The Journey of Andre Miller, Point Guard (part 1)

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I slammed out a couple quickie biographies last month for the SBN Laker blog, Silver Screen & Roll on a couple of their players in the news — Ron Artest  and Lamar Odom.† They're both grizzled NBA vets who have been around the block a couple times and there was no shortage of stuff on the internets to blend into a biographical cocktail.

With the acquisition of Philadelphia 76ers unrestricted free agent Andre Miller by Kevin Pritchard and the Portland Trail Blazers, the wheels started spinning. "I should do a quickie bio on him, too," I thought. I mean, how hard could it be? The guy's been in the league since being drafted #8 overall prior to the 1999-2000 season. That's a full decade! There simply had to be an equally copious field of digital Andre Miller wheat to cut, thresh, and winnow.

It took me ten minutes playing with Google to disabuse myself of this notion. Somehow the well known millionaire professional basketball star Andre Miller — lottery pick, former NBA Assist leader, borderline All Star — had managed to fly under the radar. Reserved off the court, keeping his own council, André Miller has largely managed to elude the clutching and grabbing "gimme the story now now now" of the mass media. 

Andre has always been reclusive with regards to his media, speaking little about his background and off the court life. In the view of his mother, Andrea Robinson-Haralson, this personal reticence is part of a long family tradition: "He got it from my Mom and my Mom got it from her Dad. He didn't get it from me, he got it from his Great Grandfather."‡

Sussing out more than the barest biographical details of Andre Miller's life is no simple task. Here's how one sportswriter phrased the problem a little over a year ago:

After the Sixers Game 6 season ending loss to Detroit, I mentioned my dream of writing his story. Andre reluctantly spoke — focused but respectful eyes never leaving the TV screen adjacent to his locker — "Everything has been said about me."

Most of the stories read:

Kid gets out of rough neighborhood, coach takes chance on Prop 48 student, Mom is biggest supporter.

Less frequently:

Andre is the only Prop 48 student to graduate within 4 years. He majored in criminology and sociology.

And yet, what do we know about the inner Andre?

The player known for his hardcore silence is not going to let you in unless you speak the game. He will then open up just enough to give a sound description of his love for the rock.‡

Wow, and that's a professional that actually worked at this subject. Yikes.

Putting the pieces of Andre Miller's life together takes a lot of time and absolute commitment to the task at hand. That reality is somehow fitting, as you will see.

"Everything has been said about me," says he? Yes, maybe it has. A snippet here, a tidbit there, and then finally there emerges from the ether a really solid feature story or two. Chop and assemble and fill in the blanks... I've tried to arrange the fragments in a pattern, much like a mosaic. This is what I've learned...

Click on through to continue....

Early years.

Andre Lloyd Miller was born on March 19, 1976, in Los Angeles, California. His hometown was actually Compton, a bleak section of the concrete south of downtown.◊ Originally incorporated in 1889, Compton was swallowed by the melanoma-like expansion of Los Angeles, now existing as an "inner suburb" of the city that is part of "South Central LA."

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South Central is not a pretty place or a nice one. With its high unemployment, widespread poverty, and pervasive street crime, Compton has a reputation of being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States — ground zero of the wars of the Bloods, Crips, and various Mexican gangs.§

One thing should be noted. Andre Miller was absolutely not a product of the troubled inner city public school system. His mother enrolled him from kindergarten in private schools, stressing the importance of academics in addition to athletics.¥

During his childhood, Andre's family suffered tragedy when his younger brother Duane became sick with viral encephalitis, an illness which ultimately took his life.¢± The experience proved important in the shaping of Andre's personality by changing the dynamics of the home in which he grew up. Andre later recalled that after his brother's death "my Mom became a little bit more protective as far as the things that I did — running around the streets. That's kind of deep, I guess. There was so much stuff going on around that time. I had to grow up early."¢ An extremely involved mother has been one of the foundation stones upon which Andre's life was built.

Miller attended Verbum Dei High School, a private school in Watts (just north of Compton), founded by the priestly order the Society of the Divine Word and operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The 4 year college-preparatory school was established in 1962 as part of the church's professed mission to serve the black and hispanic community of the inner city. Students of any faith or religious denomination may attend Verbum Dei (Latin for "Word of God"), although the school does conduct a Catholic curriculum.∆

Why did Andre choose Verbum Dei? Academics, plain and simple, according to him. "I only thought about making the NBA recently," the former California 4A Player of the year modestly claimed in 1998.Ω 

I suppose that such late aspirations to The Big Show are possible, no matter how unlikely those words may ring more than a decade later. Entering high school, young Andre was no childhood athletic prodigy. A newspaper reporter later described the freshman lacing them up for Verbum Dei as a "chubby, slow-footed, undersized shooting guard."Ω 

"Andre didn't have a parent pointing him toward an NBA career before he could start his college career," attests David Benezra, executive director of the Los Angeles Rockfish, a summer league team that Miller played with in high school. "His mother kept things in perspective. All of the guys who have played for us and gone on to the NBA had the same thing. So many parents now are putting the focus on the big dollars and on the NBA that their kids never become good college players — or good students for that matter."Ω 

One of Miller's summer league coaches, Mark Mayemura, reiterated the point that Andre's focus was a little different than that of many star jocks. "Los Angeles is the hotbed for talent," he said. "A lot of kids that were more hyped than Andre got more attention. He was not a product of hype. He did not play on all the summer league teams and get a lot of press. He did not develop as early as some, but his game has always been about improving."Ω

Andre's mother instilled foremost emphasis upon school work and helping out around the house. Basketball was an auxiliary to real life in her household. Andre's coach at Verbum Dei, Mike Kearney, recalled the way that Andre used to scurry into practice late, work boots on his feet with blades of grass still stuck to his clothes. 

"Arriving late for practice was not allowed, but I could not bring myself to punish him after doing all that yardwork," Kearney remembered.Ω 

Kearney moved Miller to the varsity team during his Sophomore year. On the day of his promotion there was a knock on the door. Andre's mom had come to school to find her son. "Practice ran a little long that day," Kearney remembered. "She wanted to know why Andre wasn't home. He had chores to do."Ω 

Despite the definite priorities which Andrea Robinson instilled in her son, she was 100% committed to his success on the hardwood as well. She paced the sidelines during her son's games, shouting encouragement to her boy and the team. Later, when her son was in college, she did her best to attend games, once riding a bus for 29 hours from Los Angeles to Dallas and back, arriving in Compton at 4 am — just in time to get ready for work that day.Ω 

His mother's values rubbed off on Andre. Through practice and hard work, Andre developed the set of skills which made him a very highly touted High School star by his Senior year, a season in which he averaged 24 points per game and 7 rebounds. Miller won the 1994 Wooden Award as the MVP of the California Interscholastic Federation's Southern Section, as well as being named CIF Division 4A Player of the Year.

The world was his oyster. What could possibly go wrong?


Collegiate Career.

Andre Miller's life went off the tracks a little when he took the American College Testing exam — the standardized examination needed for college admissions.

In 1983, the NCAA passed "Proposition 48," a set of academic admission requirements for all athletes entering its members schools. Athletes henceforth needed to attain a minumum ACT score of 17 to gain college admission, in addition to a minimum GPA of at least 2.0 in 11 core high school courses.√ Andre's score was south of the border. The 1994-95 season would be a zero for Andre, he would have to sit out one full year before becoming eligible to compete in athletics. He would have to prove himself in the classroom before he could play. The scholarship offers — and Andre's options — evaporated.

At least one school still wanted him, however. University of Utah Assistant Coach Donny Daniels was a fellow graduate of Verbum Dei, the school at which Miller was an honor roll student, star hoopster, and starting football quarterback.Ω  He knew Andre's game well and badly wanted to see him in the Utah Utes' red.

