Throwback Thursday - Reggie Miller
Reginald Wayne "Reggie" Miller, born August 24, 1965, played his entire 18-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers. Miller was known for his precision three-point shooting, especially in pressure situations and most notably against the New York Knicks, for which he earned the nickname "Knick Killer". When he retired, he held the record for most career 3-point field goals made. He is currently second on the list behind Ray Allen. A five-time All-Star selection, Miller led the league in free throw accuracy five times and won a gold medal in the 1996 Summer Olympics.
The Pacers retired his No. 31 in 2006, and he was named to their 40th anniversary team in 2007. Currently, he works as an NBA commentator for TNT. On September 7, 2012, Miller was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Miller was selected by the Pacers with the 11th pick in the 1st round of the 1987 NBA Draft. Fans were initially upset that the Pacers chose Miller over New Castle, Indiana native Steve Alford; fans watching the 1987 NBA Draft booed Pacers President Donnie Walsh for the selection. Miller wore jersey number 31 while playing for the Pacers, backing up shooting guard John Long before he became a starter. Miller gained a respectable reputation early in his career as he led the Indiana Pacers to become a perennial playoff team.
After Chuck Person was traded from the Pacers during the 1992 offseason, Miller established himself as the Pacers' primary scoring threat. On November 28, 1992, he scored a career-high 57 points against the Charlotte Hornets in a 134–122 win at Charlotte Coliseum. In this game, Miller hit 16 of 29 field goals, 4 of 11 3-pointers, and 21 of 23 free throws. The 57 points he scored was the second highest total in the NBA during the 1992–93 season (only Michael Jordan's 64 against Orlando on January 16th was higher), and still stands today as the Pacers' team record.
On May 7, 1995, Miller scored eight points in 8.9 seconds in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Knicks, leading the Pacers to a stunning 107–105 victory. With 18.7 seconds remaining and the Pacers trailing 105–99, Miller took the inbounds pass from Mark Jackson, made a 3-pointer, stole the inbounds pass from Anthony Mason, dribbled back behind the arc and tied the game with another 3, stunning the crowd at Madison Square Garden. On the ensuing possession, Knicks guard John Starks was fouled by Sam Mitchell. Starks missed both free throws, and although Patrick Ewing managed to get the offensive rebound, his shot was just a bit long and hit the back rim. Miller got the rebound and was fouled with 7.5 seconds left. He made both free throws. Trailing by 2, New York had one last chance to win the game, but failed to get a shot off, giving the Pacers a shocking 1–0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Pacers outlasted the Knicks in seven games before losing to the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals in seven games, just like the previous year. Near the end of the 1996 season, Miller fell to the floor and suffered an eye injury, leaving him unable to play in the playoffs until before Game 5 of the first round against the Atlanta Hawks by wearing goggles. The Pacers lost to the Hawks and were eliminated.
Miller's last game was on May 19, 2005, at Conseco Fieldhouse, when the Pacers lost 88–79 to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, ending the series 4–2. In the game, Miller led the Pacers with 27 points, making 11 out of 16 field goals including four of eight three-pointers. When he was taken out with 15.7 seconds to play, the Indianapolis crowd gave him a final standing ovation, where there were many teary eyes. Then-Pistons coach (and former Pacers coach) Larry Brown called an additional timeout during which the Pistons players joined in the ovation, a moment which provided closure to Miller's career and to a season that had been overshadowed by the brawl between the two teams. This won the 2005 Best Moment ESPY Award.