Miller in 2010
August 24, 1965|
|Listed height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Listed weight||195 lb (88 kg)|
|NBA draft||1987 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall|
|Selected by the Indiana Pacers|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||25,279 (18.2 ppg)|
|3-Pointers||2,560 (2nd all-time)|
|Assists||4,141 (3.0 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame as player|
Reginald Wayne Miller (born August 24, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player who played his entire 18-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career with the Indiana Pacers. Miller was known for his precision three-point shooting, especially in pressure situations and most notably against the New York Knicks, for which he earned the nickname "Knick Killer". When he retired, he held the record for most career 3-point field goals made. He is currently second on the list behind Ray Allen. A five-time All-Star selection, Miller led the league in free throw accuracy five times and won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Miller is widely considered the Pacers' greatest player of all time. His No. 31 was retired by the team in 2006. Currently, he works as an NBA commentator for TNT. On September 7, 2012, Miller was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Miller was born in Riverside, California. He was born with hip deformities, which prevented him from walking correctly. After a few years of continuously wearing braces on both legs, his leg strength grew enough to compensate.
One of five siblings, he comes from an athletic family. His brother Darrell is a former Major League Baseball player (catcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim); his sister Tammy played volleyball at Cal State Fullerton; and his older sister Cheryl is a Hall of Fame basketball player. Cheryl was a member of the 1984 U.S. gold-medal winning Olympic basketball team and is an analyst for Turner Sports. One of the family anecdotes Reggie likes to recall was when Cheryl used to beat him in games of 1-on-1 prior to his professional career. According to Reggie, they quit playing when he could finally block Cheryl's shots. Miller claims his unorthodox shooting style was developed to arc his shot over his sister's constant shot blocking. The Millers also had a son, Saul, Jr., who became a musician and followed his father in military service.
Miller attended Riverside Polytechnic High School and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he received a degree in history. In the 1984–1985 NCAA season he helped the UCLA Bruins to an NIT championship. In his senior season, 1986–1987, he was an All-Pac-10 selection for the second straight year, and led the Bruins to a Pacific-10 regular season championship and the first Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament championship. The Three-point field goal was instituted for the 1986–1987 season; 69 of his 247 field goals were from three point range that year. One of his most memorable performances was in the January 24, 1987 game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, where he hit a clutch 24-foot (7.3 m) shot to put the Bruins ahead 61–59 with 10 seconds left. Another notable game was a win against defending national champion Louisville and Pervis Ellison on February 28, 1987. Miller scored 33 points in the second half, which is still the school record.
His final game was a loss in the second round of the 1987 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament to Wyoming. He finished second in all-time scoring at UCLA behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. As of 2009, he still holds the UCLA single-season records for most league points, highest league scoring average, and most free throws. He also holds several individual game records.
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Miller was selected by the Pacers with the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 1987 NBA draft. Fans were initially upset that the Pacers chose Miller over New Castle, Indiana native Steve Alford; fans watching the 1987 NBA draft booed Pacers President Donnie Walsh for the selection. Miller wore jersey number 31 while playing for the Pacers, backing up shooting guard John Long before he became a starter. Miller gained a respectable reputation early in his career as he led the Indiana Pacers to become a perennial playoff team.
After Chuck Person was traded from the Pacers during the 1992 offseason, Miller established himself as the Pacers' primary scoring threat. On November 28, 1992, he scored a career-high 57 points against the Charlotte Hornets in a 134–122 win at Charlotte Coliseum. In this game, Miller hit 16 of 29 field goals, 4 of 11 3-pointers, and 21 of 23 free throws. The 57 points he scored was the second highest total in the NBA during the 1992–93 season (only Michael Jordan's 64 against Orlando on January 16 was higher), and still stands today as the Pacers' team record.
Miller became a household name during the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals against the Knicks, due to a phenomenal shooting performance in Game 5 on June 1, 1994, in which he scored 39 points (25 in the fourth quarter alone) in the Pacers' 93–86 victory at Madison Square Garden. Miller made several long 3-pointers during the quarter and engaged in an animated discussion of his ongoing performance with noted Knicks fan Spike Lee, who was, as always, seated courtside. The win gave the Pacers a 3–2 series lead over the heavily favored Knicks, but they lost the next 2 games and the series.
