With so many young players entering the NBA every year, some of the veteran players hardly get much PR these days.
It’s almost as if they have been forgotten. In their defense, they may be past their prime but are deserving of attention and focus with the regular season coming to a close Thursday night.
One veteran big man who is ending his 14-year professional basketball career is center Brad Miller of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who played in his last NBA game against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday evening.
Miller was rather emotional last night, and deservingly so, since his entrance into the league came back in 1999 with the Charlotte Hornets. Miller was able to sustain a long professional basketball-playing career for two reasons.
The man from Kendallville, Indiana who played college basketball at Purdue under head coach Gene Keady and spent time in Italy before being signed by the Charlotte Hornets as an undrafted free agent made himself a long basketball career due to two specific skills.
First is his ability to shoot the ball from a distance. Second, his passing ability makes him a great frontcourt mate on any team.
Miller spent the prime of his basketball career as a member of the Sacramento Kings, where he partnered with both Chris Webber and Vlade Divac while averaging a career-best 15.6 points per game during the 2004-05 NBA season.
Miller, towards the latter part of his career, spent time with the Chicago Bulls (second stint with the team), Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves and became a favorite of head coach Rick Adelman, who had coached him in Sacramento.
Adelman brought Miller in through free agency to Houston (which lasted for only one year) and then acquired the veteran center on draft night to have a veteran presence around youngster Kevin Love in Minnesota.
Miller will be missed, as teams will have a tough time finding a jump shooting, gifted passing center in free agency.