Reggie Miller shares why he patterned his game around Larry Bird despite being a Lakers fan - footballivenews
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Reggie Miller shares why he patterned his game around Larry Bird despite being a Lakers fan



Reggie Miller is one of the NBA’s greatest-ever shooters. He was superb with his shooting, but most people do not remember how good he was as an overall player during his prime with the Indiana Pacers.

Before Miller entered the NBA, he played basketball in California, growing up in Riverside, California. He did not leave the state during college, choosing UCLA and played all four years there. Since Reggie grew up in Cali, he was also a Los Angeles Lakers fan but wanted to learn basketball and kept watching Larry Bird play for the Celtics.

“I patterned my game after Larry Legend. Being from Riverside, this was the mid-1980s, of course, it was Lakers vs Boston. That was the rivalry and you had to pick sides, and I am a Lakers fan,” Reggie said on The Mark Jackson Show. “But I patterned my game after Larry Bird. I wanted to know how he worked out, how he approached games, his trash-talking, all of that.”

Bird was an influential player

During his time in the league, Larry showed how much versatility could be a strength in basketball. The Cs legend was an elite scorer but made waves as a playmaker from the small forward position. It was an impressive career for Bird because he had it all as a well-rounded star.

Another part of Larry’s success was his three-point shooting, which made him one of the pioneers of that shot. Miller learned from that and integrated the three into his game. By the end of his career, Reggie became the best three-point shooter because he modeled his game after a player he was rooting against.

That shows the Indiana native’s influence on players because he helped push the idea forward of taller players becoming playmakers and embracing the three-point shot as a significant weapon for success. Bird might downplay his impact on the game, but Reggie’s thoughts should show just how influential Larry was.

Reggie became successful by modeling his game after Larry

Miller stayed loyal to the Pacers from the day he got drafted in June 1987 up to 2005. He was around for a long time as he was superb at preserving his body. ‘Uncle Reg’ was never the best slasher, but his three-point shot was always money.

Reggie learned that from Larry while watching Lakers vs. Celtics games because people would not see the three as a weapon. Thankfully, Miller kept playing and learning from Bird even when they had a player-coach dynamic in Indiana.

The UCLA product was always curious about how ‘Larry Legend’ went about his day, earning first-hand experience of learning the game from one of the best. Under Bird’s tutelage, Millere would extend his career and come the closest to a championship, but ultimately, they fell just short at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2000 Finals.

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