What you’re about to read may be the most head-scratching news to come across the interwebs all year. First, a warning that the following news comes from the New York Post’s Peter Vescey, not exactly a bastion of light and truth in NBA circles. However, a nugget in his most recent column made us at AA spit out our morning skinny latte (don’t judge). Larry Bird, currently the GM of the Indiana Pacers, is rumored to be on his way out after the current season. That may be a little surprising with how the young Pacers have continued to improve, but Bird has flirted with walking away several times in the recent past.
However, the stunning news is one of the names Vescey floats to replace Larry Bird… Reggie Miller.
“The firm belief by those with a pulse on the situation: (Pacers owner Herb) Simon is more apt to choose a marquee name like Reggie Miller or Chris Mullin as opposed to promoting the people on site, general manager David Moray or personnel director Kevin Pritchard.”
Now, Chris Mullin is a somewhat logical choice. He ran the Warriors for several seasons to moderate success and is currently treating NBA fans to his thick New York accent on ESPN while also contolling angry mobs during retirement ceremonies. But Reggie Miller?!?! The Reggie Miller that has been a gaffe machine during his performance broadcasting the NCAA Tournament for Turner? The Reggie Miller who has always struggled as an analyst during NBA broadcasts?
There is a record for great players becoming competent GMs (Larry Bird, Joe Dumars, at least for a while), but there’s an even bigger record of great players bombing out as executives. And it’s not like Reggie Miller is universally well-regarded as a great analytical mind, like Steve Kerr was before he began his tenure in charge of the Phoenix Suns.
Let’s hope Vescey was just trying to slip in a sly joke for those who have been regularly submitting Miller’s quotes to our Billy Packer Chronicles. If not, at least fans of basketball won’t have to wonder what a “block charge” is anymore. Clearly, the Pacers leadership needs to watch more basketball on television.