Written by: Melissa Harder
Last week, Reggie Miller was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame. The Mr. Potato Head with legs, or more conventionally described 6’7” former UCLA Bruin was
selected 11th overall in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers where he spent his entire 18 year career. A pure shooter, Miller constantly came off picks and curls to drain threes, usually in the face of a too slow defender. His end of game clutch shooting became known as “Miller Time”. With 2,560 made three-pointers, he ended his career as the NBA's greatest long range shooter. He poured in 25,279 points to finish his career in 12th place on league's all-time scoring list.
So his stats check out. They’re great. Really. But what makes him great in my eyes? The trash talk, obviously. Reggie Miller was a performer. Observe:
“He was one of the greatest trash talkers in the history of the game.” Ahmad Rashad
“He's maddening. He is a maddening human being.” Cheryl Miller
“I hated Reggie.” Patrick Ewing
“70% of me talking on the court is personally for me to get me motivated and going. 30% is to see if I can get in the opponent's head.” Reggie Miller
Back in the day when Michael Jordan retired (*cough cough left to pay off gambling debts*) and the NBA lost its biggest and most marketable star, I remember wondering who would help to fill the void. And while Reggie Miller didn’t fit the bill in the pure crazy athletic ‘did that just happen’ sense, he sure had a way of making his presence felt, especially down the stretch in games.
My favourite ESPN 30 for 30 is “Winning Time: Reggie Miller versus the New York Knicks” which details much of the 1995 Eastern Conference semi finals and made Reggie ‘persona non grata’ at Madison Square Garden. It is one and a half hour of Reggie Miller comedy and trash talk – truly fantastic. Director Dan Klores probably said it best when he made the film saying “Reggie Miller gave New York the finger. The whole city.”
If I had to pick Reggie’s best on the court highlight in the NBA, it would definitely be the epic ending to the 1995 Eastern Conference semi game 1 when Reggie scored eight points in 8.9 seconds to give the Pacers a completely surprising victory. I love how the director has the film narrated using the players themselves, announcers, Spike Lee and more to explain just what a pest Reggie could be. I particularly enjoy Reggie’s maniacal glee when he recounts his torment of Knicks guard John Starks. I can see it perfectly in my minds eye and I giggle every time. Especially since Starks knew exactly what Reggie was trying to do. And yet he couldn’t control himself.
Trash talking aside, a softer side of Reggie emerged in his Hall of Fame induction speech as big sister Cheryl presented Reggie with the honour. Together the siblings form the first bother and sister pair in the Springfield shrine. Cheryl was inducted in 1995.
"There's one lady that deserves probably the biggest recognition of everyone for why I'm here," Miller said. "I'm proud to say that I'm not on this stage if it wasn't for you, Cheryl Dean.”
So thank you Reggie – for filling my late 1990s NBA void (until Jordan came back for more) and for being one of the most entertaining trash talkers to ever play the game.
Derrick Rose’s season-ending injury and surgery on his meniscus wasn’t necessarily a shock considering what we know about ACL recoveries — but most reaction was generally pretty dramatic, and “shocked” is a word that could describe it. For the first time in a while, basically every journalist, fan and commentator forgot about their fantasy teams or click-grabbing #HotSportsTakes and simply felt bad for the talent that any true basketball fan loves watching fly around the court like the ethereal phenomenon that Rose is.
It is quite the paradox indeed that a professional sports best ever player could, in fact, be its worst administrator. However that appears to be the case when it comes to Michael Jordan. Viewed by many as the greatest player to wear a pair of Nike’s or any other type shoe for that matter, it is quickly becoming the opinion of those same individuals that he is a terrible boss.
By R. Hoyal
When D. J. Stephens jumps, the record books ask how high. From his humble beginning in Killeen, Texas, D.J. has grown to a rising star in basketball. At his recent workout with the Brooklyn Nets, this 6’5” small forward leapt to the amazing height of 46-inches during his vertical jump. …