When the Big 3 formed in Miami in the summer of 2010, there was a lot of excitement having Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh on the same team. Fans and people around the league alike knew that if the Heat assembled a decent bench, they would be unstoppable. So Heat management went out and signed sharpshooter Mike Miller to a five year contract worth 30 million dollars. Mickey Arison and Pat Riley believed that the Big 3, combined with Miller, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, Big Z, and Magloire, would lead them to the NBA championship.
As soon as the season started, it looked bad for the Heat. Haslem, the emotional leader, broke his foot and was out indefinitely and Miller, who was supposed to be the open guys knocking down threes, was all sorts of banged up. Throughout the entire season, he either tried to play or re-aggravated one of his broken thumbs or bum shoulders. His aggressive style of play is what makes him the player that he is, but Miller was barely able to play at all in his first season with the Heat. It seemed as everything was going wrong for him.
Between injuries and not being able to contribute to the team, Miller had another issue to deal with on the side. During the 2011 NBA Playoffs, he was given the news that his 6lb. baby daughter, Jaelyn, was struggling to breathe. He rushed between the hospital and the Chicago Bulls series to be by her side. His good karma of donating one million dollars to a South Dakota hospital came back around and his daughter was pronounced healthy. Miller had the best game of his career in that series because he was on such an emotional high and did it for her.
Then the season ended and more problems began for Mike Miller. The lockout was supposed to help him get healthy, but instead, he ended up getting a sports hernia and needed surgery to repair it. His future with the Heat was in jeopardy because of the new amnesty clause created in the CBA. Miami was allowed to get rid of his contract if they wanted to, but the Heat saw the aggressiveness and fight that Mike Miller and kept him. And if one game shows it, it would be last night against the Spurs.
In his first game back from the sports hernia surgery, Miller made everyone in the Heat organization remember why they paid him to play. He went 6 for 6 from three point range, 4 rebounds (including two offensive), and +12. Miller was back to his old self and is well-deserving of it. Hopefully this is only one of the awesome games that Mike Miller will play in Miami, but the story of his amazing comeback and love for his family is something that is unforgettable. Pat Riley not only got an amazing player, but an amazing person and a fighter, and his scrappy style of play will benefit the Heat for years to come.