There will be a press conference today announcing the signing of Andre Miller. Look for coverage of the presser later this evening. In the meantime, here is a transcript from Miller's conference call last Friday to hold you over.
Miller addresses his role on the team, the unfair offer Philly made to him, whether his age affects his game, and more.
Click through for the transcript.
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)
How do you think you can make this team better?
I'm looking forward to it first of all. Just to add another piece to the puzzle. They have some good players over there. I'm just looking forward to the challenge you know, I'm excited, happy to get this over with. At the same time, I know Portland wants to accomplish a lot of things and hopefully I can add to that.
How specifically do you see yourself helping this team?
Well, I mean, we just sat down and talked about basketball, their expectations as far as the team and where they wanted to go. I just told them I can come in and just play. Help the team. I'm not trying to come in and do anything different than I have been doing over the years. Pretty much straight to the point. It was an open conversation but at the same time I wanted to let them know that I can help the team. The team has a lot of talent and I just want to add to it.
How do you feel about leaving the Sixers?
It was a tough situation. Due to the market, you know, I mean, Philadelphia had to make some decisions. They stuck with their decisions. My first priority was to figure out what was going on with the team. I never had any contact with [Sixers GM] Ed [Stefanski] throughout the summer. I didn't know what was going to happen, knowing how the economy was. I accomplished my goals while I was there in Philadelphia. There really wasn't any expectations once I got traded there. I accomplished a goal which was to help the team get better, players get better. They were able to sign a high end free agent and we continued to get to the playoffs. So I feel that I exceeded my goals and accomplished some things there.
Do you feel like the Sixers made you a fair offer?
No, I don't. No, I don't. But at the same time, this is a business and they had to figure out which direction they were going to go in. I felt that being there I was a primary player and actually thought they wanted me back there but I guess due to the economy they had to make some decisions. Do I think it's a fair offer? No I didn't but I can't blame that on the organization. I had a pretty good relationship with the owner, and Ed, and the players there too. I think it was all due, probably, to the economy.
Did you consider taking the one year deal with the Sixers?
I had to weigh my options but there were so many options out there, knowing what was going on with teams, the luxury tax. The offer they put out there was an offer that I didn't feel was fair for me so I had to make a decision and think about what's next for my future.
Your agent has mentioned you signed a 3 year 21 million dollar deal. Can you verify that?
It's just now getting down. There's a lot of legwork going into it. What I'm hearing is maybe two years guaranteed and I think an option for the third year. I think that's pretty much it.
From a leadership perspective how can you help this team?
I think for the most part my job is to come in and try to be a little bit more vocal. Those guys are very talented. Just bring some communication to the table and just continue to work hard. I think the guys already have what it takes. Just a little bit more communication I guess.
At what point did you understand that the Sixers had changed their minds about keeping you?
There really wasn't a lot of communication between me and Ed. I felt that the team could have went a lot further in the playoffs but we played a tough team in Orlando. The main thing with me going there was helping the team get better . I felt I did that. As far as the negotiations and all that, I really tried to just enjoy my summer and not get caught up in what's going on. At the same time, it's a career decision I had to make. What they were offering, I really couldn't accept that due to partially the economy.
Has your age affected your game at all?
I don't think so. I've been pretty healthy, knock on wood, my entire career. Only missed 3 games in my career. I take pride in staying healthy. My body still feels good. The age is nothing that's really big to me. Everybody else makes it an issue and it really isn't.
What would you like fans to know about you?
Um, from just going there and playing, there's a lot of energy in that arena. That's going to be a tough place for teams to play in. They've done well the last two years. I just want to come in and help. I don't want to do anything different. I'm looking forward to it. That's pretty much the only pro team in Portland. I'm looking forward to it.
What injuries caused you to miss games?
The one with Cleveland was a precautionary minor sprain shoulder or something like that. One of them in LA was I think a mild sprain and then the other one was an ankle. Two minor sprains. A sprained shoulder and a sprained ankle.
How do you see the point guard battle shaking out?
Well I think Steve is a competitor and I have a lot of respect for him. I'm just going in to help him get better, and he'll help me get better. At this point in my career we're still going to be competitive.
-- Ben (email@example.com)