When you aren’t spending your own money, it becomes easy to suggest how others should spend theirs. For example, when Miami Heat owner Micky Arison decided to lower his luxury tax hit by releasing Mike Miller, fans began to grumble. Gripes even started to bubble from friends in high places like LeBron James.
But who could really blame Arison for taking the chance to save $15 million on a part-time player? After all, he did give him the chance to win two NBA Championships on two years of rest. That’s not to discredit what Miller did for the Heat, since it’s likely that they wouldn’t have those two rings without his hustle and 3-point shooting.
However, the truth is that he was so injury-prone that it felt like Erik Spoelstra’s maintenance program was crafted to keep him healthy. Every time he stepped on the court — practice or game — he seemed to hurt something. Arison couldn’t spend that much money to pacify the body of a player not named Dwyane Wade, and Miller knew that when he sold his home almost a year ago.
I say all of that to say this: regardless of how logical it was to amnesty Miller, he’s still that missing piece for the Heat.
The organization may have felt he would spend most of the season in warm-ups, but to the league’s surprise, Miller has played in each of the Memphis Grizzles’ 67-games, filling a void that has consistently been there for the Heat. The same goes for bench scoring.
Fans thought that Michael Beasley could step in and recreate the spot dubbed the “Mike Miller role,” and he did early. However, he’s been too scared to let it fly lately, while Miller sits in the top five in 3-point percentage.
So as the team has their special moment to commemorate his return, all fans can do is reminisce about what they had and pray that it doesn’t come back to bite them.