Martell Webster on Andre Miller’s Secret to Playing at 38: Not Jumping
When Andre Miller played in the NBA’s Rookie-Sophomore game way back in 2001 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers (where he was coached by Randy Wittman), he got booed by the fans for not dunking on a fast break (seen in the video above). If you ask Martell Webster, such is part of why Miller is still in the NBA at age 38.
“Not jumping a lot,” said Martell Webster (also a teammate of Miller’s in Portland during the 2009-10 season) when asked about Miller’s secret to success with age. “He doesn’t jump a lot.”
“When we were playing in Portland together, I remember I got a rebound—we were playing against Denver—and I outleted him the ball and he went up and tomahawked it, and that was crazy,” recounted Webster after Wizards practice on Saturday. “It was to make a statement in that game and we ended up winning because it had changed the tempo. But he can still get up, honestly. But he doesn’t do it a lot. I think that’s the secret. You know, two points is two points … I guess.”
If the dunk was the one in the video below, then Martell’s memory is a little fuzzy. … But whose isn’t?
The pass came off a steal, not a rebound, and even though the dunk cut Denver’s lead over Portland to 11 points with 6:35 left in the third quarter, the Trail Blazers ultimately lost, 118-106 (the Nuggets won three out of four games against the Blazers in the ’09-10 season).
Nevertheless, it was a dunk. And Andre Miller can.
According to the annals of Basketball-Reference.com (BBR), Miller was 12-for-15 on dunk shots over the first five seasons of his career, but over the following nine seasons, he’s just 4-for-5. Miller has dunked once over the past four seasons, which isn’t bad for a 34-to-38-year-old. Of course, hard to tell how reliable the data is; BBR (via league box score data) says that Miller’s last dunk came on Dec. 20, 2012, but upon review of the video via NBA.com/stats, no such dunk happened (but a pretty finger-roll reverse layup did).
Thanks to YouTube, additional evidence of Andre Miller dunking does exist, such as his 2001 posterization of Theo Ratliff in the video below.
In this video from Wizards practice on Saturday, Martell Webster talks about the influence Miller has had on John Wall as well as the secret to Miller’s success.