The Boston Celtics were making a splash in the off-season. After a terrible season just a year before, the Boston Celtics made some big moves to land Seattle Supersonics‘ shooting guard Ray Allen and Minnesota Timberwolves‘ power forward, Kevin Garnett. This all fit to make a Big Three when you add Paul Pierce in the mix, who has already been on the team for a matter of many years now.
The Celtics weren’t done yet, though. They needed one more person. He was aging, but he still had some fuel left in the tank to be a role player and an important contributor. They had to contact Reggie Miller. Miller has already entered his two years as a retired player, but he could still ball and everyone knew that. Even at 42 years old, it won’t matter. Really, when you consider the fact that it is Mr. Boom Baby, age is just a number at the moment.
But Miller was contacted, and he was flattered that he was considered to join a now-stacked team.
“I’m always flattered when my name is mentioned as someone who can still help an NBA team win a championship,” Miller said. “I’ve had limited discussions with Celtics management about their roster and a potential role for me. At this time, I’m enjoying my role as an analyst with TNT.”
Miller was expected to play about 15 minutes per game.
“[I have] contacted Reggie and he is contemplating a comeback with us,” team general manager Danny Ainge said.
Miller would ask his friends and everybody for advice about this. This would mean he would play another 82 games, which he has had a long layoff from. With a team stacked like this, Miller can finally get a championship ring. He was close to one when the Pacers faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals a little under a decade ago, but they fell in the series 4-1.
Miller decided to take up the challenge and make a comeback to the beloved National Basketball Association. After two weeks of workouts, however, that sudden sort of comeback was just a distant memory.
“That’s it,” he siad. “Physically, I know I could have done it. But mentally, when you do something like this, you’ve either got to be all in or all out. And I’ve decided I’m all out.”
Miller wanted to see how his body would react.
“Earlier [Thursday], I was ready to come back. I was going to do it. But then I flew back here, I thought about it, I talked to a lot of people, and honestly, most people told me I should come back,” Miller said. “Charles [Barkley], Mark [Jackson], Doug [Collins], they all said I should do it. And when I was back in Indy this week [for the Peyton Manning charity bowling event], people on the streets, they’d tell me to do it,” Miller told the newspaper. “But as the day went on, I just realized I wasn’t ready mentally to put myself through the grind again.”
The all-time leader in three-pointers was so close to joining a superstar-filled team.
“Please write, ‘I will never, ever, ever try something like this again,’” he said laughing. “Any of the 30 teams in the NBA, if you’re interested, please don’t call.”
We all know what happened, but it is just one of those what-if things. What if Reggie Miller had played with the Celtics during the 2007-08 championship season? To me, it won’t effect much. The C’s still would have won the title, but Miller would add to it and finally win a ring.
But I would like to see a combination of the league’s two best three-point shooters: Reggie Miller and Ray Allen. They both are so alike in many ways. Miller, however, wouldn’t be like he was in his last season of the league. He would be, shall I say, a bit more declined.
“It’s strange not to be a part of an (NBA) organization or part of a team,” he said then. “I’m not joking with anybody on the bus like I usually do. But waking up with my back, knees and ankles hurting – that’s not stuff I’m going to miss much.”
But when Allen needed a break, Miller could step in and just make a pair of threes. I think he can still bring it.
“Clearly, we need a little bit more help just to shore up the bench,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said after the Garnett deal. “But it’s sure better talking about shoring up our bench than shoring up our starting lineup.”
If Miller did play with the Celtics, he would win a ring. But it’s best if he didn’t join. Miller wouldn’t want to ruin his legacy. Because when you really look at it, people would say he got his ring the easy way out. It just wouldn’t really count. It wouldn’t be very special as it would be if he were to do it with Indy.
It’s best that he is known as a guy sticking with his team for nearly 20 years and doing all he can and not quitting on them. Besides, he is a lock for the Hall-of-Fame next year in his first year of eligibility. So it won’t matter. It’s a win-win if he did or did not join the C’s.