Former Indiana Pacers and Purdue Boilermaker center Brad Miller retired this year after 14 NBA seasons. The country boy from Kendallville, IN has always carved his own unique path through his basketball career and recently (last Friday) caught up with JMV on 1070 The Fan for a long interview that was plenty entertaining.
Miller was pretty hyped up for the Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw concert on Saturday, planning to spend the night near Lucas Oil Stadium in his RV. Miller also mentioned he wasn't ready to play basketball in Purdue's upcoming alumni game, alluding to the fact that he didn't even play much prior to retiring with Minnesota. He also said that the prior day (last Thursday) at his lakehouse was the first time since retiring that he had picked up a ball to hoop. And not just any ball, but a left over "orange roundie" from the NBA's failed attempt to use a synthetic ball a few years ago. Fittingly, it was flat.
Miller was also pumping up his Sportsman Channel hunting show, but this whole interview was an entertaining listen. I mean, I'm just hitting the highlights. Miller also didn't hold back explaining how he left the Pacers as a free agent after the 2002-03 season. Here's what he had to say on that frustrating topic.
Miller: That was my education of: this is a business. It literally all came down to the business of it. The summer before there was a lot of...Al Harrington got signed, Jonathan Bender, Jeff Foster, Croshere was still on a big deal and then I had Reggie, who is Reggie, and then Jermaine at that time. It just became crappy business.
JMV: Did you think you were coming back?
Miller: I never thought I was going to leave, I figured there was no doubt. I just never heard anything from my agent when it came time and other teams started calling, so I was like, "Oh, what's going on here?" He's like, "Oh, so and so is calling and they're thinking this much and I was like, "Alright, have we heard anything down here (Indy)?" And like I say, I don't know if an agent, they have stuff you know, but sometimes they don't want to tell you if it is a low number or something but that's why I never heard anything. It was still hard, I broke down when I was talking to Utah's GM and my agent got pissed, "Don't do that to the GM." I'm sorry, I just told him, "Today is the day I realizing I'm leaving Indiana and I mean, I broke down."
JMV: How did Donnie explain it to you?
Miller: I never really talked to Donnie about it until years, years kind of later and we kind of joked about it a little bit but it's tough, you know, we had a lot of money involved as a team and it just sucks. That's what I don't like about the NBA. It is a business no matter what the situation is, you always have to know that you're in a billion dollar business industry and a lot of times, teams gotta look at it like that. I mean it would've put a, talk about a strain on the Simons, let's say they gave me a six-year deal. That's tough.
Miller was at 1070 The Fan to record an episode of One On One with Mark Montieth which I imagine will be even more entertaining as they delve into these topics even deeper. Roy Hibbert is currently the featured guest on One On One, also a great listen.