Interview: Blazers' Miller during the morning after
Portland Trail Blazers guard Andre Miller was interviewed by the media following a Friday morning shootaround at the team’s practice facility in Tualatin, Ore.
An upbeat, smiling Miller discussed details regarding his heated, expletive-filled conversation Thursday with Blazers coach Nate McMillan. Miller spoke with the media for more than eight minutes, and answered every question he was asked.
Miller: All right, let’s get this over with (laughing).
On his heated conversation Thursday with McMillan:
These are things that happen on every team. Eighty-two games, ups and downs, disagreements, good times, bad times. You know, you learn from it and move on.
On how he is feeling now:
I feel fine. Coach feels fine. Players and coaches go through this stuff all the time. Disagreements, agreements — that’s just a part of the business. We’re around each other like a family and we want to keep it that way.
On McMillan apologizing to the team for how he handled the incident:
It was something to just clear up as a team. Man to man. It was definitely nothing to be made a big deal out of. This happens on every team; it wasn’t a big deal to me. We just wanted to move past it. We learned from our experiences and move on.
On the one-on-one conversation he had with McMillan:
Yeah, you want to have an open dialogue. That’s what we talked about — point guard, coach. And as players, we’re still going to stick together. What matters most is representing the organization in the right way. And he’s worried about the organization and I’m worried about the organization and how we carry ourselves as individuals, and that’s all that matters.
On whether things are better today:
Well, nothing really happened. Normal dialogue between a player and a coach. I mean, nobody was around to hear it, but it came out.
On whether things are better:
Yeah, with all the stuff that’s been going on with this team with the injuries — 82 games, ups and downs — we trying to maintain and trying to get the other guys back healthy, and everything’s going to work out. It’s not like we 5-30 or something like that. We’re playing good basketball and trying to do things the right way.
On whether there is any relief for him after the conversation:
It was something that we try to control, but you guys got to do your job. So, some things might not come out the right way, and it’s perceived differently to the fans and the media and other people. But I think as players and a coaching staff, we’re sticking together as a family. And that’s why I came here, because I respect that. And I respect the organization.
On whether he feels he could have done something differently:
We handled it as men. So, you’re always going to have disagreements, like a relationship. And one thing me and Nate and everybody else on the team is working on is communication, that’s the main thing. Just communicating a little bit more. So, I have to do a little bit better job as a point guard. As a team, a team player, the main thing is representing the organization in the right way, and I think we’ve done that so far.
On what made him upset:
Well, you guys don’t know what happened, so we’re going to keep it that way. So, I’m not going to tell you all what happened, I’ll just you all assume. But just a minor disagreement and we learn from it. We’re trying to get better as a team; we’re trying to maintain. We’re trying to represent ourselves and be professionals. And, like I said, it’s 82 games and I can tell you every team has issues and problems that they have to deal with. It just don’t come out. And this is something that came out, whether the right or wrong way, and we deal with it as professionals and we represent the organization.
On the main message during his talk with McMillan:
Well, we’ve been communicating since training camp. I came here because I respect the coaching staff and the organization. We just talked about communication. For me, I’m a communicator, but I communicate in different ways — I’m not a vocal player, you know? I kind of isolate myself. We just talked about being a little bit more open. That’s pretty much it, you know. You need that for 82 games, because you can easily slip off the side and come off a little bit different.
On his long career and his adjustment with the Blazers:
Not really, because I pride myself on adjusting to any situation. Although this situation is new, I just treat it as basketball. You just go out and play basketball. I try not to get caught up in all the extracurricular stuff. But sometimes you get pulled into that. I enjoy basketball. I enjoy this team. I respect the organization. I try to carry myself as a professional. So, any personal agenda that I have is all thrown out the window.
On telling Blazers guard Jerryd Bayless to make the free throw with 4.3 seconds left in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday:
It was just a disagreement. We talked about that. It wasn’t a big issue. We lost the game. We move on. Who knows? It’s just something we want to put in the past. It was my fault and I apologize if I came off the wrong or I said anything wrong.
On whether he knew Portland’s coaches wanted Bayless to miss the free throw:
Well, I was just put in the game. I was just sitting over there for the entire fourth quarter. And then I went in there and I just went to the free throw line. But you miss the first one, I told him to make it. You make the second one … and that’s my fault for not looking over and communicating with the coaches and having a conversation. It’s just more communication and trying to figure out how we could’ve pulled out that game.
On being traded:
Anything is possible. I understand that it’s a business. But I came here for a reason and the reason was to win. And that’s what the team is doing, regardless of the injuries. And I’m the type of player that doesn’t bail out when things aren’t going my way. I want to contribute to the team. I don’t have any personal agendas but winning, and that’s all that matters. I’m a professional, good character guy. And I feel like that’s what this organization is, and that’s why I want to be here.
On his discussion with McMillan:
It’s a different situation. I’m a little bit older. We both have to be responsible for what we did. Like I said, it wasn’t a big deal, but it happens. If any point guard that can tell you he’s never had a problem or a big spat with a coach or a minor disagreement is probably lying — just kept it indoors. What happens between the team stays between the team. The main thing, it’s not about me or the coach, it’s about the organization — being professionals and representing the team in the right way.