TrueHoop: Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller was most clutch sharpshooter

September, 7, 2012
9/07/12
1:48
AM ET
By ESPN Stats & Info
ESPN.com
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Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images
Reggie Miller is second all-time in regular season 3-pointers and first in postseason 3-pointers. He'll be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.
Reggie Miller headlines the 2012 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class, which will be enshrined Friday in Springfield, Massachusetts. Miller played 18 NBA seasons, all with the Pacers, making five All-Star teams and three All-NBA third teams.

He’s 14th in NBA history in points (25,279), second in career 3-pointers, behind only Ray Allen, and nobody has made more 3-pointers in the postseason.

Miller played 1,389 regular season games -- all with the Pacers -- including every game for four straight seasons (1989-90 to 1992-93). Among players who only played for one team, only John Stockton (1,504) with the Jazz played more games.

Miller was always relied on in his career to take the Pacers’ biggest shot in crunch time (defined as the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime and the score within five points).

In the final nine seasons of his career (regular season and playoffs), Miller made 142 three-pointers in crunch time, 54 more than the next closest player in that time period.

Miller and Michael Jordan met just once in the playoffs, a memorable 1998 Eastern Conference Finals that the Bulls won in seven games.

Outside shooting was one area where Miller got the better of Jordan in that series.

Miller made more three-pointers (17) than Jordan attempted (15) and the Pacer was better overall from 15+ feet.

This Hall of Fame class has a UCLA flavor, as Miller is one of three members who attended UCLA, along with Jamaal Wilkes and Don Barksdale.

It’s also a proud day for the Indiana Pacers franchise as both Miller and ABA star Mel Daniels enter the Hall. Miller and Daniels make up two of the five jerseys the Pacers have retired.

A little of that upcoming Reggie Miller documentary

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
4:12
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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Is online. I wrote about it some time ago, and it's due to be on TV in March. But right now you can see some of Dan Klores' remarkable "Winning Time" online, including the introduction, which sets the stage nicely with the drama of opera. At the bottom of the post, you can also see how the documentary treats Miller's eight points in nine seconds against the Knicks.

Winning Time

January, 13, 2010
1/13/10
1:04
PM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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Not too long ago on TrueHoop, I reviewed Dan Klores' upcoming documentary "Winning Time," on the rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers.

It'll be on ESPN in March (part of the 30 for 30 documentary series), and at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

An excerpt:

I went in with two concerns. First of all, I had been working non-stop on Tim Donaghy stuff, and was consumed with spreadsheets, referee statistics, and cold hard analysis. Comedy was the last thing on my mind. What's more, having lived in New York through this entire episode, I expected what I remembered: Bitterness. New York in the 1990s did not have a sense of humor about basketball. Reggie Miller was reviled. The Knicks were -- despite their one foray to the Finals at the end of the decade -- seen as a great gritty tragedy, stretched out over a decade or more. (As Jeff Van Gundy says in the movie, Pat Riley wasn't Hollywood. The real Pat Riley, the one that coached the Knicks, is all Schenectady.)

But Klores plays this tale as high comedy, set to opera. And it's delightful.



Here's a taste:

video

George Kalinsky
The best trash talker of all time tells his secrets.

By Henry Abbott

The outcome was set in stone. As soon as they got Reggie Miller under the lights and let him do his thing, nothing else mattered.

That was sometimes the case for the Indiana Pacers. But it was entirely the case for Dan Klores and the makers of the documentary "Winning Time," which chronicles the verbal, emotional, physical and basketball battles between Reggie Miller's Pacers and the New York Knicks.

It'll be on ESPN in March (part of the 30 for 30 documentary series), and at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Whenever you see it, you'll be swept off your feet. When Reggie Miller is explaining the power of trash talk, it's hypnotic.

I went in with two concerns. First of all, I had been working non-stop on Tim Donaghy stuff, and was consumed with spreadsheets, referee statistics, and cold hard analysis. Comedy was the last thing on my mind. What's more, having lived in New York through this entire episode, I expected what I remembered: Bitterness. New York in the 1990s did not have a sense of humor about basketball. Reggie Miller was reviled. The Knicks were -- despite their one foray to the Finals at the end of the decade -- seen as a great gritty tragedy, stretched out over a decade or more. (As Jeff Van Gundy says in the movie, Pat Riley wasn't Hollywood. The real Pat Riley, the one that coached the Knicks, is all Schenectady.)

