Thursday, May 19, 2005

CLASSY MOMENT DURING MILLER'S FINAL ROUND

It is always tough to say good bye to a legend.
When one of the great ones steps away it is a reminder of our own mortality, that the games we play outside the professional stage won't last forever. It is a reminder I won't do radio or television forever. The writing in The News will some day come to an end as will this blog that is so enjoyable to write.
I thought Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan would still be playing today, showing us the same moves they did in their prime. But of course that is not possible.
Father time marches on. And he carries us along with him.
Another left us Thursday night.
Indiana Pacers all-time leading scorer Reggie Miller got pushed toward retirement by the scrappy Pistons 88-79, ending this Eastern Conference semifinal in six games and giving us the much anticipated Pistons-Miami Heat match up.
But I am not thinking Heat right now. Miller deserves his own send off and Pistons Coach Larry Brown deserves his own very special moment also.
When Miller said so long it made the rest of us a little older, a little grayer and perhaps a half step slower. He seemed to be around the game forever. But father time catches up with all of us. It finally got Miller after 18 seasons (I think) and he has decided he can no longer go on.
He finished his career with 25,297 points, 2,560 three-point shots and enough dramatic moments to fill a stage.
He challenged New York and won. He challenged Michael Jordan and lost most of the time, but still came away with a few impressive victories. Miller time was always dangerous time because he flicked that three-point shot like a serpent sticking his tongue out.
It was a quick and deadly shot that sank a lot of dreams.
The bad thing for Miller is he never won a title. The Bulls or Knicks or Bad Boys all stood in the way. And it was the Pistons who stopped him on his final journey.
The Pistons played a classic road game. They withstood the Pacers emotions. They fought off a cheering crowd at Conseco Field house that did not want to let go of Miller. And they finally clawed out a big win with little plays at the end that all added up.
They won by hitting big shots and making big stops. They won by digging for loose balls and turning possessions into power plays.
They needed a classic win to finish off a classic player.
"He went out with guns a blazing, " Brown said of Miller.
And Brown made one of the classiest moves in sports. When the end was near and Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle took Miller out of the game for his final curtain call, Brown prolonged it by calling time out.
He did not stop there. He gathered his team at half court to join in the love fest.
It was a touching moment. And it came from a league that has given us guys missing shots to create false triple doubles. It is a league where players talk about themselves in the third person and sometimes treat fans as if they are pond scum.
Brown understood what this moment meant to Indianapolis and the NBA. He put the cherry in a great send off.
And he put the class back in the NBA.

10 Comments:

Blogger Kent Herriman said...

Right on Terry. We may have hated him when he played us but you got to respect a player like Reggie. The Pistons provided a moment of class which was refeshing after what happened between the teams in November.

2:31 AM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

Yes Terry I agree on Reggie. I am glad that his legacy or let me the style he plays will live on through his understudy Rip. One of my favorite Reggie moments was when he did to jordan what jordan did to Byron Russell. Also I liked reggie because he understood that there is more to the game than basketball by playing to the crowd and carrying himself with dignity. I will never forget his New York scenes. He is a hall of famer and I wish him well. Hopefully he will divulge all of his shooting secrets to Rip.

2:49 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who would have thought that this series would have turned out to be the love fest between the two teams that it became? Jermaine and Rasheed sharing cocktails, nice things being said back and forth, Reggie's classy exit, etc. Before the series started, all I heard the sports shows saying was that this was going to be the NBA's version of Wings-Avs. I wonder if it would have been different with Artest in the lineup? I think the playoffs are better off without him.

Andy

7:58 AM

 
Blogger buttercut99 said...

Terry, I agree whole heartedly.There seemed to be no celebration on the Piston's part just a deference to Reggie. Chauncey even waitted for Miller's interview was over because he hadn't hugged him yet. The time out by Larry and clapping by the Piston's was one of the classiest sports moments I've ever seen.

Dave

9:13 AM

 
Blogger Dang! said...

Hey Terry,

I'm loving your blog..its like the icing on the cake. Keep up the good work and please don't tell me I have to support Mr. Mayor. Can we please hear from other candidates. And will the media stop covering this crap about the mayor. Can we have some good news in Detroit!!!

12:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, everyone, I am happy to see him go. His whining and cheating are being overlooked. The way he kicks his legs out when he shoots; his pure acting on every play and blubbering on every foul made me sick. Also, don't forget his b.s. during the fake bomb scare. He's sort of like a woman out there. And remember, no rings. Of ANY kind.......

12:47 PM

 
Anonymous kevin_a said...

Yeah, I agree with this last guy. Great player, great career, great cry baby. I respect him in the sense that he did so much for so long and stayed out of trouble, but he was just a whiny baby.

And the complaining to the refs every time he missed a shot drove me insane. It worries me because I sometimes see Rip doing the same thing.

The game will miss him, and he deserved the ovation he recieved last night, but he's no hero.

1:12 PM

 
Blogger Tom said...

I thought that time out and applause was the perfect end to a series that everyone thought would be WW3. Everyone anticipated fights, fan involvement, and examples of what's wrong with the NBA. Instead they got great basketball by two great teams and a lot of respect for a retiring superstar. I always kinda liked Reggie because of his battles with MJ, he was the guy that tried to keep himm down after the bad boys went away. And man do I hate MJ.

10:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotta give Reggie Miller respect for his classy comments on David Letterman on Tuesday the 24th. He called Artest's foul of Wallace a "hard foul" and defended Ben's right to retaliate. He maintained above all that the players must not enter the stands. When asked about the emotional final ovation, his first comment was in appreciation of LB and the Pistons calling the t.o. In at least 2 other instances he showed the Pistons respect, but never made excuses and never put the team from Detroit in a negative light. I was never a great fan of his, but I admire the way he handled Letterman's questions about the notorious incident.

-K.

4:47 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition, when asked by Letterman about players who might emulate him, he was first to mention Rip Hamilton, who he jokingly claimed "stole his game, and turned it back on him."

4:50 PM

 

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