The Truth About: Reggie Miller
“Keith Heading told me that joke.” – Reggie Miller
Let’s just get this out the way; Reggie Miller is a fucking herb. Search his name anywhere on the World Wide Web and the words, “shut the fuck up” won’t be too far behind. Marv Albert probably wants to bite him on the shoulder; too far? Seriously though, Reggie fucking stinks as a commentator and I think TNT knows it, embraces it & hopes in makes fans tune in to the, “so bad they can’t turn away, like a car accident with a raccoon and squirrel driving.” The point is, he’s awful at his current job and was/is overstated in his on the court career; it’s time for me to tell you the truth.
This is not a case of “sour grapes” as a Knicks fan because full disclosure Reggie Miller is my 2nd favorite player ever (Scottie Pippen being my favorite). Reggie was the guy I would emulate as a kid on the court by throwing the ball to the 3pt line, running to catch it, turning, shooting & yelling “REGGIE!” I even used the name Miller as a character in my books (as I did with Pippen). That’s no bullshit but that doesn’t mean one of my favorites is necessarily one the best.
Having said that; the greatest lie the NBA ever told was that Reggie Miller is an all-time great player. Reggie was as clutch as they come, had balls of steel, gave us memorable moments and could shoot the shit out of the 3 ball but the TRUTH is if it weren’t for John Starks, Spike Lee and Madison Square Garden, Reginald Wayne Miller (cornball brother name) would be Richard Hamilton with better range and worse defensive awareness. He played 18 seasons in the league and averaged more than 20ppg only 6 times. His highest ppg output was 25ppg during the ’89-’90 season (his 3rd year in the league). Now don’t get it twisted, Reggie could shoot the FUCK out the basketball but did he ever create his own shot off the dribble or was he a product of great team screens and movement without the ball? Listen. Moving without the ball is an underrated fundamental skill that a lot of players lack but that was literally Reggie’s best trait; that makes him this all-time legend?
Reggie Miller had his best moments versus the Knicks, the 8 points in 8/9 seconds (when he pushed Greg Anthony’s bitch ass to the ground) , the 25 point 4th quarter, dagger after dagger and it was because John Stark just had a face you wanted to punch and Spike Lee didn’t know how to just shut the fuck up (Drake we see you). In fairness, it’s disrespectful to say that Reggie needed any added motivation in the playoffs, in Madison Square Garden and with the eyes of the basketball world focused on the Knicks vs. Pacers; Spike was just that last drink before you left the club that made you forget to put a condom on. You were going to fuck but now you just raw as fuck cuz of said drink; you guys get the point. Reggie turned into another player in certain moments but overall? He was pedestrian as fuck; a fucking civilian in a Michael Jordan NBA.
Give me a season that you remember Reggie Miller being dominate… YOU CAN’T! Name a moment of Reggie Miller’s; I’ll help. 25 point 4th quarter, 8 points in 8/9 seconds (after pushing that police sketch face Greg Anthony to the ground), hitting a game winning 3 against the Bulls in the ECF (after pushing off MJ), fading Colorado Kob at the scorer’s table, the choke sign and talking greasy to Spike, his 3 against the Nets to send the game to OT in the playoffs & his game winner in which he took a bow at half-court. These are legendary moment but Reggie Miller was a compiler and not a complete all-time great player like they paint him to be. Sure, he’s 2nd all-time in 3 pointers made but he played 18 seasons, again, he compiled his stats. That’s not to say he wasn’t a deadeye shooter but AGAIN, he never created his own shot, he came off of screens.
Does the truth diminish his legendary performances? Absolutely not but it does dispel the narrative of Reginald Wayne being this big bad ass all-time great; he simply wasn’t. He was a specialty, a novelty player who averaged 18.2 ppg for his career, what other 18.2 ppg scorer do people laud as a great? He's 104th all-time in ppg; imagine 103 people being better than you at your job & you get a promotion? Our society tends to weigh moments over career; a career in which Reggie won nothing, he was a perennial all-star loser. Great, he beat the Knicks and did it in theatrical grand fashion but was the goal to beat NYK or win a ring? He never won shit! Matter of fact, we all remember the LJ 4 point play in the ’99 ECF; it was against the Indiana Pacers and was an awesome moment but as a Knicks fan let me tell you something, I’d trade that moment in for a ring cuz we got our asses handed to us by the Spurs in the Finals. We never won shit, just like Cheryl’s brother didn't.
The truth about Reggie Miller is that he was a highlight reel and Knick killer in the playoffs for like 2 ½ series and was just a guy who could shoot 3’s off screens otherwise. Reginald Wayne couldn’t guard me if I had 1 sandal on. What we tend to do is overstate our favorites from when we were kids because it takes us back to a time when we fell in love with the sport. The truth is I really did throw the ball around the court, run to catch it, turn & shoot while yelling “REGGIE!” The truth is as an adult, I take my remote, press mute, throw it across the room while yelling “REGGIE!” because I can’t take his overzealous Uber-driver tales about Polk High anymore. The truth is Reggie Miller wasn’t even better than his sister and that’s not a knock; his sister was just that great and Reggie was, well, a guy who could shoot 3’s when he saw John Starks’ face.
Next week I will tell the truth about the man who ruined our chances to see the most hyped & possibly most entertaining NBA Finals ever. That’s right, Dwight “I look like Eddie Murphy & Arsenio Hall did a face swap” Howard.