HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – For a man whose name is synonymous with a franchise, city and state, it should come as no surprise that there are rumblings about Reggie Miller one day returning to help run the Indiana Pacers.
Miller’s headed to Springfield for a glorious weekend that will include his being enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. But there will be no shortage of chatter about the TNT analyst’s future and whether or not it might one day include a return to Indianapolis and the Pacers.
There couldn’t be a more a natural fit, from this perspective.
Miller embodies everything the Pacers stood for during the height of the franchise’s NBA glory years. His return would be more than just symbolic, though, as Miller has proved himself to be not only an ambassador for the Pacers, Indiana and the game itself, but also an astute observer of the global growth of the game over the past three decades.
Our main man Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star has already broached the subject with both sides and it doesn’t sound like anyone is ready to do anything right now, but a potential reunion no doubt seems to be a hot topic for all involved:
“I never close any doors,” Miller said. “I listen to everything. (Owner) Herb Simon and I have had this conversation before. So yes, if something presented itself, I would definitely look at it and go from there.”
The Pacers have been led by either Donnie Walsh or Larry Bird for nearly the past 30 years.
Walsh returned for his second stint with the organization, replacing Bird as president, in June. Bird is taking at least the next year off. The 71-year-old Walsh hasn’t put a timetable on how long he will remain in his current capacity.
“I’m always interested,” Simon said. “Reggie would be a wonderful person to have in this franchise.”
Until that opportunity arises, though, Miller will continue to enjoy the beautiful weather where he lives in Malibu, Calif., work with his film production company, “Boom Baby Productions,” and serve as one of TNT’s lead NBA analysts.
Miller has worked with TNT since retiring in 2005. He worked with broadcast partners Marv Albert and Steve Kerr on the Western Conference finals last season.
“Like everything he has probably done since he was a little kid, he has worked diligently on becoming the kind of broadcaster he wants to become, the same way he worked on his jump shot,” TNT play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan said.
“He pays attention to detail, talking to a variety of people, watching tapes, taking feedback. He’s got that perfectionist in him. It’s been fun watching him grow.”
The Pacers have an extensive history of making sure their franchise icons remain a part of the fabric of the organization. Mel Daniels, who will also be enshrined this weekend, worked in the Pacers’ front office for years under Walsh.
So there might be a day in the future when “Miller Time” is more than just a clever moniker that was used long ago.