop.

    He would emerge from the weeds in the spring. In 2002, when he was 36 and his average was down to 16.5 points, he bumped it back up to 23.5 in the playoffs.

    In a dramatic elimination game in New Jersey, he tied the score with a 40-foot three-pointer at the end of regulation. Then he tied it again with a driving dunk at the end of the first overtime before the Pacers fell in the second overtime.

    Every season, it became more Jermaine O'Neal's and Artest's show, but Miller never uttered a peep.

    "He's been here 18 years," Walsh says. "I have never seen him talk back to a coach. Ever.

    "Larry Brown would get on him so bad, he'd be crying. But never talked back to him. And he always did what the coach asked him to do."

    In Brown's last season in Indiana, when he was finding fault with something new every day, he remarked that his top players lacked leadership qualities.

    "If Larry says we lack it," Miller said, "we lack it."

    Forget a farewell tour. Miller didn't even want any recognition that this was his last time around the circuit, turning down request after request from the media.

    Nevertheless, it's on. Thursday in Denver, Nugget General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe presented Miller with a check for his foundation.

    Tonight he comes home. On April 5, the Pacers' last trip to New York, Knick fans will want to thank him for the memories, or for finally going away.

    It won't be as much fun as giving Spike the choke sign. He won't even be able to hate them. What a predicament.



    Going the distance

    Indiana's Reggie Miller is the all-time leader in three-point attempts and three-pointers made (through Thursday's games; * — active):

    Career 3-point attempts leaders:

    Rk. Player 3-pt. Att. Seasons

    1. Reggie Miller* 6,359 18

    2. Tim Hardaway 4,345 13

    3. Dale Ellis 4,269 17

    4. Nick Van Exel* 4,123 12

    5. Vernon Maxwell 3,931 13

    6. Glen Rice 3,896 15

    7. Mookie Blaylock 3,816 13

    8. Dan Majerle 3,798 14

    9. John Starks 3,590 13

    10. Ray Allen* 3,557 9

  2. #2

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    That was great long article.

  3. #3
    Administrator Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    They would knock him down and he would get up, hit the three and say, 'Take that, you….'

    You gotta love Reggie when you remember those times.

    Basketball isn't played with computers, spreadsheets, and simulations. ChicagoJ 4/21/13

  4. #4

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Yup it was great times those days right I didn't really see it I was to young.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Yep i have some of those games recorded in a VCR Tape from the 1992 - 1994 New York knick humiliation by reggie games.. cool article btw

  6. #6

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Reggie willingly took a step back to let the young players develop.
    People, read this.. and read it again. This proofs that Reggie could if he wanted to be the scoring leader today and one of the best players in NBA still at age 39! Its true, think about it, always when JO is injured or is playing bad he ALWAYS racks up at least 20 points... But then maybe Jermaine, Ronnie,Tinsley would not be the famous ballers they are today? He is still the best player in Pacers today because he got some furious energy of bombs inside himself that he wont release, but that he isnt showing that Every day is just because of the quote up there... its scary actually, its like if he was Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, where he points the .44 Magnum at the enemy and the enemy thinks that the Gun is empty, but its not!!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Please Reggie, come back just one more season! Give it one last shot when we have a full team.
    Sorry, I didn't know advertising was illegal here. Someone call the cops!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    UncleBuck, it's been a while, but I think I remember you saying you tape every Pacers game...Whoever it is who does this, how far back have you gametapes, and do you have the 2000 Finals on tape?

  9. #9
    Boom Baby'er ABADays's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Enjoyed the article but found it interesting he listed the number of 3 pt attempts without showing the number made.
    The best exercise of the human heart is reaching down and picking someone else up.

  10. #10
    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    I have taped every Playoff game. I still have a lot of the games but when I moved last August I did throw many of the games away. Not sure if I kept the 2000 finals or not

  11. #11

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Thanks for posting this, I wouldn't have seen it otherwise. It makes it all the harder knowing this is Reggies last year and there doesn't seem to be anything we can do to bring him out on a high note. It seems to be we can't get a break or keep anyone healthy long enough to make a run. The prospect of making the playoffs just to get creamed in the first round isn't much more appealing then not making it. A lot depends on JO and Tins. and how soon they can come back, and of course if Ron was allowed to play, but as each day and game goes by it seems less likely that we can make a run this year. Reggie deserves better, but what can we do?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Wonderful article. It really is sad the way he is going out. I just hope we can make the playoffs for his sake
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Reggie Dont Retire!!

  14. #14
    Banned Destined4Greatness's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Im not crying I just have something in my eye, man is there anybody on this planet that could convince Reggie to stay?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    There's always a chance he could go Roger Clemens on us...

  16. #16

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Here's another nice article on Reggie:

    Defying odds, defining a star

    NBA LEGACY: tireless shooter, legend in clutch

    11:48 PM PST on Saturday, March 5, 2005

    By BRODERICK TURNER / The Press-Enterprise

    They all praised him and some even thanked him for showing them the way.

    They were sad to hear he is retiring after 18 remarkable seasons, all with the Indiana Pacers, which is even more remarkable in today's sports environment. But their sorrow was tempered because Reggie Miller is departing the NBA on his terms, and he is at peace with his decision.

    Miller will play his final regular-season game in LA against the Lakers at Staples Center tonight.

    Miller Family
    Reggie Miller celebrates graduation from Riverside Poly with parents Saul and Cassie before moving on to UCLA.

    The stars at the recent All-Star game in Denver spoke with reverence about Miller, celebrating and honoring him with kind words that spoke volumes about the man, the player and all the glorious moments he shared with the league.

    "He's meant everything to our team," Indiana's All-Star forward Jermaine O'Neal said. "He's been the face of the NBA to rely on, to help promote the game. For me personally, he's meant the world to me.

    "He is a great leader, a great teammate and a great man. He is the guy that you want to pattern yourself after."

    Many did.

    They saw that 6-foot-7, 195-pound beanpole frame and saw how Miller thrived in the land of the giants.

    These All-Stars watched Miller use all at his disposal to compete at the highest level, to let nothing stand in his way, to push himself to new heights, something he did since his days at Riverside Poly High School and UCLA.

    What Miller developed was a prolific outside shot, and he became known as one of the best three-point shooters the league ever witnessed, one of the best clutch shooters of all-time.

    Those who came after Miller took notice.

    "He's made a huge impact on a lot of younger players who have come in and shot the ball well," said Seattle All-Star guard Ray Allen, a great outside shooter himself. "He was 6-7, and when you were younger and 6-7, they'd put you on the block or somewhere around the basket. Reggie had an uncanny ability to shoot the basketball. We just looked up to what he has done.

    "Being a pressure shooter, being able to really shoot the ball well has really fed the rest of the players in this league and allowed us to want to do things like that and bring their team to victory."

    Perpetual motion.

    That is a staple of Miller. He's always on the move, darting behind this screen, running this way and that way, faking one way and going the other, slipping through the smallest gap, always seeming to find a way to get off his smooth jumper.

    He'd get another three-pointer off, and defenders would just shake their heads, many in disgust but most in awe and with respect.

    Detroit's Richard Hamilton is a 6-6, 186-pound guard who was looking for his niche in the NBA. Hamilton found it by studying Miller.

    The two had so much in common: The slight build, the ability to run all day and get free using screens, the sharper-shooter's eye.

    "It was a great opportunity for me because I learned so much just by playing against him," Hamilton said. "I tried to steal all his tactics and the way he plays. I was wondering how he was getting so open, how he was getting his shot off regardless who was guarding him. He helped me a lot."

    Miller, 39, became the 14th player in NBA history to reach the 24,000-point mark. He is the all-time leader in three-point field goals made. Only John Stockton and Karl Malone, when they played for the Jazz, have played more games with the same team than Miller.

    "He was a fearless player," Miami Heat All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal said. "He's a great shooter. Most of the time, if it was a close game and he's got the ball, he rarely missed that shot for his team. So whenever you played his team, you had to be really focused on him. The teams that weren't focused on him, he made them pay. He's a great player, and we're going to miss him."

    AP photo
    Reggie Miller squares off with the Bulls' Michael Jordan.

    Even the younger players in the NBA, the younger All-Stars, respect what Miller has meant to the NBA.

    "He's one of the all-time greats," said Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, a second-year player. "He's one of the best professionals ever to play the game. I'm impressed by the way he played the game for so many years at a high level. He is always a threat, from his first year to his last year. You hate to see a player like that leave. But at the same time, you're just glad that you got an opportunity to play against him and you can always tell your kids about it."

    It was during the 1995 playoffs against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden when Miller placed his name among the great playoff performers, when he put on a show to be remembered.

    It was Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, and Miller scored eight straight points in 8.9 seconds, providing the Pacers with one of the most amazing comebacks in NBA playoff history.

    He knocked down a three-pointer, stole the inbound pass and dropped in another three-pointer. Then he converted two free throws for the game-winning points.

