Reggie Miller signs new contract with Pacers

Updated: August 20, 2003, 9:02 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS -- Reggie Miller wasn't about to add his name to a list of ringless NBA All-Stars who have ditched the only organization they've known in pursuit of a championship.

"I didn't want to be like some other guys who jump on another team's bandwagon just to get a ring," Miller said.

Instead, Miller signed a new multiyear contract with the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, keeping the franchise's all-time leading scorer from leaving the city where he has played his entire NBA career.

The Pacers did not release terms of the deal with the unrestricted free agent.

"I can't see myself playing after this contract," Miller said.

Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh had said for weeks that he believed a deal was close. It was signed Wednesday while Miller was in town for the PeyBack Bowl, a charity bowling event hosted by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

"I came in as a rookie skinnier than I am now, and I had to prove myself to the great fans of Indiana," Miller said. "They've seen me grow from a young boy into a young man. I know I get to finish my career here and be a lifetime Pacer."

Walsh said Miller, who turns 38 on Sunday, wanted to remain loyal to the city, fans and organization, even though there discussions with other teams.

"I know there were teams that wanted him," Walsh said. "He could have gone to another team. New Jersey. Probably L.A. (Lakers)."

Miller, who holds the NBA's record for most 3-pointers, also wants to show he's fully recovered from a deep bone bruise to his right ankle during an exhibition game before the World Championships last summer. The injury bothered him all season and he averaged only 12.6 points.

"I'm still better than some of the 2 guards in the league," he said. "I feel much better, I feel stronger. Hopefully I get my legs back and hopefully you'll see the old Reggie will be back."

Miller's salary last season was $12 million, and he was expected to take a hefty pay cut to keep the Pacers under the luxury tax threshold.

Pacers coach Isiah Thomas said in a telephone interview from Puerto Rico there was no timetable how much longer Miller would play.

"I think Reggie will try and play as long as he possibly can," Thomas said. "Only he knows the answer to that."

Miller is also coming off the worst playoff series of his 16-year career, averaging 9.2 points on 28 percent shooting in a six-game loss to Boston.

Miller had ankle surgery on May 19 and is expected to make a complete recovery.

"I think he feels rejuvenated," Walsh said. "That's what I saw. He got the ankle fixed and he feels good about that. Just the time he's had off has rejuvenated his body."

He is the Pacers' all-time leader in nine categories and his 23,505 career points are well ahead of runner-up Rik Smits (12,871).

Thomas, who spent his entire career with the Detroit Pistons, appreciated Miller's commitment to one team.

"Anytime you have an opportunity to finish your career in one place and be part of an organization you help get off the ground is great," Thomas said.

Miller won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics and 1994 World Championships.

Miller, however, has never won an NBA title and the Pacers made the finals once, losing to the Lakers in 2000.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index