But Klores plays this tale as high comedy, set to opera. And it's delightful, thanks in no small part to Miller himself, plopped on the couch in some high-end hotel suite somewhere, spinning yarns for Klores' camera. He's infuriating, hilarious, crafty and more than anything really fun to watch. Among the tales:
  • If Miller was too eager, in life, to make himself the center of attention, his big sister Cheryl is the reason. She was older and better at basketball until adulthood. Reggie Miller might be the only NBA All-Star who not only couldn't win adulation against his sister in his own driveway, but could barely get a shot off. She beat him up physically and emotionally. He's a legend now, but even in high school he could not get out of her shadow even for a night. He tells the story of the night he had his best high school game. He scored 40 something, and his team won. His dad and sister gave him a ride home, and asked how things went. He bragged a little. They were just grinning. Reggie was confused. What? Why weren't they saying anything? What were they holding back? Did she score 60 or something? Turned out she had scored 105 that night. If had hair left to tear out, he would have done so in the re-telling, when he declared "you can't win!" growing up in a house like that.
  • Cheryl Miller could not be more clear that part of the reason she loved to stick it to her brother Reggie was because he was unbelievably annoying. Reggie Miller is equally clear that he treasures getting under peoples' skin, for sport. (This would later prove to be bad for John Starks, who was, from Miller's point of view, unbelievably susceptible.)
  • Donnie Walsh infuriated Indiana fans by drafting Miller over Steve Alford. You have to admire both Walsh and Miller for handling that well. It's one of two moments with the suggestion of racial tensions in Indiana. The other is when Spike Lee says that Game 6 of a playoff series, in Indiana, was "like a klan rally." Extraordinary though that claim may seem, the camera -- in this comedy's one true moment of tragedy -- indeed catches some of that sentiment.
  • One of the movie's great quotes comes from Starks, who missed huge free throws just after Miller scored his legendary eight points in nine seconds. Starks says the thing running through his head was not about the free throws he was shooting, but about Miller. "Man," he remembers thinking, "did this dude just did this?" That's how you get in someone's head.
  • As a basketball fan, I never understood the role of Spike Lee. Wasn't he just a sideshow? Did he matter to basketball at all? Why should we care? But this movie makes it delightfully clear. Miller was making Shakespeare proud with a masterful bit of storytelling, casting himself in the role of villain. And whether it was the media, life, the dictates of storytelling or something else ... Miller required a counterpart. The Knicks themselves were too serious (or too Schenectady). But Lee was ready to perform. And he did a beautiful job of backing up Miller. Yes, he really is a villain, Lee demonstrated -- even though Lee and Miller both knew it was mostly just performance.

"Winning Time" is a tightly woven 68 minutes. There are clever transitions from video, to still photographs of the same exact moment and posture. The interviews are so strong, and so numerous, that there's isn't any voiceover -- none is required. Instead there is powerful music, and testimony of dozens of people who lived those moments, from Patrick Ewing and John Starks to Donnie Walsh and Mark Jackson. (One of the showier moments is when countless on-camera sources, all in a row, say the phrase "presence of mind," one after another like machine gun fire, in telling the story of Miller's stepping back behind the 3-point line after getting the steal that made him famous in New York. You know how many interviews you have to do about one subject to get that many people to use the same exact phrase?)

The storytelling exposes the fun that is the fountation of Reggie Miller's most famous work. The final proof for me came when Klores showed us video of Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller trying to gouge each others' eyes out. On YouTube it's crass and regrettable. In "Winning Time" it's super slow motion, set to opera, with Spike Lee telling us that when he saw Miller get under Jordan's skin, he knew that Miller had to be the best trash-talker ever.

So true. Everybody in the room laughed.
Posted by Kevin Arnovitz

One of the launching points for last Sunday's stellar episode of the AMC drama "Mad Men" -- titled "Love Among the Ruins" -- was the proposed demolition of the original Pennsylvania Station on the west side of Manhattan to make way for Madison Square Garden.

The original Pennsylvania Station structure was one of New York City's architectural masterpieces. It was designed by the storied firm McKim, Mead, and White, one of the leading practitioners of the Beaux-Arts movement in New York. McKim, Mead, and White's work can still be seen throughout the city -- Columbia's campus, the Manhattan Municipal Building, among others -- and up and down the eastern seaboard.

Preservationists and a number of New Yorkers were outraged that a totemic structure would be torn down to make way for ... what ... a sports arena and entertainment center?!

