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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Reggie Miller, big Schmuck News | King Kaufman's Sports Daily:
"Reggie Miller, goat [PERMALINK]

Reggie Miller has long been one of my least favorite players...I've disliked him because all he ever gets is praise. He's undoubtably one of the great shooters in the history of the league and a slam-dunk Hall of Famer. No argument here. But he's also one of the NBA's dirtiest, most annoying players, and nobody ever talks about it -- except to praise him for things he should be vilified for.

Miller's method of playing defense is to grab, push, trip, tickle and half-Nelson his man, then suddenly go Zapruder Film, jerking spectacularly as though he'd been shot. Offensive foul on Miller's guy.

The quintessential Miller moment for me came four years ago in the playoffs against the Lakers. Miller, on offense, trotted across the lane, lightly bumped into a Laker who wasn't even looking at him, then pretended he'd been hit by a bus, arms flailing, head jerking, staggering across the floor. Foul on the Lakers guy. "He's so good at that," said TV announcer Doug Collins, referring to Miller's ability to "create a foul."

Good grief.

I was OK with the hosannas for Miller after his winning 3-pointer in Game 1. He'd played like snot for the first 47 minutes, but a game-winner is a game-winner, and Miller has a history of those clutch buckets. But while Tayshaun Prince is rightly being praised for his spectacular, game-saving block of Miller's would-be game-tying layup in Game 2, nobody seems to want to talk about the fact that the block, athletically amazing as it was, never should have happened.

Miller was the straight-up goat of the game. On a night when every shot was contested, when the Pistons blocked an astonishing 19, when every point was bled for, Miller played it soft with a breakaway layup, allowing Prince to make up ground. Miller admitted after the game that "I saw him in my rear-view mirror" and "in hindsight, I should have dunked it."

Miller cost his team a chance to win the game and go up 2-0. You won't hear a word about that from here on out.

I guarantee it."


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