Daniels managed to make the sale to Head Coach Rick Majerus — Utah would maintain its scholarship offer to Andre Miller, investing one of its precious slots in him despite his inability to participate immediately. Although a couple of the smaller schools in the California state system were probably also options, the kid from South Central LA chose to get away and he packed his bags for Salt Lake City. Religion played no part in this decision, it should be noted, since Andre is not Mormon.‡ The University of Utah was the program that still cared. It was that simple.

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Andre's mother Andrea was fully on board with her son's double-heaping-wheelbarrow of self-inflicted culture shock. "I know there's not a whole lot of blacks there. I don't have a problem with that," she said. "There's only one race, and that's the human race. That's what I've always shared with Andre."◊

As for Andre, if he had any notion of shuffling the deck of his life by moving to Salt Lake City, he got a new deal all right. He was homesick and lonely and college coursework was hard.¢

"It was a culture shock going out there," he recounted in 2008. "I'd never went to school with a white kid until I got to college. It was also a fun experience. I made some friends that are white. We all had fun and I wouldn't change that experience for nothing."¢

Miller set to work in the classroom, needing to prove to himself and the world his ability to compete and excel in the intellectual sphere. Andre struggled academically during his first year of school despite the luxury of having free time away from the team. Still, he stuck with his studies and made wise use of Utah's tutoring and special academic services.

According to Utah Center Mike Doleac, Miller's Freshman year roommate who became a good friend, his mother was on the phone with Andre every day to make sure that he had done his homework.

"He worked hard," Doleac recalled. "Not because he was afraid of her, but because all he wants to do is please her. But there's no doubt who runs the show there. We used to tease him a little. Like when he grew his hair out and then she'd visit. The next day the guys noticed he got a haircut."Ω

Andre improved his game in the classroom through hard work and extra effort. He attended summer school each of four straight years, class time which helped him to graduate on schedule in 4 years with a 2.8 grade point average and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology.¢¥

On the court, the 1995-96 campaign, Miller's Freshman season, proved to be a learning experience as well. Andre's performance was modest, with the man who wore jersey #24 averaging 8.6 points per game and about 4.6 assists in an average of about 25 and a half minutes of game action.

Things were but a little better in 1996-97, Miller's Sophomore year. His playing time crept up to nearly 30 minutes per game, but his points remained relatively steady at 9.8. His assist rate did improve fairly dramatically, however, with Andre accumulating an average of 6.1 per contest — a total which he never again equalled during his collegiate career.

The Junior year proved to be Miller's breakout season. During the 1997-98 season, Andre Miller upped his average scoring output to 14. 2 points per game in over 31 minutes, leading the Utes all the way to the NCAA Championship round. 

A decade later, Miller still remembered the 1997-98 Utah team as the watershed of his career. "I can picture running out in that San Antonio Dome," he recalled. "Picture all the red. All the North Carolina fans. All the Kentucky fans. Nobody really knew who Utah was. We'd never been to that stage in previous years. How many players in the [NBA] can say they made it to the Championship round? I'm grateful I had that opportunity to play in that big environment, the biggest stage at the highest level of college basketball."ß

Miller lauded the basketball IQ of his Utah teammates. "That was probably the smartest group of guys as far as my basketball career," he recalled. "They understood basketball. Preparation. How to play basketball the right way. Pass to the open man. Move without the ball. All the small things that make a team go. We didn't have the greatest players, the most athletic players. But what we lacked in that we made up for in smarts."ß

Miller-story6_mediumMiller was clearly regarded as a top professional prospect by this time, with his coach Rick Majerus considering him the second best point guard in the country, behind Arizona's Mike Bibby.◊ USA Basketball selected him to the national team, a group which won a gold medal at the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York.¶

While the Utes were nowhere near as successful during Miller's Senior season, 1998-99, Andre nevertheless put up handsome numbers, scoring 15.8 points per game, while dishing out more than 5 assists and garnering more than 5 rebounds per contest. He also continued to play solid defense, racking up a very impressive 2.5 steals per game in an average of over 33 minutes.£

Miller seems to have had no regrets whatsoever about his choice of schools. As an NBA veteran he reflected that Utah coach Rick Majerus was "one of the best coaches on any level as far as teaching how to play basketball."