On May 7, 1995, Miller scored eight points in 8.9 seconds in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Knicks, leading the Pacers to a stunning 107–105 victory. With 18.7 seconds remaining and the Pacers trailing 105–99, Miller took the inbounds pass from Mark Jackson, made a 3-pointer, stole the inbounds pass from Anthony Mason, dribbled back behind the arc and tied the game with another 3, stunning the crowd at Madison Square Garden. On the ensuing possession, Knicks guard John Starks was fouled by Sam Mitchell. Starks missed both free throws, and although Patrick Ewing managed to get the offensive rebound, his shot was just a bit long and hit the back rim. Miller got the rebound and was fouled with 7.5 seconds left. He made both free throws. Trailing by 2, New York had one last chance to win the game, but failed to get a shot off, giving the Pacers a shocking 1–0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Pacers outlasted the Knicks in seven games before losing to the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals in seven games, just like the previous year. Near the end of the 1996 season, Miller fell to the floor and suffered an eye injury, leaving him unable to play in the playoffs until Game 5 of the first round against the Atlanta Hawks, where he wore goggles. The Pacers lost to the Hawks and were eliminated.
Around this time, Miller hosted a talk show on WTHR called The Reggie Miller Show. After missing the playoffs in the 1997 season, the Pacers returned to the postseason in 1998. They defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers and Knicks en route to the Eastern Conference Finals where they faced Michael Jordan and the defending champion Bulls. On May 25, 1998, the Pacers trailed Chicago 2–1 in the series and were behind 94–93 in Game 4 at home in Market Square Arena with 2.9 seconds left. Miller got free from Jordan, caught the inbound pass from Derrick McKey, turned and made a game-winning 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds to go. The Pacers eventually pushed the series to a decisive Game 7 in Chicago, a game in which the Pacers led in the fourth quarter before fading in the final two minutes. The Bulls won 88–83 and went on to win their sixth and final championship of the Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen era.
Following Jordan's retirement, Miller and the Pacers were considered one of the favorites in the East heading into the lockout-shortened 1999 season. After earning the #2 seed in the East, the Pacers once again met the Knicks in the Eastern Conference Finals. That series came to a disappointing end for Indiana, as the eighth-seeded Knicks upset the Pacers in six games. In the decisive sixth game, Miller had one of the worst performances of his career, scoring just 8 points on 3-of-18 shooting from the field. He also missed seven of his eight 3-point attempts.
In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 6, 2000, Miller and teammate Jalen Rose each scored 40 points—becoming the highest-scoring pair of teammates in playoff history, in the Pacers' 108–91 victory. The Pacers won that series 4–2 and returned to the Eastern Conference Finals for the fifth time in seven years. This time they finally broke through, defeating the rival Knicks 4–2. Game 6 at Madison Square Garden on June 2, 2000 was sealed by Miller's 34 points, with 17 coming in the fourth quarter to help Indiana clinch the series with a 93–80 victory over the Knicks.
The Pacers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first and only time in franchise history, facing the Los Angeles Lakers led by Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. The Pacers lost the series 4–2 as Miller averaged 24.3 points per game for the series.
In 2002, Miller almost single-handedly eliminated the top seed and eventual Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Nets in the fifth and final game of the first round of the playoffs. First, following two missed free throws from New Jersey's Richard Jefferson, Miller sent the game into overtime by banking in a 40-foot (12 m) three-pointer at the buzzer. Next, with the Pacers down by two points in the final seconds of the first overtime, Miller drove into the lane and dunked over three Nets defenders to send the game into a second overtime. While the Pacers eventually lost to the Nets 120–109, the game added another chapter to Miller's legacy as a clutch performer.
In the twilight of his career, Miller deferred his leadership role to All-Star teammate Jermaine O'Neal. Miller was an important locker-room leader for his team and served as an inspiration to his teammates who wanted to "win one [a championship] for 'Uncle Reg'". While Miller was no longer the team's leading scorer, he remained a go-to player in crunch time to the end of his career. O'Neal's respect for Miller was most evident on January 4, 2005, when after scoring 55 points against the Milwaukee Bucks, O'Neal agreed to be taken out of the game with 1:43 remaining to preserve Miller's record of 57 points.
