Miller feels 'pretty secure' in Miami future
MIAMI (AP) -- Heat forward Mike Miller has heard his name mentioned as an amnesty candidate for weeks and questions about his future in Miami increased after he placed his waterfront mansion on the market for $9 million - and then intensified after his recent hernia surgery.
He's amused, sure.
But he didn't sound worried Tuesday.
Miller said he's met with Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra, emerging from those conversations "pretty secure" in the belief that he still figures into Miami's plans. Miller has four years left on his contract, and is due to make a pro-rated share of $5.4 million this season.
"I've been in this league now 12 years," Miller said. "I've been traded 675 times. First time I've been amnestied, but you get used to it. You do what you can. I've always done the same things. I prepare myself to play every year. Whether it's where I'm at or it's a different place, that's how I've always looked at it. Put yourself in the best position to succeed when you're there. And my house had nothing to do with it."
For the record, Miller has only been traded three times, and has never been amnestied - nor has anyone else, nor will anyone else be until the league and its players formally ratify a new collective bargaining agreement. And on the house front, maybe it's as simple as sticker shock over the $244,297.90 he's gotten in property tax bills since buying the 9,968-square-foot home.
Neither Riley nor Spoelstra has spoken about the team's plans since the tentative labor deal was reached, but Heat forward Udonis Haslem seemed to be speaking in absolutes on Tuesday about Miller's future.
"As far as I'm concerned, Mike Miller is here to stay," Haslem said of his close friend and former Florida Gators teammate. "And I'm looking forward to playing with him this year. ... I haven't gotten any vibe, but I haven't heard that he was going. So until I hear any different, Mike Miller's my teammate and I'm looking forward to playing with him."
Miller - who Miami signed last summer to be a designated shooter of sorts alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade - played in 41 regular-season games for the Heat last season, a year that was derailed by a slew of injuries. He missed the start of the season, his first with the Heat, after breaking his right thumb when it got tangled in James' jersey during a preseason practice. He had shoulder problems during the year and needed offseason surgery on his left thumb.
Miller was moving very slowly Tuesday, a week or so removed from hernia surgery. The original prognosis was that Miller could miss up to eight weeks, though he indicated that he's looking at cutting that timetable considerably. On Tuesday, he was limited to a slow treadmill walk, said Haslem, who has warned his friend about trying to rush his way back onto the court.
"To be honest with you, I can't even worry about it," Miller said of his future in Miami. "I've got to worry about getting healthy, being 100 percent and doing the things I know I'm capable of doing. Obviously health is a big part of that. ... It's unfortunate, but it's part of this job. I've been lucky for 12 years, didn't really have anything. Unfortunately it just kind of snowballed on me all at once. So I'll get through it and I'll be better, more healthy and ready to go."
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