Posts Tagged ‘Rachel Nichols’

Miller Time Again At The Garden



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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – TNT knows drama!

And the network known for drama will have it all over the airwaves tonight when the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks lock horns in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinals at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET).

Famous Knicks-slayer and Hall of Famer Reggie Miller will serve as the analyst for the game, joining play-by-play man Kevin Harlan and reporter Rachel Nichols some 18 years, to the day, of Miller’s unforgettable Game 1 Eastern Conference semifinal showing against the Knicks.

You might remember that one, the game that saw Miller score eight points in 8.9 seconds to beat the Knicks. I bet Spike Lee, a regular at Knicks games then and now, remembers.

The Knicks are already down a game in this series with the Pacers. They looked listless in Sunday’s Game 1 loss, when the Pacers outworked them, per Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony. This is the sixth playoff series between the two franchises, but the first for the Pacers without Miller in uniform.

They’ve split the previous matches evenly. The Knicks beat the Pacers in four games in the first round in 1993, in seven games in the conference finals in 1994 (Miller’s 25 points in the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ Game 5 win and taunting of Lee set the rivalry on fire) and in six games in the conference finals in 1999. The Pacers beat the Knicks in seven games in the semifinals in 1995, in five games in the semifinals in 1998 and in six games in the conference finals in 2000.

A trip to The Finals is not on the line this time. But another chapter in this storied rivalry will be written either way. Having Miller around tonight to analyze and witness the affair is just the sort of drama you might expect from this series and, especially, TNT.

LeBron Done Playing The Villain

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The last 17 months of his professional life have probably taught LeBron James a few lessons we wouldn’t wish on anyone.

It can’t be easy waking up the villain after years of being the beloved, homegrown son and the star of stars in a league filled with them. But after “The Decision” and all of the negativity that followed his televised declaration to divorce himself from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in free agency, James has a firm understanding on the whirlwind that his life has been since then.

When we saw him opening up about it to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols this morning, we were more than a bit taken aback by his tone. The defiant posture that we saw from him during the Heat’s playoff run last season had vanished. It’s been replaced by a man who — dare we say it — looks to have been humbled by his experiences of the past year and a half.

His words probably won’t heal many wounds in Northeast Ohio, where James remains entrenched with the likes of former Cleveland browns owner Art Modell as one of the most despised sports figures in recent memory. There is no statute of limitations on coming around and making peace. And James strikes us as a man in need of making that peace, if with no one else other than himself.

As he told Nichols, he “used to let his game do all talking and I got away from that.”

It’s clear the hate got to him and got to his game. He bought into the villain role and it changed him, mentally. But a mea culpa about not only “The Decision” and his failings in the playoffs sound sincere.

We can’t be mad at him for that. So what if he was oblivious to the fallout of his initial decision? So what if he wrestled half the season with how he would operate in his new role as the dude wearing the black hat? It’s never too late …

*** CLICK HERE to see the full interview ***