As I'm sure most of you have already read / heard, there was apparently a little disagreement between our prized free agent acquisition, Andre Miller, and head coach Nate McMillan at this morning's practice. I've already recieved many tweets regarding this subject, especially from The Columbian's Brian T. Smith (if you're not reading his stuff, you're missing out). Here is my take on today's "event".
I decided to write this fanpost to urge our fan base not to over-react and run Andre out of town. I don't believe this is another Darius Miles situation. The Blazers are a much different team in a much different situation than they were back then. With mounting injuries and dashed expectations, it almost makes sense that this confrontation went down the way it did. Especially coming from Andre.
Andre Miller is and always has been a leader. When he decided to come to Portland it must have been a no-brainer: one of the most talented young teams in the league desperately needed a veteran, starting point guard. Seems like it should've been the perfect scenario. Obviously, it has not been. Andre has been picked on by our media and local fans from the get-go. It is not suprising to me that he is completely frustrated. He's doing everything you could ask for - posting up, rebounding, playing scrappy defense. We've got seven healthy players available and Andre-freakin' Miller is riding pine in the fourth quarter while we give up a lead he scratched and scraped to get us during the first three quarters. I'd be pretty pissed too.
I believe this morning's "tirade" has everything to do with the fact that Miller was on the bench until it was too late during Memphis' 13-1 run to end the last game. A tough, tough loss. I also believe there is more than one player on our roster that could have easily blown up and said something similar. At least we are seeing some fire from someone besides Jeff Pendergraph. Normally, I'd be completely against relaying information the way Andre did today, but I'm not going to stand on a pedestal and blame him for anything other than not being afraid to tell it like it is.
I hope this blows over as a frustrated player in a frustrating situation who used bad judgement in relaying something that needed to be said. I hope we do not trade him. I hope he does not become the villain. Portland already has a few things working against it when it comes to being a destination for good players and free agents. First, it's a small market. Then, there is the weather. The last thing we need is to become known as an organization where player's reputations come to die.