Reggie Miller Decides to Not Call it a ComebackReggie Miller has ended his brief dalliance with the idea of becoming the oldest shooting guard in NBA history, according to an article in The Indianapolis Star. Miller explained, "That's it. Physically, I know I could have done it. 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."
Of course, if Miller's heart was not in it then his body would not be able to go very far, either. I have no doubt that Miller is in good enough condition to suit up and play passably well in an NBA game. The real issue would have been whether or not he was prepared to survive the grueling grind of an 82 game NBA season. That takes mental and physical endurance. It is one thing to get into shape, it is another thing to get into NBA shape in terms of having the ability to simply compete--and then it is another thing altogether to condition one's mind and body to deal with the pounding, the nagging aches and pains and the travel schedule for months at a time. The interesting thing about older athletes--say, 35 and up--is that the dedicated ones are able to at least look the part but that does not always mean that they can play the part. Toward the end of their careers, Jerry Rice and Hakeem Olajuwon still had lean, well defined physiques, but their aging joints were no longer capable of performing the explosive movements that made them special during their primes. They were in great shape but they were no longer elite level athletes.
Miller insisted to the Star's Bob Kravitz that he will never again entertain the idea of returning to the NBA: "Please write, I will never, ever, ever try something like this again. Any of the 30 teams in the NBA, if you're interested, please don't call."
posted by David Friedman @ 1:06 AM