Monday, February 8, 2010

Reggie Miller Interview: What the NBA Has Lost

HERE is a NY Times interview with Reggie Miller. Reggie was probably my favorite player to watch in the NBA. In my mind's eye, I can still see his incredible series against New Jersey (back when the Nets were legit contenders), and his playoff games against Michael Jordan.

If you haven't seen the Bulls-Pacers playoff series yet, you are definitely missing out. What NBA fan could possibly forget Reggie's eerily similar "Bryon Russell" push-off against Jordan, the game-winning three-pointer, and Reggie's subsequent twirling dance? (By the way, people forget Jordan almost won that game, but his three-pointer at the buzzer rolled in and out.)

I also clearly remember certain games from the Knicks-Pacers playoff series--such as LJ's unfortunate four-point play, which came from an Antonio Davis foul that clearly didn't warrant the continuation. The refs should have called a non-shooting foul, but after the Madison Garden crowd exploded, the refs probably risked a riot if they hadn't called a shooting foul and the three-point basket. The worst part was that Indiana shipped out Antonio Davis, one of the league's best defenders, the very next year, making it look like it was his fault the Pacers lost. In reality, Coach Larry Bird, who was just five feet away from the play, was telling Antonio Davis to "get up on him" and play closer defense, and Davis was just listening to his coach.

In my eyes, only Reggie Miller and Glen Rice were able to get under Michael's skin--and that feat alone is quite an accomplishment. I've copied an interesting section of the interview below:

Q: Are there any talkers left in the league?

A: It’s not the same. Everyone hugs one another now and kisses before jump balls and pats each other and helps them up. It’s a kinder and gentler league. Chivalry is nice and all, but it’s not the same.

I think Reggie just inadvertently explained why the NBA has lost its luster. There are no real rivalries anymore. As Charles Oakley once said, David Stern has "sissified" the league.

In the interview, Reggie also proclaims that LeBron will not be going to New York. I happen to agree, but Reggie seems awfully sure that LeBron won't be playing for the Knicks. I wonder if he has any inside information.

P.S. Although Reggie Miller and Jason Williams (during his Sacramento days) were my favorite players to watch, in real life, if I ever made it to the NBA, I'd be more like Dennis Rodman or Ben Wallace.

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