Andre Miller was back in Denver to face his former team as a member of the Wizards on Sunday, bringing up memories of the messy way his time with the Nuggets came to a close earlier this season.
Miller said he was made out to be the bad guy, after clashing with first-year head coach Brian Shaw over a DNP-CD that snapped his consecutive games played streak. The team suspended Miller for two games following the incident, but excused him from all activities until they traded him on Feb. 20.
Now, Miller says his blowup at Shaw went beyond just his lack of minutes.
From Michael Lee of the Washington Post:
To Miller, the uncharacteristic blowup went deeper than him being upset about not playing because of a coach’s decision for the first time in his career. Miller believes Shaw sat him as punishment for speaking up on behalf of his teammates at a team meeting.
“I spoke up in a team meeting, privately, behind closed doors, about communication and brought it to the coaching staff because the players on the team asked me to,” Miller said. “That’s why I think I was benched. That’s the only reason. I know what the issue was about and I don’t think it was handled the right way.”
Shaw has a different side of the story, of course — one in which he talks up the rebuilding of the team and the need to develop young players.
Miller may have been doing what he thought was right in speaking up as a veteran for some of the team’s younger guys, but a head coach, especially in his first season, isn’t going to be too receptive to a dissenting voice as he attempts to find his way.
The actual reason why Miller was benched and then traded is probably the same as it is with most disputes, where the truth lies somewhere in between each person’s perception.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.