11 Reggie Miller…

I wasn’t shocked when former Pacers’ star Reggie Miller decided NOT to come out of retirement and play for the Celtics. I was a bit surprised though. When I talked to him the week before on the radio show, he sounded fired up. I mean, Kevin Garnett walked in during the interview to pick Reg up to go work out. KG wanted it, it sounded like Reg wanted it if he was physically able to do it.

The funny thing was, Reggie said he wasn’t mentally ready to commit to the comeback. I thought it might be the other way around and the physical part would prevent his return, but no. Was it the grind of the NBA season or the thought of giving up his chair on the TNT show…a great gig?

I think Reg is pretty secure with his NBA career and what he did on the court, but you cannot fault an athlete for considering taking another shot at getting that ring. Look at Dan Marino and how he’s percieved. Reggie will always be in that league of great players who don’t have rings. I’m sure he’s sick of hearing that one. With Marino, what if he had a ring or two….he would be right on that top level with Montana and Elway. His numbers are. His ability as a QB was.

With Reggie, a guy I like and respect a ton, I don’t think he could do anything half-baked. If it wasn’t something he could commit to all the way, than there was no way to do it.

Let me know what you think, is the media too harsh on star players who don’t have a championship ring? Give me your thoughts…



52 Responses

  1. As a long suffering Bills fan I have nor will I anytime soon know what that championship feeling would be like (from a fans perspective). As for Reggie it could have been a stain on an otherwise stellar NBA career had he come back and wasn’t even a shell of his former self. That interview with KG coming over….was pure gold Dan…

  2. Frankly, it’s not the championship that impresses me most but the grind to get there (or not). I certainly don’t think any less of Reggie Miller or Dan Marino as athletes for not having the “ring”.

  3. When I heard the news that Reggie was training to come back with the Celtics, I was skeptical. In the words of Larry Bird, “He’s 42 years old!”. I heard your interview with him on the radio and I was surprised by how focused he sounded. Usually Reggie’s a little raggedy when it comes to remembering names and such, but he seemed completely clear and coherent. And the fact that he was working with KG lent his efforts a bit more credibility.

    However, when he says he wasn’t mentally ready for the season, I have to think that he was thinking more about what playing for Boston would entail. I don’t think Reggie joins the Celtics to play for a ring, for the simple reason that Boston’s not going to win the NBA championship next year. They’re going to be better than they have been, but they’re not going to the Finals. And I think that Reggie knows that, so he has to prepare himself physically and mentally to play for multiple seasons.

    And ask any athlete: Boston’s a tough place to play.

    As for your question, if Marino wasn’t in the Hall of Fame, I’d agree that the media is fairly hard on stellar athletes that don’t have that championship. But I almost feel like the media is more surprised than critical in that regard. After all, Earl Cureton, Greg Swindell and Brad Johnson all have championship rings. But to see someone with the talent that Marino and Reggie Miller have and yet not seal the deal, so to speak, it’s a bit of a let down, and a story.



  4. I am glad Reggie decided not to come back. He recognized that he didnt have what it takes anymore and made the right decision. It’s too bad though, anyone who has a great career like that and stays with one team their whole career deserves a championship…..well, maybe not, but he deserves something.


  5. there are a lot of great players that are guilty of playing in the same era as MJ (CB, Karl Malone, Ewing, Reggie, Paul Mokeski, Tripuka, Larry Krystowiak, Kevin Duckworth, Brad Davis, Tree R, Schinzius, Randy Whitman, Randy Breuer) you can’t blame those guys for that.

    Brian In Antwerp

  6. I agree that the media is too harsh on stars without rings, especially in team sports like football and baseball.

    Growing up my hero was Henry Aaron, but yet his only championship was in ’57. If he did not have the ring from that year, would he have been any less of a player, or his accomplishments any less, in light of the difficulties of being a black ball player chasing a white legends record?

    My other gripe is with the treatment of Dan Marino. If he was the QB on those 49’ers teams he would have have posted the same numbers and probably had the rings to go with them. I like Montana, but I wonder if he would have been as successful on some of the defensively-poor teams that Miami had in the 80’s and early 90’s?

  7. 5’10” 170 lbs.

    Most competitive people desire to be the best at whatever they are doing. Certain athletes have been their best without winning championships. In the team dynamic, we must rely on all the cogs. Reggie, Marino, Barkley, did the best they could with the teams they were on.

    As fans, we tend to individualize teams by their leader. In the end, it is still the team that wins or loses.

    Reggie may be the best shooter to ever play the game. How would winning a championship change that?


  8. Hey Dan. I think that the media is a little harsh on athletes wanting to comeback and get a ring or a championship. We get so carried away with legacy. I mean Jordan came back for the love of the game, with all his titles, flopped with the Wizards but all I still remember is he is the greatest ever. Granted, he has the titles. Regardless of if a player comes back for glory, the titles, or money, why do we care. As you very well know, it is hard to say goodbye. I wonder if you were leaving radio for good, and a year gone decided that you wanted to come back for the Sports Emmy’s, I bet nobody would criticize you. Well maybe Costas would.


  10. Aloha Dan,
    I miss not hearing you on radio you were a cool part of my morning routine. I’ve listened to other shows, but they can not compare to your insightful questions and midwest personality. To your question I believe Reggie made the right choice for this stage in his life. He was a great player and had a great career championships or not. Is Robert Horry a Hall of Famer he has seven titles and many clutch shots, but average regular season player?

  11. Hey Dan,

    I think all media are too hard on stars that don’t have championship rings. It doesn’t come out directly but I find that the media kind of slips it under the table and ever now and then (at oppertune times) it comes up that the player in question did not win it all. And that interview with KG and Reggie was awesome. Thank goodness for the bleep button eh?

  12. Im gald he isnt coming back I like Reggie but he had a great career he doesnt have to chase a ring. I see that the countdown when up a few days cant wait to have you back on the air. MSNBC needs someone to fill the chair Imus left.

  13. Dan,

    I think the media is sometimes harsh on star players that they don’t have rings (titles) Reggie Miller is a H.O.F player
    he had a great career…Just think If Barry Sanders played
    for the Dallas Cowboys in the 90’s with that offensive line
    he would have 4 or 5 rings and would be the All-Time Rushing leader too…but left in his prime at age 30 years old
    the greatest Running Back I ever seen.

    Ron in Oregon
    6’1″ (188lbs) Ding!

  14. Reggie doesn’t need to get a ring to be remembered as a great HOF player. Does the Super Bowl ring make Trent Dilfer one of the best in NFL history? Does winning the Daytona 500 make Derrick Cope one of the top drivers in NASCAR history? I think not.

  15. Dan,
    I don’t think they’re to harsh but maybe the media is to easy on average players that win on good teams. Being a Raven fan when Ed Hartwell left the Ravens for Atlanta what media coverage there was about the signing said it would be a huge loss for the Raven’s D. What has Ed done lately and last I looked the Ravens have been and are just fine.

    Point being, in a team sport it takes a compliment of players. Everyone needs a Abott for their Costello, a Sonny for their Cher, and a Kevin Arnold for their Winnie. Great teams win Championships over the long run and those individuals that do not, Barry Sanders, Marino, Reggie Miller, etc. will and should get their accolades all the same. What’s the first thing you hear when they do win? “I couldn’t have accomplished this without my team”. Maybe the media should focus on team for championships and individuals for individual accomplishments.

    How long is it going to take for everyone to start questioning LeBron’s greatness?

  16. Reggie must have realized that the past is past and once you’ve moved on to a new phase of your life you can’t go back. Playing for the Celtics would have been a career move-he works for TNT now-not the Pacers. Of course a ring would be nice, but look at the odds for all athletes to achieve that. All the clickers have to fall into place and there’s alot of luck involved. If Reggie had been an individual athlete he could play the “what if” game but playing a team sport changes that. All the factors that come into play must have lead him to a wise decision.

  17. the media and fans probably do put too much emphasis on winning championships. the question we should ask is whether not winning a ring reflects reggie’s or dan’s leadership capabilities or the ability of their teammates.

    also, i am a yankee fan and i’ve wondered if derek jeter will be a hall of famer solely because of his 4 championships.