(You can check out the scene in which the embattled copywriter Paul Kinsley, who is assigned to the campaign, turns on the developers in a preliminary meeting, and defends the preservation of Pennsylvania Station here at the 3:19 mark.)

Paul bombastically makes his stand:
I don't think it's crazy to be attached to a Beaux Arts masterpiece through which Teddy Roosevelt came and went ... Do you know where the greatest Roman ruins are? They're in Greece. Spain. Because the Romans tore theirs all down. They took apart the Coliseum to build their outhouses!

At which point MSG's developer responds about his arena complex:
This is the Coliseum. Have you seen the plans?!

Historic preservation is a very tricky balancing act. Even the most dedicated futurists among us have a hard time reconciling our steadfast belief that sentimentalizing tradition is a lousy way to affect change in a world that needs it, against our visceral aesthetic attachments. A preservationist is just a modernist with memories.

It's hard to argue that the demolition of Pennsylvania Station for an arena that could've been placed elsewhere didn't make New York City a slightly lesser place, as articulated by then-New York Times architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable in May 1963. The opposition fought a losing battle, but the station's demise was the impetus for the formation of New York City's Landmarks Preservationist Commission, which is still active -- and effective -- to this day.

Progress always comes with a price, and the cost-benefit analysis of annihilating a beautiful relic in favor of new development with inferior architectural appeal is one of the tougher calculations a city has to grapple with. Yes, the station was gorgeous, but it was also a money pit. In the early 60s, rail traffic through its grand concourse was declining precipitously, and the city was hemorrhaging dollars to maintain the structure.

After Paul botches the meeting with the developers, Sterling Cooper's creative director, Don Draper -- the show's central character -- is called in to salvage the account. At a three-martini lunch with MSG's disgruntled developer, Draper makes the case for Madison Square Garden (the scene can be viewed here at about the 1:00 mark).

Draper's case is an elegant, moderate manifesto for the future:
Let's say that change is neither good nor bad. It simply is. It can be treated with terror or joy -- a tantrum that says, 'I want it the way it was,' or a dance that says, 'Look -- something new.' ... I was in California. Everything is new, and it's clean. The people are filled with hope. New York City is in decay. But Madison Square Garden -- it's the beginning of a new city on a hill.

The rest is history: The original Pennsylvania Station was eventually demolished, and rail traffic was sent underground, beneath the arena we now know as MSG.

More than forty years after Madison Square Garden was opened above the new, dingy Penn Station, we regard it as basketball's holiest site -- a place whose mystique inspires basketball greats such as Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James to their most impressive heights. These NBA titans rhapsodize about the Garden. Bryant calls it the "mecca of basketball":
You want to play well here ... The building is special because it is the last one left. This is the last one that holds all the memories of all the great players. Coming up the elevator shaft and thinking about Willis Reed, thinking about Jerry West and all the great rivalries they had in this building. It makes it very special.

After his 52-point game last February, James said:
It's just a different feeling when you come into this building, honestly, like you're on stage when you're on the court. Because of the fans, how light it is in here. You think about the history of the game: so many great performances, so many great coaches, so many great players have come through here ... It isn't just another road game.

Four decades later, it's ironic that the building that was the bÍte noire of architectural preservationists has become the defining symbol of basketball preservationists -- a receptacle for the sort of sentimentalism that fueled the opposition to its creation.

The very last post on this here blog had some thoughts about race and Indiana.

I have gotten some angry emails, cranky blog posts, pointed IMs, and saucy comments in response.

For instance, the excellent blogger Cornrows, of Indy Cornrows -- who first made me aware of the Indiana Business Journal article that started the discussion -- writes in response:

The whole racial angle pushed in the IBJ article is a joke. Al Harrington was, check that, IS beloved around Indy. Ron Artest had his detractors but also had plenty of support. So much so, he's moved several family members to a local suburb and lived here in the offseason.

Yes, Stephen Jackson had his issues with the law, but he also had his issues with Rick Carlisle and didn't give the Pacers a consistent effort. This had nothing to do with his offcourt issues or that he was black. [Stephen Jackson]'s presence on the Pacers just wasn't working. Sarunas Jasikevicius was taking as much heat as Jack for his unproductive ways and, oh, yeah, he was part of the Golden State deal, too.

Simple minds may come up with simple solutions for why Jack was traded and Dunleavy and Murphy were part of the deal. Did you ever think that Dunleavy and Murphy weren't the Pacers' first option in the deal? Their contracts are brutal, but like I said before, Jack had to go, so the Pacers had to take on those contracts.

