- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2005

One of the best clutch shooters of his era couldn’t even walk correctly as a child because of pronated hips, so he wore braces on his legs for five years.

He spent much of his career being called the second-best player in his family — behind his sister, Cheryl.

He was booed when he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers because the hometown fans wanted homegrown star Steve Alford.

But Reggie Miller kept coming for 18 seasons, kept picking his scrawny 6-foot-7, 190-pound frame up off the ground and kept running off screen after screen to hit more 3-pointers than anyone in NBA history and plenty of clutch shots.

Indeed, the Miller highlight reel is a long one.

In Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals, he scored 25 fourth-quarter points, taunting Spike Lee after every shot during the 93-86 win against the Knicks.

The following season, in Game1 of the conference semifinals, Miller scored eight consecutive points — two 3-pointers and two free throws — in 8.9 seconds for a 107-105 win against New York.

Later that year, Miller released his autobiography: ‘I Love Being the Enemy.’

In 1998, he finally met Michael Jordan — that other clutch player — in the playoffs. Miller came up big in Game4 of the conference finals, hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds left, but Jordan’s Bulls won the series.

In 2000, Miller averaged 31 points in the clinching games of each Eastern Conference playoff series to lead the Pacers to their first NBA Finals, where he averaged 29.5 points in the last four games as Indiana lost to the Lakers in six games.

Miller never did get a championship ring. He never left for a bigger market either, remaining fiercely loyal to old-fashioned Indianapolis — even after his $2million home was burned to the ground in 1997.

The blessing has been Indiana’s. Miller has come to define the basketball-obsessed state as much as Bob Knight or Larry Bird.

This is Miller’s last season, and he planned to spend it like he has the last few: tutoring and acquiescing to future stars Jermaine O’Neal and Ron Artest.

But O’Neal is injured and Artest is suspended for the season, so the 39-year-old Miller is back, averaging 14.6 points a game, leading the league in free throw shooting and playing the position as no one his age has.

There he is, running off screen after screen, hitting 3-pointers and clutch shots. Here’s hoping there’s something left in the highlight reel.

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