"I learned how to be an all around basketball player [with Majerus at Utah]," Miller declared, "just how to become a natural Point Guard and make good decisions. I always had the knack street-wise. It's easy to pick up a ball, dribble and put the ball in the basket, but you have to be able to think the game and know how to teach the game. I picked up all that."¢

Nor did his coach have any regrets about having invested the time and effort in #24. "I would play him every minute of the game if I could," Rick Majerus said. "He understands the game so well. He's the best Point Guard I have ever coached."Ω

Andre's mother made it unanimous, similarly approving of his choice of schools. In 2008 she declared herself to be "very, very happy" with her son's time spent at Utah. "There [were] a lot of people concerned about [his] education — and him as a person — [rather] than just him as a basketball player," she said.¢

Andre Miller finished his collegiate career as Utah's all-time leader in steals, with 254, as well as placing second on the school's all-time list for assists.¶ The Utes were an astonishing 114-20 during his years with the program.±

In 2006, Andre managed to express his gratitude to his alma mater in a more concrete form, pledging $500,000 to the University of Utah. Of this sum 60% was earmarked to endow the "Andre Miller Point Guard Scholarship," with the remainder targeted towards renovation of the basketball player team room.

"I am very fortunate to be in a position where I can give back and help others," Miller said at the time of his donation. "The University of Utah opened a lot of doors for me and hopefully this scholarship will do the same for someone else. I consider Utah to be the best university in the country, and I hope other former Ute athletes will follow in my footsteps."∂

 

The Rookie Contract: Cleveland and the Clips.

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Andre was a young stud coming out of college — not one of the 19 year old "one-and-doners" that populate the draft today, but rather a highly acclaimed, sure-thing prospect five years removed from high school. It wasn't a question of whether Miller was gonna go high in the NBA lottery, it was merely a matter of just how high and to whom.

At the time of the draft he was called by one scout "the most complete point guard in this draft, though Baron Davis is right there with him." 

The prescient analyst continued:

Miller is a floor leader with few peers. He is a cerebral player who runs the point as well as anyone, taking care of the basketball, involving teammates, knowing when to run and when to slow down the pace, and being a good penetrator. His outside shooting could still stand some improvement, but his shooting is passable. He is a great rebounder for a point guard, and is solid defensively.

Miller has also shown up to play during crunch time. In the 1998 NCAA Tournament, Miller was instrumental in leading Utah into the national championship game, including posting the only triple-double of the tournament.

Miller should be one of the first players taken, and one of the first two point guards. He should have a long and successful career in the NBA. ∫

Still, even given Andre's obvious NBA-readiness, the 1999 draft was thick with quality prospects. Joining Miller in making the leap to the NBA were eventual members of Your 2009-10 Los Angeles Lakers Lamar Odom and Ron Artest, Point Guards Steve Francis and Baron Davis, Small Forwards Shawn Marion, Andrei Kirilenko, Devean George, and Wally Szczerbiak, Shooting Guards Rip Hamilton, Cory Maggette, Manu Ginobili, and Jason Terry, as well as Center Jeff Foster and the man who went #1 overall — Elton Brand of Duke University.

The Western Athletic Conference star Andre Miller faired well enough in comparison with his peers of this stacked draft class, chosen by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the 8th pick overall. Miller was the third PG selected (following Maryland's Francis at #2 and UCLA's Davis at #3) as well the second Senior classman of the evening.π 

Andre came to Cleveland the subject of high expectations and he did not disappoint. He joined starter Brevin Knight and the diminuitive Earl Boykins as the third PG on the team's roster, beginning the year on the bench. But cream rose to the top. Miller worked hard and won substantial playing time, emerging as the starter by the end of the year.

