It’s a sad day for Miami Heat fans as the 3-point maestro, Mike Miller, is the latest victim to fall to the amnesty provision. For the rest of the league on the other hand, it may be the time to be licking their chops as the Heat weaken and give up a lethal shooter who might be available to for a very low price.
Although it was kind of expected, the move comes just weeks after team president Pat Riley said he doesn’t feel the need to use the amnesty clause on Miller, nor did he intend to. Perhaps those above him twisted his arm and felt that he was not worth the $30 million luxury tax penalty they would have to folk out if they wished to keep him.
In the grand scheme of things, it may seem like losing Miller is basically a ripple in the ocean since Miami has so many shooters already. However, they would much rather have him on their side rather than be against him. Just ask the Oklahoma City Thunder after he made all but one of his eight 3-point attempts in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals.
The good thing for Miami is that they still have a plethora of shooters for Coach Erik Spoelstra to pick from. That includes the likes the 2011 All-Star 3-Point Contest Champion James Jones and the all-time leader in 3-pointers made, Ray Allen.
In recent years, Miller has been struggling with injuries, missing 135 games in the last four seasons due to ailments. During the 2012 NBA Finals, many thought he was close to retirement due to his back injury that resulted in him hobbling and grimacing in pain around the court. Nonetheless he powered through it and his heroic effort led to his first NBA championship ring in 2012.
The prospect of Miller going to another championship rival is very real as he put down any notion that he may retire at the conclusion of Game 3 in this year’s Finals, saying that: “This is the best I’ve felt in five years and I’ve still got a lot of basketball left.”
Even if he does go to a championship rival, I doubt many people would be angry at him at all. Mike Miller is one of the NBA’s true good guys and if you are not a fan, you have to–at the very least–respect him for still playing hard and giving it is all for the team even when his body is failing him.
Pat Riley expressed how difficult the decision was, stating that: “After many discussions internally and a sincere effort to explore the trade market, we made a very difficult decision to use our amnesty provision on Mike Miller.
“Mike had an incredible impact on the Miami Heat; helping us to three Finals appearances and winning back-to-back world championships. This was a very difficult decision for me personally, the Arison family, Erik (Spoelstra) and the entire Miami Heat organization. Mike was one of the best we have ever had here, and will be sorely missed. We wish Mike, his wife Jennifer and their family nothing but the best.” (Source: USAToday.com)
Owner, Micky Arison had this to add:
— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) July 16, 2013
The fifth overall pick from the 2000 NBA Draft won the Rookie of the Year award and earned All-Rookie First Team honors, although it wasn’t exactly the strongest field of rookies to compete against. Nonetheless, he proved his worth by winning the 2006 Sixth Man of the of the Year award.
In his three-year stint with Miami, he averaged 5.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and a little more than 18 minutes per game while shooting nearly 42 percent from long range.
Tags: Mike Miller