NBA

Former 2-Time NBA Champion Mike Miller Could Not Step Away From the Game

Mike Miller enjoyed a successful NBA career. During his time in the league, he was the Rookie of the Year, was named the Sixth Man of the Year, and is a two-time NBA champion. Miller played for seven different teams and was known for his shooting abilities. He’s retired from basketball as a player, but he continues to be a part of the sport in another way.

Mike Miller’s NBA career

Miller came into the league in 2000 when the Orlando Magic selected him in the first round of the NBA draft. In addition to winning the Rookie of the Year Award, he was named to the All-Rookie First Team. He went on to average 11.9 points per game in his first season in Orlando.

He spent three years in Orlando, and his numbers increased each year. In his final season with the Magic, he averaged 16.4 points per game. He ended up being traded midway through that season to the Memphis Grizzlies. During his time in Memphis, he was awarded the NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Coming off the bench, he averaged 13.7 points per game for the Grizzlies.

The next season Miller found himself in the starting rotation and averaged 18.5 points, which was the most in his career. The veteran shooting guard/small forward could have production coming off the bench or being put in the starting lineup. After his time in Memphis, he spent one year with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Washington Wizards.

Toward the end of his career, Miller played for the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets and the Grizzlies for another stint.

Winning two rings with Miami

When Miller joined the Heat, he had more of a reserved role on the team. On a team stacked with talents such as LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade, Miller did not see much playing time. But when he did come in the game, he made the most of his minutes.

He played an essential role off the bench for the Heat in their back-to-back championships. That Heat team formed a special bond during their time together, and it’s not easy winning back-to-back titles. Though his minutes were limited, Miller still contributed in numerous ways.

Mike Miller becomes a coach after playing

Miller finished his NBA career playing in Denver. In July of 2017, the Nuggets waived Miller. Before Miller was let go, he formed a special bond with Nikola Jokic. Jokic, who is now one of the best big men in the league, was getting into the league and Miller helped him develop his game.

Miller would continue to help players develop their game as he was hired as an assistant coach under former NBA star Penny Hardaway at the University of Memphis in 2018. The Memphis basketball team has two former NBA players who had a lot of experience playing. Tigers’ players are in an excellent position to receive the right coaching and advice from those two.

It only took Miller one year away from basketball to find his passion, which is coaching. He remains at Memphis under Hardaway as they are trying to turn the basketball program back into an NCAA powerhouse school.