Andre started 36 games as a rookie, impressively racking up 10 or more assists 10 times during his debut campaign in 1999-2000.¶ During his rookie season, the 6'2" Point Guard averaged 11.1 points and 5.8 assists in 25.5 minutes of game action.µ  Miller wound up being selected to the All-NBA Rookie First Team, a high honor given the illustrious company with whom he came into the league.¶

Miller was also a member of the NBA's Rookie All Star team. He scored a game-high 21 points in the contest but was booed by the crowd when he laid a ball in off the glass instead of dunking it.± Miller's game, marked by earth-based passing, mid-range jumpshots, drives to the rack, and a marked lack of high-flying athleticism didn't catch on with the fans until much later in his career.

The Cleveland Cavaliers at the turn of the century was no dynasty. When your leading scorer is Shawn Kemp, you know there are going to be issues with your team. Former Clipper lottery pick (another red flag!) Lamond Murray and Bob Sura added scoring muscle, such as it was. Andre wound up being the 4th leading scorer on the team, a group which finished the season 32-50 and out of the playoffs again.

Miller's second season with the Cavs saw a shuffling of the deck. No more Shawn Kemp, saints be praised. Despite the addition of the muscle of Matt Harpring and a Very Large Lithuanian Man named Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the 2000-01 Cavs still managed to get red bellies from flopping.

On the face of it, the 2000-01 team had balance — 7 players finished in double figures that year, led by Andre with his averages of 15.8 points, 8.0 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in nearly 35 minutes of game action — but the team once again failed to jell against competition. Thirty wins, 52 losses, and back to the lottery again.ø

In 2001-02, Andre Miller quietly lead the NBA in Assists, racking up an average of 10.9 per game to go with his 16.5 points. An NBA star in Cleveland playing for the Cavaliers?!? Perish the thought! Despite his outstanding productivity, Andre was once again snubbed when the NBA All Star Team was selected.

Yet Miller's stellar performance had Cleveland Cavs GM Jim Paxson running scared. Andre's rookie contract was nearing it's end. With 3 years under his belt, Andre Miller would now be eligible for extension. It looked very much like the budding star would merit a $84 Million league maximum contract — a fearsome figure that the cash-strapped Cavs simply were not willing to pay. Miller's agent, Lon Babby, definitely wanted a max deal for his client and when it became clear that the Cavs were unwilling to drain their coffers on their young Point Guard, Babby requested a trade.

"We felt it would be in the best interests of everybody if the team tried to trade Andre," Babby told Sports Illustrated.Æ

Rather than face the likelihood of losing him as a Restricted Free Agent to a team with more ability to throw cash after the 2002-03 season, Paxson set about shipping Andre Miller out for a cost-effective youngster with significant upside.

Miller-story3_mediumOn July 30, 2002, Andre Miller was traded along with the unfortunately named Bryant "Filler" Stith to the Los Angeles Clippers for a talented 20-year old Small Forward famed Darius Miles and Forward Harold "Filler" Jamison. The 20-year old Miles, a former #3 overall pick of the NBA draft, had been the sixth man off the deep Los Angeles bench.

Clippers GM Elgin Baylor was ecstatic about his new acquisition. 

"We feel that with a player of Andre's quality that not only will we get to the level we've talked about in the playoffs, but we feel that we can advance," Baylor declared. "That's our goal. We felt if we stayed the same, we'd probably get to the playoffs. But now we feel we're going to go further in the playoffs."≤

"Darius is a player who is potentially a very talented player — but potentially," Baylor continued. "[Miller] is a proven player. Darius was a reserve. We gave up a reserve that was not a starting player for a player of this stature. Again, it's up to the coaching staff. But Darius didn't start last year. He wouldn't start this year. He would have been a nonstarter. So I just think this is a tremendous deal for us. We took their best player — I don't think they got our best player."≤

Baylor's plan was to work out a deal with Andre for an extension — for some reasonable amount. There was time to work that out, Andre's deal still had one more year to run.

Miller joined an absolutely stacked young Clipper lineup which included All Star PF Elton Brand, Center Michael Olowokandi, Wings Quentin Richardson and Corey Maggette, and the versatile Lamar Odom. The previous season's PG for the Clips had been Jeff McInnis, an Unrestricted Free Agent that the Clippers had chosen not to pursue. They didn't need him now that they had Andre Miller. McInnis soon landed a seat at the table of Bob Whitsett's Blazers. Yippee skippy.

Despite the perennial badness of the Clippers, a product of an owner's desire to keep payroll to a bare minimum so that he could milk the cow (total payroll for the Clips was just $35 Million in 2001-02), hopes were high for 2002-03 campaign. The lottery pick players had begun to accumulate.

"On paper we're as talented as any team," declared General Manager Baylor. "Andre was the one piece we were missing."Æ

Andre concurred with his boss that the Clippers were close to making the playoffs at last. Miller declared: "We have a lot of talent, and we'll be able to do something with it — if we can learn to play with each other without all the talk about whose contract is up." He observed that his new team was "very athletic" but (as he diplomatically phrased it) "sometimes kind of loose."Æ

"I'm just going to try to bring a hard-work mentality. If I lead by example rather than by running my mouth, I'll get respect," Miller optimistically asserted.Æ

The same summer that he came home to Los Angeles,  Andre Miller was once again called into action on behalf of the US National Team when he participated in the FIBA World Championship, held in Indianapolis. Andre joined his new Clipper teammate Elton Brand on the squad, along with such established NBA names as Reggie Miller, Paul Pierce, Ben Wallace, Shawn Marion, and Jermaine O'Neal. The Americans failed to live up to the hype, falling to Argentina, Yugoslavia, and Spain, and finished in 5th place in the 11-day tournament.@

If the 5th place finish of the Americans in the 2002 FIBA Championship was a disappointment, the 7th place finish of the ultra-athletic 2002-03 Los Angeles Clippers in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference was an unmitigated catastrophe. The team led by Point Guard Andre Miller, upon which so much hope had been placed by GM Elgin Baylor, finished with a record of 27 wins and 55 losses — out of the money again. Way out of the money again. Way, way out of the money again. Only the dung-encrusted Denver Nuggets and their horrific record of 17-65 were worse in the West.

Andre's numbers were down across the board. His average scoring fell from 16.5 to 13.6 points per game, assists plummeted from a league-high 10.9 to a highly mortal 6.7, and rebounds dipped from 4.7 to 4.0. Decent numbers, maybe, but nothing sensational and the team had been crap. Now this guy's rookie contract was up and he wanted to be paid. Check that: he wanted to be paid a ton.

Restricted Free Agent Andre Miller was free to solicit offers and to sign an offer sheet, but the cash-conscious Clips already knew what their answer was probably going to be. Confirmation would come quickly.

 

END OF PART 1. 

Well, the SBN software is maxxed out and so is your patience, I'm sure. Pop by tomorrow for the rest of the story!

 

 

Footnotes:

†— [Tim Davenport]: A Ron Artest Review — The Soap Opera So Far," Silver Screen and Roll, http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2009/7/4/937998/a-ron-artest-review-the-soap-opera, July 4, 2009; "Lamar Odom: From Mean Streets sans Mean Streak," Silver Screen and Roll,  http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2009/7/30/938664/lamar-odom-from-mean-streets-sans, July 30, 2009.

‡— Michael Tillery, "Andre Miller: The Reticent Alchemist," The Starting Five,  http://thestartingfive.net/2008/08/13/andre-miller-the-reticent-alchemist/, 2008.