    -Michael from Queens, NY

  18. I think that not only is the media too hard on athletes that have not won a championship, but give a little too much credit to those who do. As a Patriots fan, I think Dan Marino is probably one of the, if not the best quarterbacks of all time. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Switch him and Joe Montana and I think Marino would have had at least as good a career in SF as Montana did. Same thing goes in basketball, Reggie had a great career, but it takes an entire team to get the ring. But I think some players get too much credit for winning championships. You see it year after year where players who are considered a big part of a championship team either are traded or leave via free agency never again to live up to there previous accolades.

  19. I no longer follow the NBA, Reggie was one of the last players I really enjoyed watching, be it beating the Knicks, or losing to the Bulls. He was a exciting player and always gave his all. I think the media is always going to place blame if you don’t win the whole pina colada. As the great John Wooden said, Sucess is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts. Miss ya Dan

  20. I feel that Reggie Miller left his mark on the game and it would be a travisty if he came back. Unfortuantly for MJ he came back to somewhat of a lack luster performance, and now my memories of MJ are more of the Wizzard MJ and not of the dominant Bulls MJ. Reggie left while he was still productive and sure, his career would be highlighted with the winning of a ring, but I do not believe that his career is tarnished because of not winning a ring. Look at Karl Malone, I believe he tarnished his career by chasing a ring with the Lakers and her never even won one.
    Reggie, you made the right choice and I look forward to hearing more “palabor” between you and Dan when Dan “The Natural Hair” Patrick is back on the Air.

    Mike Ryden
    Davenport, IA

  21. And by the way,
    Where are we going to be able to hear Dan’s new show?
    Anyone know?

  22. As a knicks fan (stop sniggering), I cannot help but have the utmost respect for Reggie and his ability and his career. He doesn’t need any rings in my book to be a great player. So yes, the media judges the athletes based on rings a bit too harshly at times.

  23. My take: there is an overemphasis on rings, awards, etc. A lot of it is arbitrary. A great non-sports example: the Oscars.

  24. I don’t think the media’s that hard on Reggie for not winning a championship. I’m not sure anyone expected it from him. He wasn’t marketed that way.

    The media was tough with Karl Malone, too tough on Dan Marino. Before Dan Marino, wasn’t it Dan Fouts who got the criticism? Fouts must secretly love that Marino took that media label away from him.

    Reggie’s got his Spike Lee moment. That’s going to be the first thing people remember about him, not whether or not he won a championship. He’ll be remembered as a Pacer, a great outside threat, and a Knick-killer.

    Looking forward to having you back soon, Dan! I hope it’s in a west-coast-friendly time slot.

    Erik Smith

  25. I don’t think the media is too harsh on players without the ring, though it is a subject that will always be mentioned for the greats like Marino and Reggie. I do think that players with rings are sometimes overglorified though, I see too often good players, being classified as great players b/c they were part of a TEAM that won a championship, same with good coaches, being termed brilliant/genius/great coaches (see Jon Gruden)

  26. The media is too harsh on great players that don’t have any rings. These are team sports we are talking about. Not golf or bowling. It wasn’t Charles Barkley’s fault that the Bulls had better players than the Suns or that Dan Marino didn’t have a either a running game or a defense that would help him win a championship. As great as these players were, if their team wasn’t as good as the team they were facing, they lost. It’s that simple. Look at John Elway. Couldn’t win the big one with guys like Sammy Winder, but once Terrell Davis was in his backfield, he wins 2. Great teams win championship, not a great player.

  27. Hello Loser……Dan since that opening statement from Costas, I don’t think you ever recovered. In my honest opinion you left ESPN to win the sports emmy award at any cost. Even if it means doping (HGH), I believe you will achieve this and the name Costas will be but a memory in the minds of most sport fans. Go out there and kick ass Dan! And if it doesn’t work out maybe you can do mop up duty for Costas when he’s on vacation…..Keep your head up.

  28. It all depends on what sport we are talking about. If a great player retires w/o a ring in basketball, he should get a little criticism because one man can affect the game a lot more than in baseball and football. There are only 10 guys out there on the court at all times and you directly have the ball and are able to score at will if you were good enough. In football, a player like Marino only directly affected the offense. Marino had no control over what his teams defense did. In baseball, you only have 4-5 AB’s to directly affect the game. Guys like Marino should not be criticized as much as guys like Barkley and Reggie.

