Miller returns to Utah, this time as a Blazer
Andre Miller has another new home -- his fifth in 11 NBA seasons.
So far, he's happy with a summertime decision to sign a three-year, $21 million contract with the up-and-coming Portland Trail Blazers.
"As long as you have a job in this league, any decision is a good decision," he said Thursday night, after the Jazz's 99-96 preseason win over Portland at EnergySolutions Arena.
"I like this team. I like the work habits."
Miller continues to enjoy folk-hero status in Utah. In 1998, he quarterbacked the Utes past opponents like Arkansas, Arizona and North Carolina and into the NCAA championship game, where they lost to Kentucky.
It was a remarkable achievement and a springboard to a professional career that has taken him from Cleveland to Los Angeles to Denver to Philadelphia to Portland.
"Everything is going good," Miller said. "I like the environment here and I like the attitude of the team. We're just trying to figure out our way to the preseason."
No problem for Miller.
Against the Jazz, he finished with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists in only 22 minutes. It was his fifth straight exhibition game in double figures and it came just 24 hours after he scored 25 points in 34 minutes during a 110-104 loss to Phoenix.
Not bad for a point guard who will be 34 years old before the end of this season and is trying to fit in with a roster full of younger teammates.
"We're happy where he is right now," Portland coach Nate McMillan said.
The Blazers won 54 games last season and, with Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge leading the way, they are considered a legitimate threat in the Western Conference.
When Miller signed, he was viewed as a critical piece to the puzzle.
"He's trying to learn the system," McMillan said. "It's a new system for him. He has new teammates [and] a new coaching staff. He's living in a new city. There are a lot of adjustments for him. ... Those adjustments all take time."
As basketball fans in Utah could have probably guessed, McMillan likes Miller's professionalism.
"Andre is working at it," he said. " He's practicing hard. He's shown up every day ready to go -- practice and games. He's doing well. It's just going to take some time for him to learn his teammates and for his teammates and coaching staff to learn him."
At the start of training camp, Miller made some headlines in Portland for being the only veteran player to fail a conditioning test that included a series of timed wind sprints.
He called the ensuing hoopla "overblown."
Miller continued: "I can't really control that. But I've never had a conditioning problem since I've been in the league. So, you know, I'm going to continue to get better and better and move forward."
Miller believes his new team is capable of a run at a championship.
"It's always an adjustment," he said. "But there is a lot of talent here. ... Just getting used to the guys is the main thing."
Andre Miller's game-by-game preseason statistics:
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