◊— Albert Lin, "Athlete of the Day Profile: Andre Miller, Utah," CNNSI, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/college/events/1998/tournament/men/spotlight/miller.html, March 20, 2008.

¢— Michael Tillery, "Forgot About Dre: Interview with Andre Miller," The Starting Five, http://thestartingfive.net/2008/06/20/forgot-about-dre-interview-with-andre-miller/, June 20, 2008.

±— David Fleming, "A Point Well Taken: Fearless Rookie Andre Miller is the Cavaliers' Playmaker of the Future, Sports Illustrated, http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1018966/index.htm, April 17, 2000.

§— South Central LA's bad reputation was largely made through music, such as NWA's album Straight Outta Compton (1988), and by such films as Boyz N the Hood (1991), South Central (1992), Menace II Society (1993), along with the grim reality of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Despite a slow trend toward gentrification, the area still faces crime and violence rates greatly exceeding national averages. Wikipedia, "South Los Angeles," retrieved July 31, 2009. 

¥— Tom Moore, "Miller Old-School Model in Classroom, On Court," Philadelphia Intelligencer/PhillyBurbs.com, http://www1.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/100-04222008-1522825.html, April 22, 2008.

∆— Wikipedia, "Verbum Dei High School," retrieved July 31, 2009. 

Ω— Greg Sandoval, Miller Makes Grade, Los Angeles Times, http://articles.latimes.com/1998/mar/19/sports/sp-30645,  March 19, 1998.

√— These numbers have subsequently been revised several times. Julie Ann Grosshans, "Tougher NCAA Rules Force USU Athletes to Hit the Books Hard," Hard News Cafe, Utah State University Dept. of Journalism and Communication, http://newscafe.ansci.usu.edu/archive/june2002/0606_ncaa.html, June 6, 2002.

ß— Jon Marks, "Utah Utes Basketball: Andre Miller Fondly Remembers Trip to '98 Final Four," Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705291379/Former-Utah-star-fondly-remembers-trip-to-98-Final-Four.html, March 17, 2009.

¶— "Andre Miller Bio Page," NBA.com, http://www.nba.com/playerfile/andre_miller/bio.html

∂— "It's Miller Time Again," University of Utah Crimson Club, http://www.crimsonclub.utah.edu/ForeverUtes_Andre_Miller.htm, 2006.

∫— Phil Nation, "Andre Miller," 1999 NBA Mock Draft, http://www.ibiblio.org/craig/draft/1999_draft/Players/miller.html

£— For Andre Miller's college stats, see 1999 NBA Mock Draft, http://www.ibiblio.org/craig/draft/1999_draft/Players/miller.html

π— For a complete list of members of the 1999 draft class, see http://www.geocities.com/nbarookies/1999nbadraft.htm. The Blazers did not have a selection in the 1999 draft. Prize for worst pick of that night goes to the Toronto Raptors for their inspired selection of 6'11" high school swingman Jonathan Bender with the #5 choice. In his career Bender average a mere 5.6 points in just 237 NBA games. The guys who immediately followed him in the draft order — Szczerbiak, Hamilton, Miller, and Marion — did a little better.

µ— For career stats see: "Andre Miller," Basketball Reference.com, http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/m/millean02.html

ø— I have found the following internet references helpful: What If Sports.com for rosters and advanced stats, for example: http://www.whatifsports.com/nba-l/profile_team.asp?hfid=5&season=2000-01 and the Spanish-language Basketpedya for quick statistical averages, for example: http://www.basketpedya.com/Acc003InfTeam.php?ideq=66&temporada=2001

Æ— Ian Thomsen, "New Kidd on the Block," Sports Illustrated, http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1026376/index.htm, Aug. 12, 2002.

@— "2002 FIBA World Championship," Wikipedia, retrieved Aug. 1, 2009.

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