Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News


April 3, 2012

GASKINS: Miller gave us thrills

Growing up, Larry Bird was my favorite basketball player. I appreciated his all-around game, but I loved his outside shooting most of all.

How much did I like Bird? I was told in a high school practice that I might idolize Larry, but I played like his younger brother Eddie. Henceforth, “Eddie” has been my nickname.

Once Larry Bird began to slow down in the early 1990s, I found myself gravitating toward another great shooter — Reggie Miller.

I was thrilled to hear Monday that Miller had been selected for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September. Boom, baby! It’s a well-deserved honor for the greatest Pacer of at least my lifetime and perhaps of all time.

How much do I like Miller? I include No. 31 as a nod to Miller (and also baseball great Greg Maddux) in the email address I use for my fantasy sports teams.

Like any Blue and Gold fan, I have my favorite Miller moments. Some of mine are:

• When he exploded for a franchise-record 57 points against the Charlotte Hornets early in the 1992-93 season. Bird had retired following the previous season, and I had found my new favorite player.

• When he scored 39 points, including an outrageous 25 in the fourth quarter, to stun the hated New York Knicks in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals.

• When he broke loose for eight points in 8.9 seconds to stun the Knicks, again, in Game 1 of a 1995 Eastern Conference semifinal series.

• Ripping the Knicks for 38 points in Game 4 of the 1998 Eastern Conference semifinals.

(Yes, I loved the Pacers-Knicks rivalry in the 1990s!)

• The game-winning 3-pointer, and subsequent celebration, in Game 4 of the 1998 Eastern Conference finals against Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. I’ll always remember Miller running to the other end of the court where he repeatedly jumped and spun around as Market Square Arena rocked — and Larry Bird, then the Pacers’ first-year coach, stood calm and expressionless.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • SPL - KT042314 - Prep roundup - pic Prep roundup for Wednesday, April 23 Northwestern's track and field teams swept visiting Tri-Central on Tuesday night.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042414 - Brett Bowman column - Brett's column sig BOWMAN: Cottle has high hopes for new campaign In an era that sees superstar athletes at any sport walk around and boast how great they are, it's refreshing to see the likes of Shane Cottle. He is an open wheel racing standout who never blows his own horn and is embarrassed by the attention he receives for being considered one of the top sprint car drivers in the country.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042214 - Prep roundup - pic Prep roundup for Tuesday, April 22 Eastern's girls tennis team beat Northfield 4-1 Monday at Greentown for its second straight win following a season-opening loss to Peru last week.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042214 - B1 briefs - mug Sports briefs for Tuesday, April 22 The Mid-American Conference on Monday named former Kokomo Wildkat standout T.J. Weir its West Division Pitcher of the Week.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042114 - Athlete of the week - mug Simmerman is Athlete of the Week Simmerman helped the Comets go 3-0 last week.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042014 KT Prep Roundup - pic Prep Roundup for Sunday, April 20 Eastern's softball squad built a 5-0 lead through six innings, only to have Taylor rally for four runs before the Class 2A No. 9-ranked Comets were able to close the door for a 5-4 win Saturday in a non-conference game at Taylor. Maddie Vint put East

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042014 Ortmann-mug Ortmann headed to Taylor When Northwestern senior Graham Ortmann learned last month that he'd been named a recipient of the Lilly Endowment, that was a major weight off his shoulders. The endowment, working with the Community Foundation of Howard County, awards full tuition

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Sunday, April 20 Maupin set to play hoops at Hanover WALTON -- Lewis Cass senior point guard Maci Maupin will continue her basketball career at Hanover College. She will play for Hanover coach Molly Jones, who just completed her 15th year at the Division III school l

    April 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT042014 - John Martino column - Martino column sig MARTINO: You may have company in woods Daylight has lengthened and cold winds have finally given way to warm, gentle breezes, for the most part, anyway. This is the special time of year when many of us enjoy being outdoors, a welcome escape from the four walls that almost held us hostage

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWHS tennis 04 Prep Roundup for Saturday, April 19 Northwestern's girls tennis team got a sweep from its doubles tandems and a point from the No. 1 singles player to edge Northfield 3-2 Friday on the Northwestern courts, improving to 2-1 on the season. Emily Harshman won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Me

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo