I’m most definitely not kidding, though that does need some clarifying.
The Heat announced on Tuesday that they would be waiving Miller via the amnesty clause after the forward spent three years with the team. Miller was informed on Monday, however, that the team would be severing ties with him, according to The Miami Herald‘s Joseph Goodman.
Miller was supposed to be an extension of the free-agency coup Pat Riley pulled off in the summer of 2010. Riddled by injuries, he was never able to appear in more than 59 regular-season game for the star-studded Heatles.
Still, Miller made his impact felt. We’ll never forget Game 5 of the NBA Finals in 2012, when he rocked the Oklahoma City Thunder’s world, en route to helping the Heat procure their first championship of the Big Three era.
And how about the one-shoed trey he knocked down in Game 6 of the finals against the San Antonio Spurs this season? That was a helluva shot.
If you think the Heat win both their championships without Miller, you’re crazy. Scratch that, you’re no lunatic. Perhaps they would have been able to scrap their way towards the first in 2012. But 2013? No way.
Miami was nearly devoid of consistent three-point shooters for the entire postseason. It wasn’t until the latter two rounds they began to pick it up. Miller was a lights-out shooting staple all spring. Not to mention he started Game 7 of the finals. He didn’t score, but he (surprisingly) played some stellar defense.
Even when he wasn’t scoring, his mere presence was appreciated. Floor-spacing forwards are difficult to defend, and in Miami’s case, they give LeBron James more room to work with. Save for those defending him, that’s never a bad thing.
So don’t think this was an easy decision. It was the only decision. The Heat stood to save $40 million over the next two years in taxes by parting ways with Miller. This side of the CBA, you don’t pass up the opportunity to save tens of millions of dollars. You just don’t. Especially when that player isn’t LeBron.
Others will be forced to pick up the shooting slack in Miami, but we’re not too worried about the Heat. Chances are, they’ll be fine. Better than fine, actually. They may not even miss a beat.
At 33, Miller is a different story. Two straight championships in hand, he could elect to retire. Except he won’t.
Per Goodman, Miller plans to play for a contender, someone who can help him go for that third ring.
“It’s the Pringles theory,” Miller said. “Once you get that taste, you’ve got to have more.”
Told you there would be potato-chip goodness in this article at some point.
Speaking of points, Miller has one.
Most wouldn’t hesitate to assume that players dream of walking away on top, like Michael Jordan and David Robinson. Not that Miller is in the same class of athlete as those two, because he isn’t. But he does have a similar opportunity. And yet, why forgo the chase for a third?
For the last three years, Miller has reached the NBA Finals. Two of those trips have culminated in a ring. Losing isn’t a familiar feeling for him anymore, so he’s not going to leave now.
I liken it to Vegas. You should probably quit while you’re ahead, but no one ever does.
Miller seems prepared to hedge his bets once again, and go for that other ring. Whether he gets it or not depends on who he signs with, and how vulnerable the Heat are next year.
At least if he loses, he’ll have two rings and the roughly $13 million the Heat paid him just to leave South Beach to fall back on.
That’s a whole lot of Pringles.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.