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Andre Miller and the Myth of Veteran Leadership

The Kings are reportedly pursuing Andre Miller. I'm less excited than some.

Thearon W. Henderson

The Sacramento Kings are reportedly pursuing a trade with the Denver Nuggets to acquire veteran point guard Andre Miller.  Some Kings fans are excited about shoring up Sacramento's point guard depth and acquiring a veteran mentor for Isaiah Thomas.  I'm less excited by this than others, having watched Andre Miller be a sour presence in Denver for years.

Miller, of course, was recently suspended by the Nuggets for conduct detrimental to the team.  He argued with Coach Brian Shaw after receiving a DNP-CD.  Miller does not take kindly to anyone limiting his minutes.  Considering the collective relief around here at Isaiah Thomas finally receiving consistent, heavy minutes, I don't want to bring in someone who will publicly complain if he feels he isn't playing enough.

Some will say Miller's outburst was because Shaw hasn't been effective in Denver.  Well, I like Michael Malone, but by the same measuring stick that we use for Shaw, Malone also hasn't been effective.  It's also important to recall that this is hardly Miller's first public outburst.

Miller complained about the Nuggets organization for months leading up to his most recent bout of free agency.  He returned to Denver only when he found the market uninterested in his services.  Or, at least, uninterested at a price point he considered worthwhile.  His return to Denver, despite his prior complaints, seemed largely due to George Karl's support.

Let's consider George Karl for a moment.  It's important to know that George Karl thinks very highly of Andre Miller.  Karl is probably the biggest Andre Miller fan not named Andre Miller.  Karl has said that he believe Miller is one of the top 10 point guards of all time.  Karl defended Miller when Miller ended a triple-OT game by chucking a three-pointer off the side of the rim with 5 seconds left on the game clock.  In a game where Miller shot 7-17.

How did Miller repay that loyalty?  He threw Karl under the bus after the Nuggets lost in the playoffs to the Warriors.

What’d you think the younger players learned from this series, Andre? Miller reponds: "Nothing. Nothing."

— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) May 3, 2013

Welp, here’s some Karl-bus-throwing from Andre Miller: "We got outplayed, we got outcoached."

— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) May 3, 2013


So much for leadership.

Oh, and what about demonstrating work ethic?

"I have no regimen," Miller says. After the season ends, so does Miller's working out -- no weights, no cardio, no nothing. "I really don't pick up a basketball."

"(My diet) isn't healthy at all," Miller says. "Hamburgers, hot links on the Fourth of July, all that."


Yeah, seems like a swell guy to have around molding our younger players.

Andre Miller is a brilliant passer.  He knows more about the game than many NBA coaches.  But he's not a mentor, and he's not a guy who wants to be in a rebuilding situation.  He should be a trade target for a lot of teams.  The Kings should not be one of those teams.