When grizzled veteran Andre Miller was dealt to the Washington Wizards as part of a three-team trade last month it was in large part because of a falling out between the Nuggets, specifically coach Brian Shaw, and Miller after a post-game tirade in the locker-room. But as Miller tells Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports, he was “made out to be the bad guy, the villain…”
Earlier this season, Miller was livid after his streak of 239 consecutive games was ended with the first “DNP-Coach’s Decision” of his career. He loudly harangued Shaw and was said to have continued his condemnation of the decision after the game in the locker room. As a result, the Nuggets suspended him for two days without pay, then quickly amended that to a more long-term suspension with pay (the NBPA can still do some things guys).
“I was made out to be the bad guy, the villain because I was the one complaining about minutes,” Miller told Yahoo Sports. “That wasn’t the issue at all.”
Miller continues to try and explain what happened and why he thinks he’s been unfairly blamed as a result:
“They gave me an opportunity to represent Denver,” Miller said. “I tried to do that the right way, but I was looked at as the bad guy, a disgruntled player. [The Nuggets said] I was complaining about minutes and that was never the issue. They made it look that way, and that I was upset. I understand that they have to protect themselves as an organization, but don’t blast the player.
“I came out and represented the organization, played games, practiced and did it the right way. Don’t bash me. It’s not true saying I was disgruntled about minutes and complaining. In reality, I was just speaking up for guys on the team and being a veteran leader. I was just doing my job.”
Andre even alluded to something else that transpired, but wasn’t ever revealed. Though he didn’t say what it was, he certainly drifted around the subject with Spears:
“A lot of people don’t actually know what happened,” Miller said. “I didn’t get a chance to say my peace. I’ll leave it at that.”
But Andre doesn’t throw Shaw under the bus like you would expect in this sort of situation.
“He has to do his job,” Miller told Spears. “A young coach â€“ it’s a learning experience for him and the players dealing with that situation. Hopefully, things will work out for him.”
Both player and coach admitted there was a breakdown in communication, but Miller appeared to blame the organization as a whole, which might be a little uncomfortable. Andre lives in Denver during the offseason and met his wife there. In Spears’ piece, it’s even revealed the University of Utah alum hoped to retire in the Mile High City before the incident.
“It’s really not about coach, player,” Miller said. “It’s really about communication from the top. In a team meeting we talked about communication between the coaches and the players. Anybody can coach, but how do you deal with players and egos and attitudes and communicate with people â€“ that’s the main thing.
“I communicated on my end. There was no communication on their end.”
If you’re a Nuggets fan, who could forget his heroics â€” for naught, it turns out, after the Dubs advanced â€” in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs last season:
But Miller is in Washington now, playing for a playoff team and mentoring John Wall. All in all, not so bad after all the â€” still unexplained â€” animosity he left behind in Denver.
“I get a chance to play with John Wall, Bradley Beal and form some other relationships with players and management on a different team,” Miller said. “I understand what point I am in my career. I’ve never been a guy with an ego. I’ve always been a team guy to a fault.”
What do you think?
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