Reggie Miller Will Retire After Season
Friday, February 11th 2005, 6:51 am
News On 6
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Reggie Miller will retire after the season, ending a career with the Indiana Pacers in which he became one of the NBA's greatest shooters.
``I just sensed that this is something he knows is right for him to do,'' Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said Friday. ``I'd love to have him around another year. This is one of those personal decisions you have to go with your gut on.''
Carlisle spoke after telling the players about Miller's decision to retire after spending all 18 of his NBA seasons with the Pacers. Miller, who turns 40 in August, was at Friday's practice at Conseco Fieldhouse but did not speak to reporters.
Carlisle said Miller called him Thursday night to tell him before sister Cheryl Miller reported his impending retirement on TNT.
Miller supplied reels of highlight footage with his clutch shooting and helped transform the Pacers from one of the NBA's worst teams into one of its most consistent.
``He was a constant threat on many very good teams,'' Pacers chief executive Donnie Walsh told The Associated Press. ``On top of that, he was a thorough professional both on and off the court. If in fact this is his last season, I will miss him.''
Miller holds NBA records for most 3-pointers made (2,505) and attempted (6,321) and is the leading scorer in Pacers history with 24,685 points. He appeared in five All-Star games, 131 playoff games and the 2000 NBA Finals.
Since 1990, the Pacers have made the playoffs all but one year and have reached the Eastern Conference playoffs six times. He is averaging 11.9 points as the starting shooting guard for the Pacers, who play Friday night at home against Houston.
Miller's retirement after 18 seasons with the Pacers would leave him behind only John Stockton, who played 19 seasons with Utah, among NBA players who have played entirely with a single franchise.
``The one thing he can really be proud of is that he finished his career with one team _ something we don't see a lot of in sports today,'' Cheryl Miller said.
Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown, who coached Miller for four seasons in the mid-1990s, called him ``the best shooter I've ever been around.''
``If you needed one guy to make an outside shot, I don't know if you could find anybody better,'' Brown said Thursday night. ``He's going to be missed.''
Miller's NBA career began with a cascade of boos when Walsh selected him with the 11th pick in the 1987 draft out of UCLA. Fans wanted Steve Alford, who had just led Indiana to the NCAA championship.
``I was pretty confident that we had done the right thing,'' Walsh said Friday. ``He turned out to be a great player.''
Miller burst into national prominence in 1994 when he scored 25 fourth-quarter points in an Eastern Conference finals victory over the New York Knicks while trading words with Spike Lee as the movie director sat courtside.
A year later against the Knicks, he hit two 3-pointers while scoring eight points in the final 8.9 seconds for a 107-105 playoff win in Madison Square Garden.
Miller averaged at least 18 points a game for 12 consecutive seasons through 2000-01. He has been praised by teammates and coaches for allowing others _ notably Jermaine O'Neal _ to take a more prominent role.
His decision to retire comes during a troubled season for the Pacers, who enter Friday night's game at 23-25 after three top players received long suspensions for the November brawl with Pistons fans. Miller also was among several players who missed long stretches with injuries. He was out for the first 16 games after breaking his left hand during an exhibition game.