    The Knicks had seen this before from Miller.

    He burned them for 25 of his then-playoff-high 39 points in the fourth quarter in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals at New York. He had five three-pointers in the fourth quarter, an NBA record for a quarter.

    "I think he's one of the greatest three-point shooters, shooters period," Detroit guard Lindsey Hunter said. "Some of the things that he's accomplished and some of the moments that he's put on this game and the memories that he has -- like the game in 1995 against New York when he hit all those three-point shots -- were just great moments.

    "When you think about Reggie Miller, those are the type of things you think about. He's just one of those special players that you don't see come through so often."

    Jermaine O'Neal didn't know much about Miller when he joined the Pacers in 2000.

    The Pacers had just lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals and decided to shake things up, trading Dale Davis to the Portland Trail Blazers for the unproven O'Neal.

    O'Neal recalled how nervous he was. He knew Miller and Davis were close friends and that he had done nothing in four years in Portland.

    O'Neal said Miller could have "vetoed" the trade. Instead, Miller accepted O'Neal.

    "He told me right when I got there in the press conference that he was going to allow me to prove myself," O'Neal said. "From that day forward, I had total respect for him. I never had a chance to meet him before that day. But he is the guy that wants the best for everybody. He's the big reason why I had a chance to really grow and grow at my own pace.

    "There were a ton of lockers in the locker room. I went over and got in a small little corner -- 'cause he has like three lockers -- so I just went over there because I wanted to just sit by him and pick up as much as I could. Because I just knew if I could follow his leadership skills and the things that he does, I knew I was going to grow at a rate and I was going to be very competitive and be considered one of the best players in the league because of him."

    In the eyes of the players, there's no doubt Miller will make it into the Hall of Fame.

    They see his legacy as complete.

    No, Miller hasn't won an NBA championship. But he has left his mark on the NBA in so many ways.

    "Oh, by far, by far. He'll be in the Hall," Jermaine O'Neal said. "And I think that's the reason why he wants to walk away because I think he feels like -- and he maybe, I'm not quite sure -- but I think he feels like he's not at the Reggie Miller level that everybody knows that he used to be at. It's best to go out on top and hopefully, if I do my job a lot better and the rest of my teammates can do their jobs a lot better, we can get him back to the championship. He deserves that."

    Reach Broderick Turner at

  17. #17
    Administrator/ The Real Jay Jay@Section12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Trivia: The league office fined Oakley $10k for the "flagrant" foul on Reggie that wasn't called in 1993.

    That was in the regular season, so it even pre-dated the "head-butt" John Starks gave Reggie. That was the beginning of the Knicks-Pacers 1990s rivalry.
    Why do the things that we treasure most, slip away in time
    Till to the music we grow deaf, to God's beauty blind
    Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?
    Till we fall away in our own darkness, a stranger to our own hearts
    And life itself, rushing over me
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  18. #18
    Pacer fan since 1993 Ragnar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    I am so glad that I found out about the Pacers and Reggie all those many years ago. He has provided so many fond memories. I remember the 25 in the 4th like it was yesterday A bunch of friends of mine wanted me to go out to a bar with them and I had called the bar to make sure they would be showing the game before I agreed to go.

    They wanted to go to the bar for the same reason all young men want to go out to a bar but by the end of the night everyone was standing arround the TV to see this amazing performance.

  19. #19
    Tree People to the Core! indygeezer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    I believe it was Greg Rakestraw but it may have been JMV that said he hoped the fans would give up the Reggie chants and instead chant....1 MORE YEAR.

    I like the idea.
    Ever notice how friendly folks are at a shootin' range??.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Great article. I wish he would rethink his decision. I think he would be unbeliveably valuable as a playoff/specialist spot shooter 7th or 8th man next year. Take training camp off, rejoin the team around the holidays and keep it going.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Excellent L.A. Times article on Reggie Miller

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I am so glad that I found out about the Pacers and Reggie all those many years ago. He has provided so many fond memories. I remember the 25 in the 4th like it was yesterday A bunch of friends of mine wanted me to go out to a bar with them and I had called the bar to make sure they would be showing the game before I agreed to go.

    They wanted to go to the bar for the same reason all young men want to go out to a bar but by the end of the night everyone was standing arround the TV to see this amazing performance.
    It was a wendesday night. I had a college night class. Me and a couple of guys who played ball at (Arsenal) Tech left at the break, found a TV in a dorm lounge, snuck some 40's in and watched the spectacle unfold. Probably the greatest night in Pacer history.

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