May 20, 2005
"Reggie, Reggie, Reggie!"
Yes, that cheer came through loud and clear in a dramatic moment at the end of Thursday night's Pacers-Pistons game. Reggie Miller's brilliant 18-year NBA career came to an end as his Pacers were eliminated in six games by defending champion Detroit.
Miller retires as the 12th-leading scorer in NBA history, playing on the same team the entire time something rare in the free-agent era.
Miller, 39, averaged more than 18 points per game during the Pacers' push to make the playoffs. The 6-foot-7 shooting guard turned back the clock and helped his team advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals to face Detroit.
The bottom line is that coach Larry Brown and his Pistons were too much for Indiana. Brown and his team also were extremely classy in applauding Miller at the end of Game 6, along with the crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse.
I remember Reggie back in his days at UCLA. I loved his enthusiasm and energy he never wavered and never changed.
I wish some other stars had played with that kind of passion and emotion. You could always feel Miller's love for the game in every movement on the court.
He will be remembered for his flair for the dramatic for hitting the long 3-pointer and the clutch shot. Miller had the ability to hit that area-code jumper time after time. He hit big shots throughout his career.
Miller doesn't have a ring, but he's still a champion in my book make that a champion, baby!
The Miller family, including Reggie's sister Cheryl, a basketball superstar in her own right, has brought so much excitement to fans everywhere. They've meant so much to the sport.
Reggie, thank you for the golden moments you provided throughout your college and professional career. You have provided fans with so many great memories.
By the way, he would be a natural behind the microphone. (Do you hear me, ESPN executive Mark Shapiro?) Please, don't take my job, Reggie!
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.