Reggie’s Birthday Wish: No More Comeback Calls

Aug. 24, 2007


Reggie Miller's birthday is not a national, state or local holiday.

Not yet, anyway.

But for those who didn't want to see him risk tarnishing his Indiana legacy in pursuit of an uncertain chance for a championship ring, it is a day to be remembered – if not for celebration, then at least some relief.

Miller, who turns 42 today, told The Indianapolis Star he not only has decided against a comeback attempt with the Boston Celtics, he doesn't want to consider it "ever, ever again."

"If anybody is ever interested in me playing again," Miller told The Star, "please don't call.''

Miller has been working out regularly the past few weeks at Pepperdine University near his Malibu, Calif., home to test his physical conditioning. His frequent workout partner has been Kevin Garnett, the new face of the Celtics. Though Miller was encouraged by his body's response, his mind was another matter.

"Physically, I know I could have done it," he told The Star. "But mentally, when you do something like this, you've either got to be all in or all out. And I've decided I'm all out."

Miller took a short break from his workout routine to return to Indianapolis to attend Peyton Manning's annual charity bowling tournament but it isn't clear if the trip back to his only NBA home of 18 seasons had an impact on his final decision.

"A part of me, a big part of me, knew I could do it," Miller told The Star. "It's been very, very tough. But now I have to live with it."


PIERCE EMPATHIZES WITH J.O.

If Jermaine O'Neal was uncertain about his desire to remain with the Pacers, it's possible encouragement came from an unlikely source. Boston's Paul Pierce, who has become a good friend, recently had a long talk with O'Neal and related how he handled his recent frustration in Boston.

"Jermaine is just like me," Pierce told The Boston Globe. "He wants to be involved with a winner. He's not getting any younger, either, and his miles are piling up. That's rough. I didn't tell him he should go somewhere else, none of that, because he's going to make his own decisions in the end.

"People have got to understand for a ballplayer that's been playing so many years, made a lot of money, it's about winning a championship after so many years. That's the way Jermaine feels. He's felt the same way I've felt for the last couple years. He wants to be on a team that can win a championship.

"I feel for guys like him that are not getting the guys around them so they can at least have a shot at winning championships. He knows what that feels like. He's had a taste of being in the Eastern Conference finals. He knows what it tastes like to be that close, as do I."

Pierce blossomed into a superstar and the Celtics overachieved while Jim O'Brien was Boston's coach, so it's possible he had some private words of reassurance in that department, as well.


INTERNOTES …

  • The Warriors, Nets, Bobcats and Mavericks all reportedly are interested should the Pacers opt to move Darrell Armstrong, whose contract for 2007-08 is not guaranteed. In the meantime, Armstrong has remained at his Atlanta home and has chosen not to enroll his children in school should there be a need for a sudden move. "I'm not going to put the kids in school until we know where we'll be,'' he told The Orlando Sentinel, "so, for now, we're all at home (in Atlanta), playing video games.''
  • Despite rumors to the contrary, ex-Pacers guard Sarunas Jasikevicius told a radio station in Israel he has not signed with Olympiakos in Athens, Greece, because he is still under contract to Golden State. Jasikevicius told Sport 5 his agent has presented several options to the Warriors that would lead to his departure, including potential trades to other NBA teams to no avail. "NBA is strange a lot of times," he said. "I would think if they didn't want a player they'd get rid of the player."
  • Dick Versace may have found his true calling. The former Pacers coach, who rose to fame at Bradley University, reportedly is considering running for a Congressional seat in Illinois. The seat is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria. Versace, 67, told the Journal-Register of Peoria he's currently in the "exploratory" phase of a potential candidacy. “When I take on a challenge, I go after it," he said, "and I’ve got a winning track record.”