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The Blazers Beat
The Blazers Beat
By The Oregonian's Jason Quick and Joe Freeman
40th anniversary season »

Andre Miller erupts at Blazers practice in confrontation with Nate McMillan

By Jason Quick, The Oregonian

January 07, 2010, 4:30PM
Blazers introduce Andre MillerNew Blazers point guard Andre Miller is introduced to the Portland media Tuesday, July 28, 2009.Trail Blazers practice on Thursday was halted nearly 60 minutes into the workout when veteran point guard Andre Miller and coach Nate McMillan engaged in a shouting match that lasted for nearly 30 minutes.

Miller shouted throughout the exchange, and McMillan mostly listened, but at times broke in with shouting of his own.

One of the topics discussed was an incident late in Tuesday's game with Memphis, when Miller told Jerryd Bayless to make his second free throw with 4.3 seconds left and the Blazers trailing by two. The coaching staff and team captain Brandon Roy told Bayless to miss the free throw so the Blazers could attempt to rebound and make a tying basket.

When practice was opened to the media, Miller and McMillan were not on the court.

UPDATED: General manager Kevin Pritchard was on hand for the incident and said he was hopeful that it could result in a positive.

"I encourage open and honest dialogue, I think that is always good,'' Pritchard said. "I think it can be (healthy). We have the ability to take it one of two ways and I believe in the character of this team, and you know, I think we can come together.''

Pritchard said the exchange was "normal".

"On every team I have ever been on ... guys have opportunity to speak what they feel. That's OK. The question is, can we become better because of it. Either you can or you can't. I'm hoping we can.''

Pritchard and McMillan both said there would be no punishment forthcoming.

"Absolutely not,'' Pritchard said. "We don't muzzle people. It's like being in a marriage. If you don't say something it builds and builds, then it's said, and when it is and it is honest and open, you can get better from it.''

McMillan was sharp when asked about the exchange between he and Miller.

"I'm not going to comment on my talk with the team. It wasn't with Andre, it was with the team,'' McMillan said. "We talked as a group.''


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Posted by keizerjeff
January 07, 2010, 11:45AM

Great!! Just what we need.... first injuries and now arguing... Miller is in the wrong it is a TEAM game and second he is not the coach. If he wants to coach then wait to till after retirement!

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Posted by martellsucks
January 07, 2010, 12:47PM

Bull crap. McMuffin needs to go, you fairweather Nate defenders are about to get a shock. The guy refused to sign a extension and his contract runs out this year. He is as good as gone already, so Portland would be better off replacing him sooner rather than later. His coaching skills are laughable. He was brought in for discipline during the ZBo era and that era is over. We dont need a disciplinarian we need a good coach.

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Posted by tlewis1701
January 07, 2010, 1:04PM

Actually he signed a one year extension. His contract runs out after next season.

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Posted by natsthecat
January 07, 2010, 1:43PM

I agree that McMillan is not acting like a creative, flexible coach who is open to any idea that is not his own or in complete agreement with his own. He has shown that he can very very good at rebuilding with rookies and is a good underdog coach. He can motivate when things are down. He cannot make a personnel decision to save his life and does not seem to be open to communication that is not JUST TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO. He also does not seem to make changes that are to create mismatches, change up defense, ALLOW THE POINT GUARD WHO HAS AN EXCELLENT HISTORY OF RUNNING THE FLOOR...DO SO...I think he needs too much control. Good luck when more players start coming back and he has to decide who to play and when. I hope that he can change his ways. People do change if it becomes MORE uncomfortable NOT to do so. And I also hope Andre stays. I love the way he plays. I think he has been given a raw deal from the start here by Nate and I think Andre is not a great communicator off the floor..ie: initiating an ongoing open communication with a controlling, disciplinarian SARGE type of coach. And it should NOT BE ANDRE'S JOB TO DO SO!!!!! It is McMillan's job. And I do not believe Andre told Bayless to make that shot. I don't know where that is coming from but it sounds like something that has been made up to stir the pot.

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Posted by jmvi
January 07, 2010, 5:41PM

theres actually a quote from bayless where he says that roy told him to miss and then andre told him to make it. so, i guess you can not believe it, but i don't see any reason for bayless lying about it.

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Posted by roseburg
January 07, 2010, 1:31PM

I'm guessing Nate probably made a little quip about Miller leaving the coaching to the coaches. Problem is, Nate's not a good coach. He needs to go. We need a strong coach, not a stubborn coach. We've been winning games not because of our coaching, but in spite of it. We have twice as much talent as most teams, and it's shown these past few weeks. Nate will be gone soon.
I agree with the comments on Bayless, he threw miller under the Blazer bus. I also don't believe he meant to make that free throw, I think that's BS. You could tell he was shooting it weird, I think trying to miss, then he accidently made it, and blamed it on Miller. Why would he listen to Miller over Roy? BS excuse. Bayless has more ego then the rest of the team combined. He's one of the most arrogant players I've ever witnessed.
Quick, Meaghher, I've been huge fans of you guys. You both haven't been treating Miller with equal fairness. There is a definite slant to your stories about him. You don't like him, cool, but leave it facts that aren't stained with your dislike of him. Let other people decide for themselves.

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Posted by jmvi
January 07, 2010, 5:52PM

geez man you really don't know how basketball teams work. teams can't win "despite" their coach and I wouldn't call starting a 36 year old and giving two rookies most of the duties down low a plethora of talent. this team wins because its a damn good team. that includes the coaching staff. I really don't understand all the miller loving going on in here anyway. yeah he's been a productive player for a long time, but he obviously has alot of problems. i mean, how many players have never worked out in the summer? especially when they have a horrific jump shot. how many "consummate pros" show up to training camp out of shape? guys like juwon howard are pros. remember when he said he is always in game shape and ready to take whatever role he is given? remember when he talked to the media about how he doesn't get a fair chance? no? oh yeah thats because it was miller "stirring the pot".
The reason i'm beginning to dislike miller (i loved the move to bring him here) is because of what HE says, not quick and meahger. the guy talks alot about being a pro, but i have yet to see him act like one.

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Posted by roseburg
January 07, 2010, 9:57PM

dude, you don't know what your talking about. miller sits out summers....and rests. the fruit? nba ironman, missed 3 games over 11 seasons. they put their bodies through wrath during the season, and to work out all summer, I think is crazy. stay in shape, yeah. work out too hard, your just wearing your body down more, upping the chance for injuries. your knock on his shooting? a player can shoot till their blue in the face, and but shooters are born, not made like robots. miller's healthy, almost the entire rest of the blazers team is recovering from surgery, don't knock his method.

you haven't seen miller act like a pro? he's put up with mcmillan's crazy coaching all year, and until know has been able to stomach it. mcmillan's coaching boarders on crazy at times, as in exasperating to players. rodriguez, frye, bayless were three examples last year. bayless and miller this year. all these guys are exasperated. your saying miller's not being a pro? he's being real.

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Posted by blazersmang
January 07, 2010, 2:22PM

We have NO big guys in there to rebound... so in this case, I think it WAS best that Bayless tried to make the 2nd...

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Posted by 1bigslick
January 07, 2010, 4:41PM

Mr. Sonic is a bum. Miller is twice the player and coach.

I want a new coach to take the Royland TrailRoyers in a new direction.

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Posted by a6m5
January 07, 2010, 6:11PM

This is where we all should take a deep breath, calm down.

If you want to criticize Nate, I can totally respect that. I don't think I've ever seen a perfect coach*cough*Popovich*cough*. But if you want us to take your opinion seriously, you should stop calling him names, or call his coaching "laughable". Only thing that's close to "laughable" is your post. You either have no idea on the subject, or you are talking out of your butt.

PERSONALLY, I feel for Miller. He's an former all-star, Team USA. I think the team, coach, Roy, they should have shown a little more respect for him. That's my opinion. Having said that, this is Roy's team. And if Roy doesn't feel comfortable playing with him, he probably does have to go. I think Canzano is right holding the management responsible on this one. I also felt uneasy about his FA signing, how he was going to fit in with the team. From then on, everyone involved, including the players themselves seemed to have handled the situation very poorly.

I'm not ready to give up on Nate or Andre quite yet. Couple of stand up guys, I hope they can work it out.

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Posted by ReyLoo
January 08, 2010, 12:44PM

I agree with A6m5 & jmvi...you all are being way out of line in regard to coach McMillian...is he a perfect one (like Popovich)? No...but he is a very good coach in terms of getting guys to compete and play hard. I still feel this team is incomplete in the front court...and they could use a prolific scorer from the 2 or 3 spot...i have a respect for Miller's game, but i did not think he was good fit from the start for this team in particular...if they could have got a HEDO or VINCE CARTER this may have worked better. I think they need to squash the idea of finding a point guard to play Roy at the 2. Roy needs to start as their point gaurd...they need to recruit a bigger 2...6'6" and up with a jump shot and slashing ability. At the end of the day if ROY (a cornerstone of your franchise) does not like playing with Miller...why should they even keep him...to do so would be the fault of the front office. I think they need to find a trade for Miller...this not Miller's fault...just the reality is IT WON'T WORK; that's the only point I differ on with A6m5...move on from Miller, stay open to Nate. I still can't get over the fact that this team could have had Kevin Durant as their small forward...WOWZERS!!! They would have been a problem in the WEST! Also..get Fernandez more time, or you can just ship him down to San Antonio...we'll take him.

go spurs,
mr. luna

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Posted by Sweetses55
January 07, 2010, 6:58PM

Wrong....Bayless is to blame for not following what his coach told him to do. Any of the Blazer team members could have told Bayless to make the free throw. Does that mean he does it? NO! He does what the coach tells him to do and BAYLESS DID NOT DO THAT. Bayless needs to realize this and learn from it. You follow the rules - that is how it goes, or find another team to play on that allows rules to be broken.

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Posted by roseburg
January 07, 2010, 10:02PM

I'm convinced Bayless did listen to the coach, and tried to miss it! Then when he made it, he blamed it on Miller. Class move Bayless. Watch the replay everybody, watch how he shoots the first freethrow, then the second. He shoots it totally different, and it goes in. His look after he made it confirms it.

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Posted by sukeissexy
January 07, 2010, 11:45AM

who cares... And its about time miller sticks up for himself...

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Posted by fkcomcast
January 07, 2010, 11:47AM

Patty Mills, want some PT?

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Posted by blazrmike503
January 07, 2010, 11:48AM

Bye Bye Andre!!!

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Posted by broygirl
January 07, 2010, 11:49AM

I think it was BS for Bayless to call Miller out like that anyway. People make mistakes ... who cares. There's much deeper issues than that though. Lol. Buh bye Miller ... sorry it had to end this way lol.

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Posted by blackedout01
January 07, 2010, 11:51AM

Nate's an idiot. Congratulations for being the first coach Andre Miller has ever blown up at in his entire career.

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January 07, 2010, 12:56PM

We don't know that. Has he told you he's never disagreed/argued with a coach before? Players disagree with coaches in every sport at every level. It happens.

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