Mike Miller, the prodigal son of the Memphis Grizzlies, has decided to finally return home after three straight trips to the NBA Finals. The highly coveted shooter in the 2013 free agent class selected Memphis over other championship contenders like Oklahoma City and Houston. Miller spent five full seasons with the Grizzlies before playing for Minnesota, Washington, and Miami.
A lot has changed for the Grizzlies franchise in the time since Miller last played in Beale Street Blue. The Grizzlies have transformed from a pretender to serious championship contender. Memphis finally has a playoff win (18 to be exact). Rudy Gay is gone. A different Gasol is manning the paint.
It has been a while since Miller last played for the Grizzlies, and fans might not remember some of the memorable moments that Miller gave the city while the Grizzlies were still in their infancy as a NBA franchise in Memphis.
Here are the Top Five Most Memorable Mike Miller Moments from his days in Memphis…
2005-2006 Sixth Man of the Year:
One of the highlights of Miller’s Grizzlies tenure is not a moment, it’s a series of moments which led to him being crowned the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year during the ’05-06 season. He received 501 out of 615 points, and 88 out of 123 first place votes. It was not close that year as the runner up, Speedy Claxton, received just 205 points and only 12 first place votes. That season, Miller averaged 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and helped lead the Grizzlies to their third straight playoff appearance.
2007 three point contest:
Game 3 of the 2004 playoffs against the Spurs:
This was the first home NBA playoff game in Memphis history. It was a crucial Game 3, since the Grizzlies were shellacked by the Spurs in the first two games of the series. Memphis lost the two games in San Antonio by an average margin of 20.5 points. With Memphis down 0-2 in their first ever first round series, and a chance to win the game, Miller took, what was then, the biggest three point shot in franchise history. Everyone thought it was going in, after all he hits that shot all the time. Unfortunately for him and Grizzlies fans everywhere, it clanked off the back of the rim all but ending the series against San Antonio. Memphis went on to be swept in the next game.
45 point game against Golden State:
January 10, 2006:
Not necessarily a day that will live forever in NBA lore, but it is the day that the first ever triple-double was recorded in Memphis Grizzlies history since the team moved from Vancouver. Miller dropped 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 99-85 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
CJ Hurt covers the NBA for Memphisport. Follow him @churtj09 for live tweets from games.