  29. While the media are guilty of some things, I don’t think sports media are generally guilty of being too harsh on stars without rings. Sports guys recognise that the likes of Marino and Miller are great even without the rings.

    I do hear sympathy at times, for the hero without the hardwar, and it’s a classic sports radio call-in question, but ESPN and all the little sports media seem pretty fair.

    It’s one of the places y’all definitely get it right.

  30. As a Utah Jazz fan who has been deprived of seeing my team ever win a title (thank you Mr. Jordan), I think you can criticize. Although I am a Karl malone fan, his performance dropped off the face of the earth when it was time to win a ring. Regular season MVP, playoff bust. As almost any Jazz fan (being realistic) will tell you, there was always that bad feeling in your stomach when Malone had the ball in his hands with only seconds to go…

  31. Hey Dan, I keep reminding myself to bite my tongue when it get’s to this issue! What the media percieves as a winner is totally opposite in what I believe! To make it and earn a heathly living and get to travel all over the world and expierence things me and my family do not get to expierence.He is a winner and the media doesn’t know it! I’m the ultimate Elway Fan, but Dan Marino is a allstar and a champion in my eyes! And I don’t think a LACK luster trophy has to prove that! I would love to walk in Marino’s SHOES!!!!! xoxo James

  32. A part of me wanted Reggie to return, just to see if he could do it and be effective. The NBA needs a little “old school” in there to offset the tween type players, who are all bling, but no substance. I would love to see Sir Charles lumbering up and down the floor!!! Hey, here’s an idea, like the PGA, the NBA should have a senior type league! That would be awesome and it may outdraw the current NBA teams! Who knows, Retro NBA… I can see that!

  33. Hey Dan,

    I agree with most of the posts I’ve read. Reggie and Dan are greats with or without rings…period! Can’t wait to hear and/or see your new show!


  34. Dan,

    I do think too much emphasis is placed on whether a guy has a ring or not. Aren’t they sometimes products of the system they play in? Aren’t they subject to the level of talent around them? What if Marino and Montana had switched teams? Obviously we’ll never know the outcome of that, but it’s fun to think about what could’ve happened for Marino. Maybe Dan wouldn’t have been the right guy for the system and the 49ers wouldn’t have won any championships with him. Joe obviously was the right guy at the right time. I’m just not sure how you can put so much emphasis on the ring when there is so much that has to go right in order for someone to get one. Many people will argue that Marino was the best passing QB to ever play the position. He’s got a lot of numbers to back it up. So, why if he is/was the best passer to play the position is he behind guys like Elway and Montana? Yes, it’s just because they won rings – rings that their teammates helped them win? How come not as much emphasis is placed on the ring in baseball? Seems like individual stats are more important there. Somehow we’ve determined that basketball and football require a ring in order to be the best. In tennis or golf it’s fine to put so much emphasis on winning championships because in those sports you have only yourself to rely on and your success or failure depends almost solely on what you do.

  35. It’s not just the media that is harsh on athletes with no championship rings to show for their careers. It’s sports fans, too. Too many “fans” put too much weight on championship victories, on titles won, when they rate the greatness of a particular athlete.

    Dan Marino was one of the all-time great quarterbacks in NFL history. Not ever winning a Super Bowl doesn’t change everything else he accomplished during a storied career.

    The same is true for Reggie Miller. He deserves to be spoken of with the same awe and respect we give to Magic Johnson, Larry Byrd, and Michael Jordan. Not having a ring does NOT equate to not having great talent, great athletic skill.

    True fans owe it to themselves to look beyond just the number of championship wins in an athlete’s career when we’re rating them against their peers. We need to look at ALL of the athlete’s stats and accomplishments.

