Mike Miller Talks To LeBron About Free-Agency, Reaffirms Desire To Play For a Winner
Most Wizards fans wouldn’t mind seeing Mike Miller on the team next year, but know there is virtually no chance of it happening, despite Miller’s offer of loyalty immediately after the last game of the season, and more recently telling Comcast’s Chris Miller, “the Wizards landing the number one pick changes everything,” and that he would “love to play with John Wall.”
We know Mike wants to play for a championship contending winner, desperately. His hunger was only increased by the sour taste of 2009-10 with the Wizards. And the 2010-11 Wizards won’t quench his thirst either.
We also know Mike is boys with LeBron James. We know Mike went so far as to name his son, Maverick, after the close friend and adviser of James, Maverick Carter … or so LeBron claims. We know that the 2010 NBA Free Agency dominoes are held hostage by Mr. James. Mike Miller knows this too.
“That’s when everything will start,” Miller recently told Stu Whitney of the Argus Leader, “LeBron and those guys will start making their decisions, and that will open the floodgates for some of the second-tier guys.”
Whitney profiles Miller in a piece entitled, “‘I’m looking for a winner': Free agent Miller seeks yet another fresh start in NBA,” for the Sioux Falls publication out of Miller’s home state of South Dakota.
Miller’s brother, Ryan, currently an assistant coach at New Mexico, tells Whitney, “It’s very important for him to find a team that’s committed to winning and winning now.” And Mike reaffirmed the type of team he wants to play for by saying, “Playing with LeBron would be great, playing with the Lakers would be great – just teams that you know are going to be there.” Again, not a category that houses the Wizards.
Oh yea, that LeBron fellow. While Miller’s name wasn’t mentioned amongst the purported ‘NBA Big Name Free Agent Summit 2010′ attendees of LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudemire, he has certainly spoken with the Big Domino of Ego himself.
“I’d love to,” said Miller when Whitney asked him if he wants to go where LeBron goes. “I’ve talked to him a couple times about that, but there are a lot of other guys who would like to do that, too. We’ll just see how it goes.”
Miller, in his one season in Washington, will be remembered as a guy who “picked his spots,” and who preferred to operate in the background behind the other talented players in the foreground. It was the fragmenting of that foreground, which ripped the Wizards’ curtains to shreds last season, that exposed the same disappointment in Miller’s game as occurred when he was a member of the Timberwolves.
He is a case study in player psychology, one in a day where many a player would be glad to fire the rock on a bad team while knowing points will get them paid in a contract year. Miller bucked that trend, and to a fault. When asked to be more aggressive, perhaps because it was needed or just to try a new angle to get a bad offense working, Miller refused to comply. And that was his prerogative … to be the guy who just wanted to pick his spots.
Hopefully Miller will find his winning situation. Because fans from Minnesota to Washington are dying to know if all of his toil playing ‘his’ way for their respective teams will not go for naught when Miller simply gets better teammates who will allow his game to blossom.