In 2005, following the lengthy suspensions of star teammates O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, and Ron Artest for a brawl with fans in Detroit, Miller averaged nearly 20 points per game for stretches of the season. He scored 39 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 18 at the age of 39. In January, Miller angrily shot down rumors that he would retire at the end of the season, saying that if he did decide to retire, he would announce it through his sister Cheryl. On February 10, Cheryl, now a sideline reporter for TNT, reported that her brother had told her the previous day that he would indeed retire. On April 11, in a game against the Toronto Raptors, Miller passed Jerry West to move into 12th on the NBA's all-time scoring list.
Miller's last game was on May 19, 2005, at Conseco Fieldhouse, when the Pacers lost 88–79 to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, ending the series 4–2. In the game, Miller led the Pacers with 27 points, making 11 out of 16 field goals including four of eight three-pointers. When he was taken out with 15.7 seconds to play, the Indianapolis crowd gave him a final standing ovation, where there were many teary eyes. Then-Pistons coach (and former Pacers coach) Larry Brown called an additional timeout during which the Pistons players joined in the ovation, a moment which provided closure to Miller's career and to a season that had been overshadowed by the brawl between the two teams. This won the 2005 Best Moment ESPY Award.
Over his 18-year NBA career, Miller made over $105,000,000 in salary, playing in 1,389 games for the Pacers. His 18 seasons with a single franchise over an entire career is a rarity. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. Miller is one of only seven players to join the 50–40–90 club and has made 2,560 3-pointers in his career, which was an NBA record at the time of his retirement. His total has since been surpassed by Ray Allen.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
|*||Led the league|
Miller was a member of two gold medal-winning teams, the US national team for the 1994 FIBA World Championship and the Olympic men's basketball team in 1996. He averaged 17.1 points, 52.6% shooting, and was 19 for 20 from free throws and was second-leading scorer behind Shaquille O'Neal in the 1994 tournament. In 1996, he averaged 11.4 points and had the second-highest total points (91). He started 5 out of the 8 games and shared the shooting guard rotation with Mitch Richmond. He did not return to the USA Team until the 2002 FIBA World Championship. The 2002 team did not win that year's championship, marking the first time that NBA players competed against international competition and lost. Miller was injured during the 2002 World Championships and played limited minutes.
Miller served as the 2005 Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade Grand Marshal. Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis opened the day with the prayer "Keep these drivers safe and God bless Reggie!" before Miller waved the green flag to start the race. In August 2005, Miller announced his plans to join TNT as an NBA analyst; his sister, Cheryl is an NBA sideline reporter for the network. Recently Miller served as guest host of the network television talk show Live with Regis and Kelly, filling in for host Regis Philbin. Miller is currently a host on TNT's NBA coverage and also answers "Reggie's Mailbag". Miller's number 31 was retired at halftime in a ceremony on March 30, 2006, at Conseco Fieldhouse. In June 2005, Miller also became a weekly contributor to The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio, providing the show with commentary. Beginning in 2011, Miller has worked as a TV analyst for the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship tournament.
Miller currently splits his time between residences in Malibu, California and Fishers, Indiana. Miller previously put his 15,000-square-foot (1,400 m2) Fishers mansion, located on Geist Reservoir up for sale for $7.5 million. The listing has since been removed without Miller selling the residence.
On August 8, 2007, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and head coach Doc Rivers discussed with him about joining their revamped roster including Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and longtime Celtic Paul Pierce in a reserve role. On August 12, his former coach Rick Carlisle was quoted as saying "we (Miller and I) talked about it and agreed that it was something that deserved careful consideration." On August 24, 2007, his 42nd birthday, Miller decided against any comeback, stating: "Physically, I know I could have done it. But mentally, when you do something like this, you've either got to be all in or all out. And I've decided I'm all out."
A documentary titled Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks premiered to the public on March 14, 2010, on ESPN. Miller announced in December 2009 that there would be a Special Premiere Movie event on Friday, Feb. 26, at Conseco Fieldhouse. The documentary was directed by Peabody Award-winner Dan Klores.
His three fourth-quarter 3-pointers accomplished something that no other team—no other player—had accomplished during this year's playoffs. Those shots took the Knicks' will. Miller revived his imprimatur as the Knick-killer. He ended a season and may well have ended a Knicks era.
And Reggie Miller, the Knick-killer, still had one more scare for New York, even after what turned out to be Ewing's game-winning shot.
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