  36. Dan,
    Love the video this morning, thanks for making me laugh everyday with a new video. It is killing me not to hear you in the middle of my work day. Even my Sirius radio still says “The Dan Patrick Show” when your slot is on…. maybe someday soon it will still say “The Dan Patrick Show”, except I will have it tuned to another channel number. Anyway, the fact that the media and fans view athletes different if they do not have a ring is a good way to look at the Team, not the player. Think of it, every time we talk about Marino, Reg, or others, we say they are great players, but the supporting cast is more to blame. Favre did not win until he had Reggie White, Desmond Howard, Keith Jackson and a host of other great players. Jordan needed Pippen, Jim Kelly never had help – they lose 4 superbowls. Thoughts?

  37. I am sorry but to say that Jim Kelly didnt have help is ridiculous.

    The defense was very good and had an above average pash rusher named Bruce Smith. The backfield had a HOF running back and the receivers were not horrible either. Those Buffalo teams had a lot of talent on them. Jim Kelly cannot use the same excuse as Marino.

    As far as Reggie goes I think in the NBA the difference between the very good and the great comes down to championships. I dont neccessarily agree but that just seems to be the way it is.

  38. Dan,

    We all like to see the great ones get at least one championship. The fact is, not all of them will. As long as the guy has put all that he possibly could into winning and left nothing on the field/court I will respect him.

    When it comes to individual sports it’s different. Most all the great tennis, golf, rodeo, and NASCAR folks have won a championship.

    5’9″ 180

    P.S.- In the videos are you wearing bills khakis?

  39. Hi Dan,
    I don’t believe that any one man can win a championship on a team sport on his own merits. Every Batman has his Robin. Reggie never had his Robin, or they ran into a team that was simply better than they were. ( i. e the Lakers). I will always remember Reggie lighting up the Knicks and destroying their season in twelve seconds. Reggie is cool where he is, and I miss you and him with the banter you both provided. Reggie is a HOF, and I’ll bet that is good enough for him. He can buy all the gold rings he wants. Chances are he would just have to pull his ring off of a shelf and dust it off. ( like your Emmy’s ) Being a Braves fan, I see how we dominated the National League for years, and yet there was always that one hero on the opposite side that stopped multiple MLB Championships. There has to be a point where you have to say enough is enough, and I believe Reggie has reached that point. For what my opinion is worth, I don’t think the Celtics would have been good enough this coming season with or without Reggie to win the NBA title,

  40. Can you imagine how the media would crucify this guy if he would have come back, played lights out and he still not win? They would call his motivations selfish. The Media is just like the rest of us. They’ll never know as much as they would like too, or think that they do. Athletes play for the love of the game. They have to be comfortable in their own skin. Championships are just the icing on the cake. I forgot to address your original question in my last comment.

  41. As a fan, we can’t lose either way with Reggie. If he plays, we love watching him. If he doesn’t, we love listening to him. Loved his interviews with you Dan. He was a great player, but he’s even a better interview and commentator on TNT.
    Maybe I can meet you guys at Geoffrey’s one of these days, ay?
    Long live Charles Barkley, Dan Marino, Ernie Banks, Reggie Miller, and ……………….. Dan Patrick.

  42. I think folks make too much out of the championship ring, without ever looking at what it means to be a champion, or a superstar.

    If you look at just championships, there are hundreds of athletes who wouldn’t be considered great, as they don’t have championship rings. Is Carlton Fisk any less of a catcher than say AJ Pierzynski? AJ’s got his World Series Ring, Pudge got an “honorary” one from both of his teams. But Fisk made the Hall of Fame, AJ may take his family there one day for a vacation.

    If you quantify it by championships, say one championship compared to three. Is Walter Payton less of a great athlete compared to Cory Dillon? When I get to Heaven, I’m pretty sure on Sunday God has football too; and Sweetness would be his first pick for his team in a pickup game.

    We won’t even list all the NBA stars who never got a ring due to Michael Jordan; and Reggie is a part of that era of the NBA.

  43. Tim Scallon got it, “what it means to be a champion”.

    That were its at.

    It’s why I keep a ragged copy of The Old Man And The Sea on the night stand, now that’s a champion.

  44. Dan,

    I’m glad Reggie decided against coming back. I’ve had to endure far too many misguided comeback attempts from aging athletes trying to recapture past glory.

    Don’t we all wish that our last memory of Jordan on the court was celebrating his sixth and final championship. Instead, I had to watch him retire for the final time as a…Wizard…the horror.

