I was literally speechless
The NBA revealed its 75th anniversary squad on Thursday and no one was more surprised to learn that it made the cut than Reggie Miller.
If I asked you if Miller was one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history, you would probably say yes without much hesitation. But making this list was a bit more complicated. The team had to include everyone who made up the league’s 50th anniversary team in 1996, so it’s really like a collection of the 25 best players from the last 25 years. That is tougher competition.
Miller spoke with Stephen Curry in an interview that aired during Inside the NBA Thursday night, discussing Curry’s pursuit of Ray Allen’s all-time record for 3s. After the segment aired, the team brought Miller onto the show and was totally caught off guard by host Ernie Johnson when he revealed that Miller had been named to the team.
“I know that [interview] It happened just before the season started, ”Johnson said. “So you had no idea at the time that you guys would be teammates tonight, huh? You did it.”
Miller was literally speechless as he tried to figure out if Johnson was talking about what he thought he was talking about. When he realized what was happening, he had the biggest smile on his face.
“I’m a bit shocked right now, because I didn’t expect to be on that list, really,” Miller said once he was able to form a complete sentence again.
The full roster includes 11 players who are still active: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. There are eight former players whose careers began after the 50th Anniversary Team was announced: Allen, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce and Dwyane Wade. That leaves only six spots for guys like Miller, who debuted before 1996 but weren’t on the top 50 list. (As a brief aside, the fact that Shaquille O’Neal made the 50th anniversary team after just four years in the NBA is a testament to just how transcendent a player he was.)
Miller’s face tells you how much this honor meant to him. For a guy who never won a championship, it has to be especially gratifying to be recognized as one of the best players in the history of the league.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.