WVU Volleyball's Blog

I <3 Reggie Miller. Bring back the "Boom Baby!"

Posted on: May 5, 2010

Retired Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller

As this is my last blog for the semester, I am dedicating it to my home state of Indiana and one of my favorite athletes of all time. Reggie Miller was the heart and soul of the Indiana Pacers for 18 seasons and has some of the greatest sports memories in all of the NBA. He epitomized what it meant to have drive and dedication and how even if there is only 19 seconds left, that doesn’t mean the game is over. His great demeanor in game mode was something to look up to, but that is now long gone. Since his retirement, the Pacers have lost that hope and luster that made them so intriguing.

Pacer's president and Hoosier great Larry Bird

The Pacers used to be the team of Indianapolis and the city took pride in its games,  but since the Brawl at Auburn Hills and the retirement of Reggie Miller, the Pacers have slowly fallen to the bottom of the NBA. They have realized that rebuilding was going to happen, but the city thought that it would not have taken this long. Losing season after losing season makes the city not look at famous Hoosier Larry Bird in a strong light anymore. After being the coach of the Pacers in the late 1990s and leading the team to its first NBA championship series, there were high hopes for Bird in a management position for the team. He has not made the smartest choices with draft picks and trades and now the city is wondering where they are headed next. Only time will tell.

Reggie Miller shooting a game winner versus the New York Knicks

But, back to Reggie Miller. One of my favorite parts about watching Pacers games was to hear the words “Boom Baby!” come over the radio when Reggie Miller made a 3 pointer. There were so many games where everyone knew the ball was going to Reggie, but he always found a way to get open and he always found a way to make that crucial shot to win that game. His pure shooting was a rare find in the game and could never be replaced by any future Pacer.

Reggie Miller making the choking sign at devoted New York Knicks fan Spike Lee

One of the many things that Reggie will most be remembered for around the league is his ever living rivalry with director Spike Lee. Lee is one of the most dedicated New York Knicks fans and when the Pacers and the Knicks squared off, especially in the playoffs, the two were always at each others throats. Their classic bickering back and forth during the games and their heated gestures at one another can not compare to another athlete/fan rivalry. Sometimes, it was hard to tell if Reggie was trying to win for the team or just to see the look on Spike’s face when the Knicks lost. Either way, the games were always that much more entertaining thanks to Reggie and Spike.

It is depressing to say, but Reggie is retired and done with basketball. It was a sad day in 2005 when Reggie said goodbye to the Pacers, but he will never be forgotten. I will always hold tight to the memories of those last second shot and the announcement of “Boom Baby!” Growing up a fan of Reggie Miller was the way to go.

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