One final defense of the community in Indiana that many on both coasts assume remains backward and racist, please look at the support for the Indianapolis Colts. There are plenty of Super Bowl rings worn by Colts who would be considered part of the "hip hop" culture and they are adored. While he didn't win a ring here, no player typified "hip hop" culture more than Edgerrin James, so much so he refused to alter his image to attract endorsement opportunities. Edge also worked like crazy, produced plenty of wins, and did his thing in the community. He was a rock star here and will always be welcomed for giving everything he had to give.

To be honest, the majority of the Indy area has given up on the Pacers which is easy since the Colts are there to ease the pain. Still, I'm not a fan of the ad campaign. As I've said before, I wish the Pacers would develop some creative ads, using the players and some humor which would make the players more appealing to the public. If all the Pacers are getting out of their new public relations help are the ads that make O'B sound like he's ready to lead a death march, then they should ask for a refund. But, again, why lay this issue soley on racial implications.

To answer Henry's question, yes I want to root for black players, just as I have for as many years as I can remember. Just don't call yourself an NBA insider and insult me by making an assumption from on far that I don't appraise a player's performance by anything other that what they leave on the court. The whole argument is shallow and an embarrassment for those who advance it.

I feel that most, if not all, of these responses misunderstood in some fashion what I was trying to say. So I guess that's a sign I didn't say it very well, and ought to try again (only this time with more Elvis references).

Here goes:

Business and Basketball
There are two groups of important people who work in NBA front offices: People who make basketball decisions (typically a small group, often one or two guy with a few advisers) and people who try to figure out how to make more money (just about everyone else). They want to sell more tickets, get more profitable TV deals, sell more jerseys, get more corporate sponsorships, and the like.

That latter group? They don't obsess about PER or turnovers. They don't even worry all that much about hardcore basketball fans -- those people will watch and buy tickets when they can pretty much no matter what. No, those sales people obsess about the mood of the deepest pockets in town. Especially corporate money.

Because if a Pacer game is, in the minds of those people, the place to entertain clients, the team is making money practically no matter how well they play. But if those bigwigs (those bank presidents, VPs of multinationals, ad agency honchos, CEOs, lawyers, stockbrokers, venture capitalists and the like) think the team is not a good bet, then they'll take their entertainment budget across the street to the Colts, or to the arts, or somewhere else entirely.

Disconnect Between the Pacers and their Fans
Those two groups -- the basketball people and the business people -- can be natural allies. They both want to win more games, right? Winning is the balm that soothes every kind of NBA front office owie.

If you're the Pacers, you no doubt remember fondly the days of 2003-2004. In 2003-2004, the Pacers -- led by Reggie Miller, Jermaine O'Neal, and Ron Artest -- were 61-21. There had not yet been any kind of brawl at Auburn Hills. In the regular season, the Pacers were the best team in the entire league.

Yet attendance was way back in the middle of the pack. At home, an average of 10% of the stadium was empty all season long.

Huh?

It's tough for small-market NBA teams to make it. They are at a natural disadvantage in terms of the kinds of corporate sponsorships they can get, the TV revenue they can drive and the like. But one advantage they sometimes have is really deep penetration into the market. They can sometimes get the whole darned city behind them. Look at that list of attendance figures I linked to above. A lot of the best-attended teams are in small markets.

So the Pacers might have felt a tad insecure about how they related to their public. Not worried, perhaps, but wondering.

Then the next season there is the brawl at Auburn Hills. Catastrophe on all fronts. It's so terrible, people from the Pacers, and the NBA, can hardly even bring themselves to talk about it, even to this day.

Watch the video again if you have forgotten the scene.

After that the team had some real bridge building to do with the public. We're supposed to like these guys who wade into the stands swinging fists? Impossible!

Ron Artest had to go, and the team got a rental of a hobbled Peja Stojakovic (and eventually the trade exception that became Al Harrington) in return. That wasn't a trade for talent. That was a trade for image.

The team also went to great lengths, in terms of marketing and public relations, to start building trust with skittish Indiana fans. By this time two years ago, the team's attendance had slipped even lower.

This time a year ago, the team had a a campaign called "It's Up to Us." It was all about accountability and building a better way.

Then Stephen Jackson, one of the players featured in the campaign, got in trouble shooting off a gun in a club parking lot.

It made a mockery of the campaign.

Last year, the team had something fascinating happen. According to these numbers, (and, admittedly, there is some weirdness in this chart) nearly 98% of tickets to their road games were sold, while at home it was a brutally low 83%. First-hand accounts confirm Conseco Fieldhouse was pretty darned empty.