    Of course who among us would turn down a couple million dollar payday to lace it up for another year or two. But for players of Reggie’s stature, isn’t their legacy worth more than possibly embarrassing themselves fulfilling their competitive desire for one more shot at an all-elusive ring?

  45. My first impression of Reggie Miller was negitive…his style of play and cockyness rubbed me the wrong way…then I heard him on your show and my opinion was changed.
    I think that Reggie Miller should be an hour guest on your new show like Keith was last year.
    So I’m glad that Reggie decided to not try to “get the Ring”…This frees up his schedule for you.
    I also think that you should bring Keith on board for one hour and Dibble for the final hour.
    The chemistry that you have with those guys is what made your show the best on Radio.

  46. The media is too harsh on star players who don’t have a championship ring, and for that matter, many fans are too.

    The fact of the matter is that these athletes play TEAM sports. We all know there is no I in team, right? It takes a special group of players that practice teamwork and have good chemistry to win a major sports championship. The most talented team doesn’t always win, the team that plays the best together as one unit takes home the hardwear.

    Great players like Marino, Barkley, Banks, etc are victims of their surroundings. Maybe they played with selfish players that didn’t mesh with the team. Maybe their GM didn’t bring in the right personnel. Maybe their coach made the wrong play calls. Maybe they played against all-time great teams in their era. If Marino had been on the 49ers, Barkley had been on the Bulls, or Banks had been on the Yankees, their fortunes might have played out a lot differently.

    I don’t look at those players any differently than I look at Jordan, Montana, or Maris. Just because they don’t have the bling on their finger, doesn’t mean that they aren’t one of the all-time greats…..

  47. I agree with the previous post….Reggie has got to be a regular on your new show. I like Keith, but his schtick is starting to bug me. But Reggie….that’s another story. You guys are great together! VERY VERY FUNNY!!

  48. Dan.. love the blog, and just to warn you i could write on this topic forever…. everyone says basketball, football… team sports.. however, if a player gets saddled with a group around him that are not championship caliber.. its his fault? ridiculous… always got my blood boiling when your ex-colleagues at espn would start.. especially with Dan Marino… last i knew the qb is one of 22 starters.. Dan was not responsible for putting a pass rush on the other team.. for covering the other team’s wideout…. for being able to rush for 150 yards per game… etc… how come no one ever points out that Bruce Smith never played for a super bowl winner? has more sacks than anyone else…. does that make him less of a defensive player? …

  49. Hey Dan, really miss the show. I travel for a living and you got me through most days. I don’t think championships make the player, you are either good or GREAT, and the way you play the game will determine that. A championship ring in any sport is just the icing on the cake. Along with all the great players that have won the ring there is also a host of “role” players that can and sometimes do carry the load when the game is on the line.
    Just a side note, along with Reggie joining you, my favorite day was Wednesday when Rick Reilly came on with you. I love the discussions you and Riles had. Can’t wait to hear you down the road….a slouching 5’11, 195 lbs. ding

  50. You are right Reggie had a great career and after getting a chance to hear the “real” Reggie on your show, I feel that does not want people thinking he would be coming back simply for the ring. I think he see’s that selfish, and that does not seem like his MO. I also think Reggie saw MJ and his return and how he struggled at times, how it was’nt easy for him anymore, and how his body seemed to ache each game. I think Reggie noticed that. Good for Reggie.

    What have you heard on a possible Scottie Pippen comeback???

  51. As a longtime Pacers fan, I hated that Reggie was coming back (like seeing your ex with somebody else), yet at the same time, thought he deserved to do anything he wanted to do.

    I wasn’t shocked when he said no, because, as you know, he’s either 100% or nothing. That’s what made him a great player, and makes him a great person.

    YES the media is way too hard on athletes that never won a championship, because so many things have to align for that to happen…especially in team sports. Since the analysts have to have SOMETHING to say to do their contrived “who’s-better-than-whom” analyses, they pull that little stat out of their rear ends.

    You and Reggie had so much great chemistry, and he’s very knowledgeable on MANY facets of sports. I sure hope you guys team up again.

  52. Hello bro.
    I am glad that was registered here.
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