Minimal Miller Time
The Boston Celtics have added plenty of superstar talent this offseason, but will Reggie Miller unretire to come off the bench?
Remember when I said nobody wants to play for the Boston Celtics?
When that statement was made back on July 1, it was the truth. But like I said on the night of the draft, the Ray Allen aquisition showed the rest of the league that they were once again serious about winning, and not so much interested in whether or not O.J. Mayo would be available in the 2008 NBA Draft.
Kevin Garnett is example No. 1, and Reggie Miller could soon be example No. 2.
Miller told the Associated Press on Wednesday that he has had discussions with the Celtics about coming out of retirement for the 2007-08 season. The potential lure to Boston stems from Garnett's arrival, which stems from the Allen trade, which stems from the Celtics not getting either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.
Maybe Tommy Heinsohn wasn't so unlucky after all?
When the Allen trade was made on draft night, I was ecstatic. When the Garnett deal was finalized, I was excited, but knew all along that the deal was going to get done, which was why I was so ecstatic over the Allen trade. But signing Miller doesn't get me too giddy.
Don't get me wrong, Danny Ainge must find a way to fill out his bench with some sort of talent other than running open tryouts down M Street Park here in Southie, but a soon-to-be 42-year-old who hasn't played since 2005?
Miller is an 18-year veteran All-Star in this league, but I'm not so sure this would be the right move for a few reasons. For starters, the Celtics have reportedly asked him to play a reserve role, which would be about 15 minutes per game off the bench. With so much questioning as to how the "big three" - Paul Pierce, Allen, and Garnett - would share the ball, what exactly is so appealing about adding another player who used to be the guy taking the last shot?
I'm not labeling Miller as a ball hog or a a selfish player. Knowing his role ahead of time, and agreeing to it would make him the furthest thing from a potential clubhouse cancer. But seeing that he's still extremely competitive - if he's even thinking about returning at age 42 - don't you think there's going to be a part of him that wants that shot at the end of the game?
If Miller comes back, it's because he sees a chance to win a championship in Boston. But how many No. 1 guys, that have never been there before mind you, can combine for that special championship chemistry? I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice to add Miller's name to the team. On paper, it's video game dominance. You might as well simulate the season and just play the NBA Finals. Nobody is beating you. But this isn't a video game that Ainge and Doc Rivers are playing.
And since I'm relating it to a video game-esque roster, let's throw it out there that Miller is no longer a 90 rating that you were used to a few years back. He's 42. He hasn't played since 2005. You don't just return to your usual Indiana Pacer-self after that.
It would be great to say, "We'll just throw Reggie out there off the bench to hit three's all day until Allen and Pierce are ready to go back in." But can Reggie still do that at will like he used to? And weren't Celtics fans complaining that a 32-year-old Allen was "washed up" not too long ago? I have a question for them. What exactly do you call a 42-year-old retired NBA analyst?
I'm not saying this can't work if it happens. I'm just saying the Celtics have some gaping holes to fill after Rondo, Allen, Pierce, and Garnett. And adding Miller just because he's Reggie Miller doesn't really fill any of those holes.
The Celtics have enough hungry All-Stars in their lineup. With limited cap room to maneuver, they now must add the smaller pieces that have served as roleplayers in the past. And that shouldn't be too hard to find.
After all, who doesn't want to play for the Boston Celtics.