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Reggie Miller: How Larry Bird Shaped a Lakers Fan’s Game



Reggie Miller, known as one of the NBA’s elite shooters, often credited for his shooting prowess, had a game that went beyond the arc during his prime with the Indiana Pacers. But what many overlook is how he developed into an all-around player, drawing inspiration from an unexpected source.


Growing up in Riverside, California, Miller’s heart belonged to the Los Angeles Lakers, a common allegiance for many Californians. However, despite his Lakers fandom, Miller found himself captivated by the game of Larry Bird, the legendary Celtics forward. In an interview on The Mark Jackson Show, Miller revealed how Bird became the cornerstone of his basketball style, influencing everything from his workout routines to his on-court demeanor.


Bird’s impact on the game was profound. Renowned for his versatility, he showcased how a player could excel in multiple facets of the game, transcending traditional positions. Miller, taking notes from Bird’s playbook, integrated Bird’s trademark three-point shooting into his own arsenal, ultimately becoming one of the game’s premier long-range marksmen.


Beyond statistics and accolades, Bird’s influence on players like Miller stretched far beyond the court. He pioneered the concept of taller players embracing playmaking roles and utilizing the three-point shot as a potent offensive weapon. While Bird himself may downplay his impact, Miller’s testament underscores the profound influence that Larry Legend had on the evolution of basketball.


Miller’s loyalty to the Pacers, spanning nearly two decades, exemplifies the lasting impact of Bird’s mentorship. Despite the rivalry between their respective teams, Miller remained steadfast in his admiration for Bird, a testament to the transformative power of mentorship in sports.


Through Bird’s guidance, Miller not only extended his playing career but also came tantalizingly close to capturing an NBA championship. Despite falling short in the 2000 Finals against the Lakers, Miller’s journey stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Larry Bird and the transformative power of mentorship in the world of basketball.

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