Reggie Miller: Brutally honest, we talk from the heart as former players

reggie-miller-1Former NBA player Reggie Miller has become known as an outspoken, “brutally honest” TV broadcaster, IndyStar reported.

“We’re brutally honest; we never sugar coat things,” he said. “We talk from the heart as former players and (current players) might not agree with it but at least they respect that we’re telling the truth.”

“I’ve never been one to hold my tongue,” he said.

Since joining Turner Sports as an NBA analyst in 2005, Miller has analyzed everything in his on-air path, friends and foes alike.

He razzed fellow Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Charles Barkley for not being as tough as his reputation and chided fellow TNT analyst Kenny Smith for sprouting a belly.

Active players have heard from him, too.

In a give-and-go last season, Miller paused in a critique of Portland guard Raymond Felton to note how poorly Wesley Matthews was playing defense.

Three years ago, he called out Cleveland guard Mo Williams for “pumping up his chest” as the LeBron James-led Cavaliers tried to win the NBA title.

Maybe Miller’s best TV trash talking was about some basketball folks relying on “lab geek rats that are somewhere on their pocket squares.” His opinion: statistics shouldn’t rule the game.

“I think numbers are good at certain times, but I think people can get bogged down with them,” Miller said.

“The (audience) doesn’t need to know e=mc2. They want to know why the ball going in the basket, why isn’t that guy rotating (defensively), why can’t someone block out for a rebound? Numbers can’t tell you that.”

TNT play-by-play broadcaster Kevin Harlan said Miller excels at being a student of the moment.

“He knows body language and can see expressions that none of us (who haven’t played) could ever pick up on,” Harlan said.

reggie-miller-2Miller said such observations were key to his game. The difference now is, he can see more things seated across the court from the benches.

“I’ve been on that bench when before the horn even sounds everyone’s up, high-fiving and can’t wait to get back in the game,” he said. “I’ve also been on that other bench when you’re looking at one another, jawing back and forth.

Clark Kellogg, a top college basketball analyst and also a former Pacer, said he appreciates Miller’s willingness to challenge the professionals.

“Because Reggie was at such a high level as a player — not only did he know it, do it and live it, he felt it and understood it — his voice carries more weight,” Kellogg said, “as long as you feel it and say it with conviction, and he does.”

Miami guard Ray Allen, who passed Miller on the NBA’s career 3-point list, said Miller never makes his evaluations personal.

“We all know what has to be said, and he says it and is fair about it,” the veteran guard said. “He’s funny at times, he’s serious at times. He’ll say what a team or a player needs to do, but you can tell it’s never in attack mode.”

Miller has never won an NBA championship, but he was naed to the “ALL-NBA” team 3 times, and participated in 5 NBA All-Star games.

Miller spent 17 years of his NBA career with Indiana Pacers.

He appeared in 1389 NBA games (1304 started), averaging 18.2 ppg, 3 apg and 3 rpg in 34.3 minutes of action.


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