The (Andre Miller) Saga Continues…


I don’t know what’s more disconcerting to me, the fact that I’m writing about this or the fact that this “situation” exists. In case you missed it over the weekend, Yahoo Sports’ Marc Spears wrote an article about Andre Miller and how he’s “searching for right fit in Portland“. Miller had some comments in said article that were deemed controversial. Now first off, even if you read the article, go read Miller’s comments he made to the media yesterday. It should have made this issue deader than Lindsay Lohan’s movie career and Paul Wall’s rap career combined.

It’s unbelievable that this is a controversy.This is the definition of preseason nonsense. It bothers me to even be typing words about it. It’s just reached a point where I feel like it had to be addressed. So let’s take a look. You have  a veteran player in Andre Miller. A veteran who has started all but one game he has played since he was a rookie. Of course he wants to start. How is this shocking or a big deal? If you’re shocked that Miller wants to start than you were also shocked when Clay Aiken came out of the closet and that wrestling was fake. However, what’s magically been forgotten during this whole “situation” is that Andre Miller has never said he would have a problem fulfilling any role that was asked of him. Look at all of the quotes, Miller has never not said the right thing when it comes to this. I’ve never seen him say anything remotely out of this realm. And he’s causing a problem? Teammates have never spoken ill of him and he gets the job done on the court. Yet somehow he’s controversial and causing problems. Please. On the other side of the coin, Miller needs to understand that Nate McMillan has a job to do. A hell of a job that requires him to find the right unit with the right chemistry to make this team work. He has to get a ton of talented players to buy in to the team and into their respective roles. He has to see every combination and do the best for the team. This could turn into a whole different post on its own but if it turns out that Andre Miller indeed works better with the second unit, then he should come off the bench. It’s that simple. Is it a touchy situation? Yes. Will it get better with time and wins? Yes.

Put yourself in Miller’s shoes. If you ever transferred universities, or moved cities or started a new job, you know it takes time to adjust. There can also be a refreshing vibe about change because you get to start a new. Generally speaking, you don’t have the stigmas or reputations that you’ve had before. Who doesn’t love a fresh start? Because of basketball and all the experiences he’s had with the media, that stigma of being frosty/quiet followed Andre Miller here. And to a degree, he didn’t really get that fresh start that he may have desired. I’d be annoyed if I got to a new place and had to answer all sorts of questions about the past instead of being given a chance to write a new chapter. Is this making sense to anyone? Just thinking out loud here, but that might have something to do with Miller’s frustrations. And to a degree, it’s not fair that he’s been quickly labeled on arrival. Perhaps there’s a small part of all of us — media, fans — that has a deep rooted worry that stems from the unspeakable era in Blazers history. Does any of this become a problem if Miller signs with San Antonio and says these things? It’s at least worth thinking about.

When it boiled down to it, Spears wrote an article. He did his job. He got Andre Miller to talk. Obviously, Miller’s a bit frustrated (or was, depending on when the interview took place) about the situation and is justified. Miller obviously is having issues with the Portland media, and some of his beefs are correct. He wanted to get his point of view out and he did. This addresses my earlier point. To a degree ever since the Jail Blazer era ended and the team began focusing on re-building character and re-connecting with the fan base, Blazer fans have been spoiled. I mean would this have been a blip on the radar screen during the Telfair/Randolph/Miles era? Absolutely not. You have a guy in Andre Miller who is being upfront and honest about a touchy situation and now it’s a controversy. Look at the kind of players we have. We have stand-up people who have not had a problem being open about nearly any subject. We also have guys who for the most part don’t ruffle feathers. There’s a certain amount of access that we’ve had as fans and we’ve gotten used to a certain type of player. Along comes Andre Miller. If you read any article about Miller when he got signed, he came across as a private person. That was the knock on him the entire time. And it’s funny, he’s come here, has only been himself and because he’s different than the type of player we’re used to he sticks out like a sore thumb. I don’t blame the media because they’re doing their jobs. They are reporting what they see. However, I think we all know the kind of power and influence the media can carry. And unfortunately it seems as if with some Blazer fans they’ve built a preconceived notion, something Miller touched on in the Spears piece.

"“I’m sitting on the baseline and I’m hearing fans in the audience say, ‘Sit with the team.’ I just got here. [The fan] said, ‘Sit with the team. Stop acting like that.’“I was like, ‘Damn.’ They wouldn’t have said that if [the media] didn’t give a false impression. I never have had any problems with any fans. I socialize with fans at appearances and in public.”"

Can we please put this to bed? Andre Miller’s adjustment to this team is going to take time. And anyone who thought it was going to be smooth from Day 1 is silly. However, this is not going to have an impact on any of the 82+ games that really count. And it’s clear Miller wants to be a Blazer. We have known this since Day 1. Everyone is on the same page and this story is dead. Let’s move on. If we’re going to make a pre-season story, lets talk about LaMarcus Aldridge getting 2 rebounds in 24 minutes. Or the progress of Rudy Fernandez. Or how Outlaw is looking. I’m more upset about how DeJuan Blair is crushing people left and right. I’d rather read another hype piece on Oden than hear about this.

What’s the difference between people making a big deal about Miley Cyrus leaving twitter and Andre Miller speaking up? Trick question, it’s nothing. They’re both nonsense