Repulsed by Stephen Jackson
Now picture yourself back in those front-office meetings over the last year. It does
not matter how much the basketball people might love Stephen Jackson. Something has to be done, right? Again, there are reports that this team is losing money and has been for a few years.

The people of Indiana are saying, with their dollars, that they do not like this team one bit. Stephen Jackson is the obvious problem child -- he was a star of the Auburn Hills incident, and then this shooting. The business people have to be telling the basketball people (who probably already know) that Jackson simply has to go.

So they made a trade that was not for equal talent. It was not about basketball. It was about trying to woo, or at least not further anger, those local business people the team needs. Mike Dunleavy, Jr. does not scare Indiana fans. And as a bonus, Troy Murphy even went to Notre Dame.

The downside is that the big, medicore value contracts stick with the team into 2011, and it's hard to be a top team when you are carrying big contracts that aren't super productive. Not to mention, in the big picture, this is about trying not to lose money, and big contracts would seem to be the worst possible thing.

No one wondered why the Pacers made that trade, but hardly any basketball experts think it was about talent. (Maybe Ike Diogu blossoms?) And nowhere did people think it made the team better. It made the team more palatable.

And fair enough! You do what you have to do to keep your business going, you know?

Market Research
Now, we have news that the team brought in a new ad agency, Publicis Indianapolis. The new agency, wisely, did some market research. What is it that fans want to see from this team? In what way can the team but its best foot forward?

We are lucky enough to have some insight into what that market research showed, because (as I quoted yesterday) the people who did it talked to the Indiana Business Journal's Anthony Schoettle, who writes:

O'Brien was chosen as the primary spokesman for the early part of the campaign, Hirschauer said, because research showed the older, corporate audience that buys season tickets finds him credible.

Part of the shift, Hirschauer said, is because many Pacers fans in this "conservative market" don't identify with the "hip-hop" culture some in the NBA have cultivated in recent years.

Pacers fans are more interested in things like hustle, teamwork and fundamentally sound basketball than individual stars, he said.

This is actual insight from someone who was actually heavily involved in the decision to choose O'Brien as the star of the campaign. The local president of Publicis, Tom Hirschauer, has real data, and supports the decision with news that local people in Indiana are "conservative" and don't identify with hip-hop culture.

Plenty of people said in the comments yesterday, in my email, and elsewhere, that I'm full of it, and that the reason the team used O'Brien is because the team doesn't have a marketable star. I'm prepared to believe that could be true, in theory (and yesterday I speculated that the reason might also have something to do with not wanting to market around O'Neal who is widely believed to be on the trading block). But we don't have to noodle around with theory, because we have real research from one of the key people who was actually in on the decision to use O'Brien.

And the research says nothing about a lack of a marketable star. It says the problem is hip-hop culture. So, that's not on me. That's on whoever was surveyed.

What is "Hip-Hop Culture?"
It's clear by now, right? Through a fractured market -- everyone listens to whatever they want -- hip hop is the new, thrillingly dangerous music of this generation. Hip hop is to 2007 roughly as rock and roll was to 1957. Kids gravitate to whatever's most exciting, and nothing has ever been as exciting as making your parents squirm.

As was pointed out in the comments of yesterday's post, the wiggly hips of Elvis Presley used to be enough to do it. Now it's -- gasp -- hip hop, which is (like rhythm and blues -- the forerunner of rock) dominated by black people.

Of course, once you delve into rock and roll you realize that it's not all the same. Some of it is exactly what you want your kids to listen to. Some of it is shocking and terrible. (Analyze the most deviant of Rolling Stones lyrics, you know?)

Same goes for hip hop, of course. It has been around a while now, and it is certainly the predominant music of NBA players. And the cultures of hip hop and the NBA mix plenty.

It's natural that it takes time to learn about that, though. Parents in 1957 who hated the way Presley danced might have later really loved the Beatles, James Taylor, or Simon & Garfunkel. That was rock(ish) but more suited to their palette, and it came along at a time when they were more used to the idea.

Similarly, parents today might really hate 50 Cent or whatever their kids listen to -- but plenty of them will still leap from their seats when that catchy Outkast tune starts playing at some wedding.

The point is, whether or not we want to admit it, we're all on the road to welcoming some hip hop into our mainstream culture. In many respects, that has already happened. (They're not going to play classical music at NBA games, that's for sure.) But in Indiana, it appears, a fair chunk of the people answering surveys for Publicis are not ready to embrace that.

