Tue Jun 28 07:20pm EDT
When NBA players leave particular teams, they often do so on poor terms, whether because coaches restrict their playing time or make them run too many sprints. Unfortunately, this state of affairs is not particularly practical. Given the preponderance of trades in the league, especially in an era where more general managers appear willing to deal assets only months after they've been acquired, those players who leave with relationships in disarray may end up having to patch things up soon after.
With Andre Miller's(notes) trade to the Denver Nuggets during last Thursday's draft, he now finds himself on the team he left when he was traded for Allen Iverson(notes) in December 2006. He must now figure reenter a working relationship with head coach George Karl, too. From Chris Dempsey of The Denver Post (via TBJ):
A whirlwind span of time resulted in Miller, who was comfortable as a starting point guard in Denver, being traded by the Nuggets in a manner he wasn't happy with.
"It wasn't the fact that I was disappointed. It was how it went down," Miller said Monday after being reunited with the Nuggets. "I understand that it was part of the business and you have to accept it. It was just how it went down. That's the main thing."
He didn't go into detail. But the former University of Utah star acknowledged he took the situation so personally, he didn't talk to coach George Karl once since then until Sunday, three days after the Nuggets traded for him during the NBA draft.
"I took it personal, the trade (to Philadelphia)," Miller said. "And that was my motivation every time we came back here and played. You've got to find ways to keep yourself motivated. Not just personal with the staff, personal as my motivation. We didn't have any conversation until (Sunday)."
That's a long time to go without speaking to a former coach, especially in a league where inter-team camaraderie remains pretty high. It makes sense that Miller would use the situation as motivation, but it can be tough to shift a relationship from one of antagonism to friendliness within such a short timeframe.
Plus, Miller does not exactly have the best history of getting along with new teams -- he had a testy relationship with Brandon Roy(notes) almost immediately upon his arrival in Portland. It's quite possible that he and Karl will make up, and they seem to be giving it their best shot so far. But there's no telling what will happen the first time they get into a tiff. Bad blood doesn't always clear up so fast.