Reggie Released as Amnesty Player
By Conrad Brunner | Indianapolis, Aug. 15, 2005
He's had his retirement ceremony and driven off into the California sunset in his fabulous Bentley.
In other words, Reggie Miller's career with the Pacers ended in May. Lest there be any lingering doubt, it was made certain with Monday's announcement the Pacers opted to waive Miller under the NBA's amnesty provision.
Franchise CEO and President Donnie Walsh said he tried to convince Miller to come back for one more season but relented only when it became clear the Pacers' all-time leading scorer would not be swayed from his decision to retire.
"He's made up his mind he can't do it anymore," Walsh said, "so he goes on, has a great life and we get relief from the luxury tax – and we have all the same players left, whether they're on our team or they're traded."
A one-time-only option in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the amnesty clause allows teams to waive a player in order to reduce the luxury tax penalty. Miller will still be paid (he has one more season at a reported $6.1 million remaining) and his contract will count against the salary cap. Teams also had the option of waiving the remaining salary of a player no longer with the team.
"We considered a lot of possibilities," Walsh said, "and this was our best option."
Miller, who played with the Pacers for the entirety of his 18 seasons, announced last season that he would end his playing career at the conclusion of the 2005 NBA Playoffs. Though Miller could not be reached for comment, Walsh said he had no qualms about the move.
“I’ve spoken with Reggie and he is fine with it," Walsh said. "This will go down as his final assist.”
Midnight Monday is the deadline for teams to exercise their option under the amnesty clause. Teams cannot re-sign the players they waive until their current contracts expire.