It's maddening, right? What's that about? It makes sense to me that the guy from Cornrows and a bunch of other people would be mad at that idea. Hell no we're not racist, they say! And I believe every one of them! It seems like just more Midwest bashing, I guess.

They're mad at me, it seems. Or they're mad at the guy from Publicis. But shouldn't they really be talking to the people who answered that survey? They're the ones who pointed the finger at hip-hop culture.

And for the record: I'm not sure the region has much to do with it. We just happen to have this insight into this one team. If we had all the market research for the whole league, I'm pretty sure we'd find similar concerns about hip-hop culture around the nation.

That's why the NBA has a history of getting players to remove jewelry before appearing in mass media, asking them to dress like bankers as they enter the arena, and in one famous instance, airbrushing Allen Iverson's tattoos out of photos in their official magazine.

Racism Exists
And is any of this surprising? Is any of this unique to Indiana? Race is an unsolved riddle in Indiana and across the entire globe.

If, as some of my critics have suggested, Indiana is a marvelous haven, free of racism, where wealthy mostly white fans will swarm equally at the feet of white and black celebrities, then hats off to Indiana. It's just about the only such place I'm aware of on the planet. If white people in Indiana don't demonstrate a slight preference (slightly more dollars, votes, cheers) for people who look like them then they are living differently than most of the planet, and should be commended.

And nowhere did I or anyone else suggest that Indiana was incapable of supporting a black player. People have been saying that the popularity of Reggie Miller or Edgerrin James disproves my whole point.

Those guys are superstars who lead great teams, in leagues that are predominantly black. If Indiana wouldn't support them, then they don't even like football and basketball. No one suggested that the people of Indiana would never support anyone who wasn't white.

Let's look at it another way though. If you wanted to draw a crowd to you
r charity event in downtown Indianapolis, who would be the bigger score, Peyton Manning alone or Reggie Miller, Edgerrin James, Jermaine O'Neal all together?

The point is, you don't have to squint too hard to get the idea that whiteness itself could be culturally valuable to the fans surveyed in Indiana and likely elsewhere -- at least according to my crude and distant parsing of a fragment of Publicis research.

And frankly, people who read TrueHoop or run basketball blogs, they're hardcore basketball fans. They're not the people we're talking about here. They're not going to stop liking the team because this or that player is this or that color. They're likely not the fringe fans the team would be trying to reach with a Jim O'Brien-led ad campaign. This is a battle for the bank presidents and the like that the Pacer business people are worried about. This is a battle for people who aren't sure they want to support this team. (Guys like that don't start blogs about the team.)

The point was that if you want to pick the best person to represent your Pacer team to those guys, at this juncture of history, research appears to suggest you want someone who is not hip hop.

I'm not precisely sure what that means, but I'm guessing a white guy is a smart choice.

By the way, the comments on that last post are great, so I pasted a few of them below (click on through) as food for thought:

(Read full post)

Every once in a while there's an NBA team that travels like the circus, with so much media no one can even breathe. For instance: Toronto at the height of Vinsanity. Houston in Yao Ming's rookie year. The Lakers during Kobe Bryant's sexual assault trial. The Wizards during Michael Jordan's comeback.

J.A. Adande has a story on ESPN.com right now. This is how the Celtics, already celebrity heavy thanks to Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce, could become one of those media circus teams:

Since his playing days ended [Reggie Miller] has worked as a television analyst for TNT.

Miller was all set to continue that job when Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers asked him to think about joining their revamped team in a reserve role, playing about 15 minutes per game.

Miller said he is calling friends and peers, seeking their advice and listening to their feedback before he makes his decision. He still plays recreationally, but must determine if he wants to go through the physical and mental grind of an 82-game season. He also wonders how his body would respond to the intensive training it would take to get him back to NBA shape.

You have to want this to happen, right? Whether you love Reggie Miller or not, isn't the NBA more fun to watch with him in it? He's a total professional, with an amazing understanding of the game and uncommon insight. But he also brings just the right amount of showmanship.

I hope it happens, I really do.

UPDATE: Thanks to TrueHoop reader Nemo for reminding us that Miller once criticized Karl Malone and Gary Payton for trying to ride other players' coattails to a ring. In my mind, Boston's roster is sufficiently shallow -- plenty of critics wouldn't even put them in the NBA's top ten, despite all the stars -- to make this a wholly distinct case. (If he signed up with the Spurs, that's a different story.)

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