Reggie Miller
(Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Reggie Miller Is Anti-Super-Team

In the modern era of NBA basketball, ‘super-teams rule the land. Some would argue the 2007-08 Boston Celtics started the trend with the unification of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen. Some may say it was the 2010-11 Miami Heat, or even the 2016-17 Warriors. Regardless, there is no denying that it is near impossible for a non-super-team to win the NBA finals; a fact that so many people despise. One of those people is former NBA legend, Reggie Miller. Miller was a five-time All-Star, and one of the first players to revolutionize the game with elite-level talent beyond the three-point line. In addition to all that, he is very well known for being one of Michael Jordan’s fierce competitors in the ’90s, as well as a loyal player that remained with the Pacers for his entire 18-year career.

‘Loyal’ isn’t exactly a term that resonates with today’s NBA stars, at least not most of them anyhow. Aside from a couple of perennial All-Stars like Steph Curry and Damian Lillard, there aren’t many players that come to mind that I can truly see staying with one team their whole career. Franchise loyalty is a thing of the past, and there are many reasons for that. To some degree, the franchisees themselves are to blame because they don’t often treat players like people, they treat them as commodities and claim that “it’s just business”. On the other hand, so many old-heads and critics that decide who gets into the Hall of Fame seem to hold championships in the highest regard as far as a player’s greatness is concerned. But for Reggie Miller, loyalty is everything. Even if the GOAT, Michael Jordan had asked him to team up, Reggie would have told him to kick rocks.

“And if Michael Jordan ever would have called me and tried to sway me to come to Chicago, I would have told him to go (expletive) himself! ‘I’ll be coming to see you on I-65,’ or whatever that highway is there. ‘I’ll be down to see you.'”

It’s Jewelry Over Loyalty These Days

Reggie Miller’s perspective certainly matches up with others that played in his era, but it’s almost hard to believe that he would have said that to MJ. At the same time, I don’t think Michael Jordan would have asked anyone to come team up with him in a million years, because the whole idea of a super-team was foreign to anyone at that time. None of that really came around until Shaq joined the Kobe and the Lakers in 1996. Even then, Kobe was still a puppy and just got drafted that same year.

Despite how polarizing super-teams are among the NBA fanbase, the league still continues to thrive on the business side. Jerseys are selling, people are watching, sponsors are growing, but the product itself is getting more boring. When Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge all join the same team that none of them were drafted to, it starts to get a little old. Nobody will beat the Nets this year, and nobody can tell me otherwise. All I know is that Reggie Miller is a real one and he knows what it’s like to be a true competitor.

“It’s jewelry over loyalty”

Reggie Miller, via ESPN

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