All December long the Back Home Again staff will be recounting the Top 25 Reggie Miller Moments of all-time as part of our “25 Days of Reggie.” The countdown will serve as a great way to get geared up for the start of the 2011 NBA season (and Christmas) as we remember and honor one of the NBA’s most clutch performers and the Indiana Pacers’ greatest player ever.
Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, and Reggie Miller…my 4 favorite actors of all time.
Defenders hated guarding #31 not because he would bury treys in their eyes from just about anywhere past the timeline or trash talk his way into their heads (which was our #21 Miller moment), but because Reggie would sell every call and every play to the officials. Fans of other teams hated Miller for it, we loved seeing one of the greats take advantage of his acting abilities better than anyone else in history.
But there is one play that may have defined Reggie’s abilities as a theatrical genius better than any other in his time as a Pacer…
Game 3, 1993 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Knicks and Pacers had started to whip up a fairly decent rivalry. It wasn’t until John Starks tangled with #31 as his frustration boiled over that made the rivalry, and Reggie, what he is today. The play that many contribute to be the beginning of the Pacers-Knicks rivalry.
Ever since that play, it’s impossible to not bring up the NBA Playoffs without mentioning ‘The Headbutt’ or Miller v. Starks. It’s synonymous with the Pacers vs. Knicks rivalry, and thus began the Reggie legacy of Acting. It’s even carried over into Reggie’s newest career as a commentator.
Three point shots, driving lay-ups, charging plays…anything that Reggie could do to contort his body and reveal he had been mauled or on the verge of having his upper body split in half was fair game in the Reggie Miller theatrics book…and we loved every second of it.
Sure, Regg actually was injured on a few of those plays where he wasn’t in fact acting, but no one in NBA history could make a foul look less like a foul than #31.
Email us your favorite Miller Moments at bhamailbag.gmail.com.