Andre Miller: "I can't worry about the rumors"
Andre Miller: It’s tough, but the good thing right now is that I don’t have a family, so the transition was just me and the clothes I needed to get me through the season.
Before the trade, you were mentioned in trade rumors. So were you surprised when you were traded to Philadelphia?
AM: I think I was, for the amount or effort and energy I put into the Denver Nugget organization. But it’s a part of business and you move on.
Were you disappointed to be sent to an organization that has been struggling so much?
AM: That’s tough. Like I say, I like this team. I like the guys. They are hard-working guys. You just have to go out and try to get better every day and hopefully I can turn it into a positive.
Third-year swingman Andre Iguodala has emerged as go-to player since Iverson has been traded. What have you seen of his game that has impressed you the most?
AM: Just his ability to make plays. He is always a part of everything that is going on the court, whether it’s defense, offense. He can rebound, he can pass. When we ask him to take a shot at the end of a game, he is learning how to do that. He is getting better and has a lot of upside and a lot of talent to his game.
This is a young Sixers team. Do you see yourself having to show more leadership?
AM: Leadership comes from the coach first and trickles down to the point guard. When on the court, the point guard is supposed to get everybody going. As long as I am doing my job and telling guys where to be at certain times, we can be better.
Are you comfortable with the system of coach Mo Cheeks?
AM: I am still adjusting. Whether it’s in Denver or Philadelphia, it’s something you will go through. You have to adjust every day. It’s a game of adjustments. It’s a game of getting better individually. It’s going to take some time to get to that level.
The Sixers have said publicly that they want to keep you, but your name has continued to come up in trade rumors. Does that bother you and do you pay attention to it?
AM: This is a business and the main thing is just to keep working hard on the court and let the off court distractions take care of themselves. I can’t worry about the rumors. That is a part of any business. I am sure there are a lot of players in this league who have to go through the same thing.
Would you prefer playing at this time for a contender?
AM: It doesn’t matter. I am just happy to be a part of a team and be able to go out and compete and play games. As long as I am out there working hard and practicing and playing games, I can’t worry about that stuff.
Some people would have moped when getting traded from a likely playoff team to a likely lottery team, yet you haven’t moped and have played hard and been productive. Can you talk about that?
AM: That has always been my character, whether I’m on a winning team or one not doing too well. You definitely want to go out and play hard and have people see the professionalism I bring. I like to keep that going.
Do you see an upswing in the future of the 76ers?
AM: Yes. I think the organization knows it’s going to take some time. You can’t control who is on the team or on the court playing, but they do know it’s a rebuilding process.
What does it say about your value when you were the main player in a trade for somebody the caliber of Allen Iverson?
AM: It doesn’t say too much. It’s a part of the business. Allen Iverson is a great player. I bring a lot to the table also. I guess both teams got what they wanted.
You will be 31 in March, but it looks like you have a lot left in your game. How long do you envision being an NBA player?
AM: I want to play for as long as I can. The main thing is taking care of your body. If you don’t take care of your body, you can’t get on the court and compete. There are certain things that I still have to get better in, just as far as keeping my weight down, but the main thing is my goal is to always be on the court so that is what keeps me going.
Shortly after you were traded, the Sixers went on a seven-game road trip. Was that good for you?
AM: The good thing about me traded is that I was able to be on a long road trip and be able to be around he guys and see what type of attitudes and what the guys like to do and how they like to play and communicate and do that stuff. Now that I had the opportunity, it’s good to come back here with the fans and the environment of home games.
Marc Narducci covers the NBA for the Philadelphia Inquirer and is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com
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