|Miller joins Albert on TNT announcing team after ending comeback bid|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 19 October 2007 03:56|
He decided against a comeback bid at 42 years old with the Boston Celtics. Instead, the former Indiana Pacers star might announce some of their games.
He is teaming exclusively with Hall-of-Famer Marv Albert this season to form one of Turner Network Television's top basketball announcing teams.
The Albert-Miller pairing makes sense because many of their signature moments the past two decades are connected.
``For so many years, he was the voice of my career and so many of my big games against the Knicks and the Bulls,'' Miller told The Associated Press. ``To be working side-by-side with him - I'm very humbled and very honored because a lot of people don't get put in this position.''
Their debut will be Oct. 30, when Portland visits San Antonio.
Miller joined TNT after retiring from the NBA two seasons ago. He split time between studio and color work before being moved strictly to game analysis this season. Miller and Albert have worked together just enough to get comfortable and build a rapport.
``He got it so quickly from a broadcasting point of view,'' Albert said. ``He just had it. I always feel you have it or you don't.''
Miller felt he still had it as a basketball player and wanted to find out after he got a call from Danny Ainge, Boston's executive director of basketball operations. Miller said he went through three weeks of two-a-days and gave it his best shot before returning to TNT.
``Once I got through that first week, I was fine, and my body probably could have held up for eight months,'' he said. ``I don't think for eight months, mentally, I could have done it. The first two months, I would have been so excited, but December, January and February, those dog days of the NBA, I'd be like 'What the hell am I doing? I could have been chilling in Malibu.'''
The Celtics have added several players including former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett in their bid to win the title. If they succeed, Miller said he will have regrets.
``It will hurt,'' he said. ``I know Kevin Garnett is going to have an unbelievable year because he's like a kid in a candy store. The excitement is back. If you give a player of his magnitude and skill excitement, you surround him with a Paul Pierce and a Ray Allen, and those other two guys are somewhat getting a get-out-of-jail-free card as well, it's magic waiting to happen.''
Albert said Miller carries the same attributes that set him apart as a player into his color commentary.
``I think people related to him because he was so expressive, there was so much emotion,'' Albert said. ``In his heyday, he really stood out. You knew who he was. Aside from the fact that he was such a good player, there was an identity, a style to him.''
Albert and Miller agree on their favorite ``Miller Time'' moment, a 1994 playoff game between the Pacers and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Miller scored 25 points in the fourth quarter of a Pacers win in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
``That's probably the one call I remember vividly,'' Miller said. ``'And Miller for another one - yes!'''
Albert remembers it for another reason - the animated discussion on the sideline between Miller and film director Spike Lee, a superfan of the Knicks. Albert caught onto the conversation and brought the rivalry into the national spotlight.
``We ended up making a big deal about it because it was such a big part of what was happening in the game,'' Albert said. ``He'd hit a shot, and you'd see the body language back and forth between them during the game.
``For myself, as a broadcaster, it doesn't get any better than that, that it's not just a basketball game.''
Albert said Miller has good relationships with coaches and players, so he heads into games with good insight. Miller knows when to interject and is easy to work with, Albert said.
Albert also is impressed with Miller's knowledge of the game.
``He has a coach's mentality in terms of Xs and Os,'' Albert said. ``There is nothing that happens that will fool him.''
Miller is a fan of Albert's work as well.
``I've always loved his witty approach to the game,'' Miller said. ``He's going to meet his match, because I'm just the same. I think it's going to be a great fit.''
Miller steps in for Steve Kerr, who is now general manager of the Phoenix Suns.
``I really felt that Marv and Steve worked well together,'' Miller said. ``They had great chemistry. That's a little bit of pressure to come into.''
Albert said Miller doesn't have much to worry about.
``He's going to be great,'' Albert said.