Mike Miller was a fan favorite and key figure in the Miami Heat’s back-to-back championships. He was amnestied earlier this week in what was a tough move for the organization, and fans. The distinguished writers of All U Can Heat react.
Wes Goldberg: “Rarely can you be happy with a disappointment. However in many ways, that’s how the Heat regarded Mike Miller. Miller was originally signed to be the sixth man that spreads the floor for the Heat. But injuries set him back and he never lived up to his contract. After falling short in year one of the Big Three Era, Miami used its valuable mid-level exception on Shane Battier, then did the same the next season with Ray Allen. If Miller lived up to expectations, it’s hard to argue Miami would have made the same moves.
Except Miller’s time in Miami can hardly be qualified as a disappointment. He may not have been the consistent three-point shooter they needed but he found a new role. He became the hustle guy — the one everyone can count on for a magic play. He became, well, Magic Mike.
The Heat will likely add a wing player either from summer league or free agency as more players get bought out. But that intangible magic will be hard to replace.”
Kristopher Keaton: “To me, Mike Miller was the ultimate team guy. We all can pick a moment or game were we didn’t think he would make it up the court, but he always sacrificed for the team. Whether it meant not playing or starting Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Mike was alway prepared and gave 110%.
His career defining moment had to be the seven three’s made in Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals, to clinch not only LeBron’s first ring, but his as well. #LetItFly will live forever on South Beach.”
Reggie Walters: “Mike Miller was one of my favorite players. He has had a stellar career to date, with the 2001 Rookie of the Year, 2006 Sixth-Man of the Year and 2 NBA Championships among his notable accomplishments. Miller came to the Heat with a career scoring average just shy of 14 ppg, but injuries prevented him from ever coming close to that number in his tenure with the Heat. What he did provide was veteran leadership, stellar marksmanship and unquestioned professionalism which made him a favorite to many of his Heat teammates.
Fortunately for the Heat, they have an abundance of shooters at his position – which will ease the transition somewhat. Nevertheless his departure will be felt by the Heat.”
Chris Benford: “When Mike Miller agreed to join LeBron, Dwyane and Chris on the Heat in 2010, it was supposed to be the icing on the cake. The final cog in the unstoppable force. Turns out it wasn’t that easy, injuries curbed Miller’s contributions to the team. But after a 2011 season spent looking like a 74 year old, Miller turned in a career-defining game to close out the Thunder. Then this year, we’ll never forget the one shoe three. Through all the ups and downs, Mike Miller exemplified the Heat culture. Always a positive force, ever ready to contribute when called upon, not a single peep of discontent over playing time ever crept out of Miller.
From a basketball standpoint, there’s no reason to worry about replacing Mike. There are already plenty of veterans on the roster that can and will fill both the void he leaves on the court, and the voice he gave in the locker room. That’s how Pat Riley built this team. But as fans, Mike Miller, we will miss you. Keep letting it fly.”
Justen Rosenberg: “When I first heard the news that the Miami Heat decided to use their amnesty clause on Mike Miller I had a love/hate reaction. For the past three seasons, Miller has been one of my favorite players on this team, which contributes to the hate part, but at the same time I know that sports’ is a business. I loved the move because of how much money it saved the Heat.
Despite the fact that Miller was almost automatic from the three point line, there are many ways the Heat can and will replace him. There are plenty of good talented players that that the Heat could go out and sign this season, or they could just simply wait until next season and try and get a big free agent signing. Whether they go out and sign a young forward this season or hold off until they can attract another free agent next season, this team will certainly feel the absence of Mike Miller.”
Jazmyne Hankerson: “Going back to the summer of 2011, Miller was added to, what seemed to many fans to be, the invincible Miami Heat dynasty team. Fans were ecstatic at the addition of this prolific three-point shooter. Then the injuries set in.
But the way Mike Miller finished year two is what I think sums up his value to the Heat: relentless. Many summarized his 23-point performance in the Game 5 title-clincher against the Thunder as a perfect way to go out. But Miller returned to play another season with the Heat and though he struggled to become a part of the regular rotation, he still left us with a priceless year-three highlight — the shoeless three-pointer he nailed in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
I’m not sure his character on the court can be replaced. Since the roster spot must be filled, though, Miami should bring in a player with some experience and a consistent three-point shot. If the Heat can do that, even if the player needs a little development, then the essence of the team can essentially remain the same.”
Tell us what you think about Mike Miller and how the Heat can replace him in the comments section below.