Saturday, January 10th, 2009 at 3:03 pm  |  66 responses

Grizz To Sign Miles To 10-Day

He’s ready to work for his paycheck again.

by Ryne Nelson

There’s absolutely no question about it: Darius Miles has always been one of the most polarizing players in the NBA. One night, you’d watch him limping around on one heal, and next he was dropping 47. One day, we thought Miles could be the future of the League, the next people labeled him a bust.

Love him or hate him, Darius Miles is on the comeback trail. So it goes without saying that this piece should have both some good and some bad.

I’ll give you good first: The Grizzlies plan to sign Miles to another 10-day contract this weekend, as reported by the Commercial Appeal. Now, this is very, very good, and I’ll you’ll see why it’s excellent news soon. But first, let’s touch on the bad, since I think it gives some necessary perspective…

Nine years since entering the NBA–during the height of the high school-to-pros boom–the East St. Louis product finds himself in the middle of an unprecedented saga to return to the League.

In August of 2004, the Blazers gave Miles his first non-rookie contract worth $48 million over six years. Miles was arguably the team’s best talent, recording irregular but absolutely nasty stat lines. This was the pinnacle of ‘Jail Blazer’ Era, however, a low-point in Blazer history in which players openly clashed with management and suspensions were dolled-out like ice cream at a Baskin Robins.

Miles famously had numerous public spats with Portland’s coaches, including a ballyhooed disagreement with then-interim head coach Kevin Pritchard.

The run-in occurred April 14, 2005 after a loss to Dallas. Miles pulled himself out of the game twice–once in the 2nd quarter and again in the 4th quarter–and went directly to the locker room. An assistant had to retrieve him the first time, and brought him back to the bench.

After the game, Miles met Pritchard in his office for a ‘pow wow.’ The press reported that shouting could be heard outside the office.

Later as GM, Pritchard replaced every player from the 2004-05 team with the exception of Travis Outlaw and Joel Przybilla. Many bad memories were made for during that period, and it’s quite clear why the team would have no qualms if Miles never played again…mostly because if Miles plays 10 games, his contract will ruin Portland’s hopes for signing an elite free agent this summer.

After what nearly everyone dubbed a “career-ending injury,” Miles has now played eight games this season, two shy of slapping $18 million back onto the Trail Blazers’ salary-cap.

Bench slinters, April 3, 2005So team president Larry Miller sent an email to the League’s owners and executives threatening to possibly sue any team that signed Miles.

But, thankfully, the bad news ends here.

Owners in Cleveland and Phoenix gave Portland disapproving responses. The Players’ Association filed a grievance against the Blazers alleging collusion. The NBA sent a memo to all 30 franchises which supported any team that wanted to sign Miles. In other words, the Blazers will not be permitted to prematurely end Miles’ career to help their wallets. Yes, this is very good news.

So here’s to the now-27 year old Darius Miles, a do-everything talent who admittedly had his faults, but who was forced to leave the League under the ugliest of circumstances. Inconsistent playing time, untimely injuries and devastatingly poor franchises tainted his young career.

You may not like Darius Miles because he’s about to drastically limit the Blazers’ financial flexibility. Four years and $30 million of his contract were almost all wasted, but Miles is ready and able to work for his paycheck again.

And that’s a very good thing.

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  • Gumdrop

    That memo was one of the stupidest things the Blazers could have done.

  • TR

    The damned definition of sticking it to the man! Never was Darius’ biggest fan, but I’m bout ready to pop a bottle of bub now!

  • lobster

    Here’s to hoping he completely blows his knee out in ‘Game 9′ of the comeback trail.
    He was a punk then and is still one now.
    I believe in second chances, but never should have be given his 5th chance.
    It’s players like like him that make me detest the NBA @ times- the ‘me’ mentality and no regard for any ‘team’ concepts.

  • The Question

    thats hilarious! i was always a darius guy! him and Qrich back in the da

  • slamfan4life

    so blazers will have to pay this guy again…

  • John Gambill

    ok, i have an idea, why dont the blazers sign miles to a deal and keep him away from the team so that he cant play in any more games? just how the knicks are screwing marbury, pay him to stay away..

  • j-smoov 5

    Darius Miles needs more playing time and another chance where they’ll actually play him. The guy’s amazing.

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    Great post Ryne. D-Miles deserves to play in the NBA. Although he’s only signed for a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies, glad to know he’ll be playing again. :D

  • http://deceptivelyquick.blogspot.com JackBrown

    The Blazers tried a little shady trick and didn’t get everything they wanted. But, they still got Miles away from the Portland area and out of their daily concerns. My guess is they figured that even if they had to pay him they’d rather have him be in another city than kicking around the practice facility trying to hang out with players and telling the local media he’s healthy enough to play.

  • Julius J. Hornswaggle IV

    Good show. Who doesn’t like a player who rises above adversity to rekindle his career? We should all be Darius Miles fans today.

  • Julius J. Hornswaggle IV

    While firmly on the Darius Miles bandwagon, kudos to the Griz for giving him a second go.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Strangely, I have a feeling this Darius Miles will not be at all like the testy, problematic Miles from back in his Portland days. He realizes how blessed he was now.

  • Paniscus

    Your 2009 Portland Trial Blazers!

  • Wilford Brimley

    Didn’t an independent medical authority appointed by the NBA determine that Miles’ injury was career-ending? If so, I don’t understand how the Blazers somehow have to be responsible for paying that salary if he comes back. Is that how the collective bargaining rules in the NBA work? I know contracts are guaranteed (no cutting guys like in the NFL), but wasn’t this an injury exception because the independent authority said the injury was career-ending.

    I agree the e-mail was stupid, but I don’t get why Portland has to pay him if he comes back…

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    As far as I’m concerned, Miles is *not* being selfish at all. Portland gave him a contract and Miles obviously can still play. You shouldn’t keep a guy from playing because you don’t want to uphold your end of an agreement. If Shaun Livingston made it back, DMiles injury wasn’t even close to ‘career ending.’

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    Blazer Memo = Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuur

  • thesubwayconnection

    Good to hear. I’m not the largest fan of Miles, but I totally agree that he can play. I’m happy to see him catch on somewhere.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Now only if Quentin Richardson could make a comeback.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Cheers Ryne!

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi T

    D. Miles won’t be testy like he once was; you’re right on that Ryne. He won’t be dunking like he once did either.

  • http://twentythreenine.blogspot.com Russ Bengtson

    +10 to Paniscus.

  • Brad

    If we could just over look the whole Portland deal,D.Miles helps a woeful Memphis team out and he will be a key role player in Memphis.

  • niQ

    why couldn’t the blazers just play him on their team?

  • Jose

    yea, i never knew miles but i know that its f’d up to not let a guy play just for cash,

  • http://www.sprint.com/sero dma

    Miles is still getting paid his $18M! Dude has made $50+ million in 8 years. that’s enough easily to live off the rest of his life. it’s not like he’s dead broke turning tricks for $20. what i don’t get is why portland, or other teams are concerned with the salary cap situation. miles has 2 years in his contract remaining. no matter what he’ll come off the books during summer of 2010. they’ll still be major players! it’s the $18M in luxury tax that Paul Allen has to bite.

  • Nosebleed Seats

    Since when are the Grizzlies an NBA team?

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Russ- where did Paniscus post?
    Is the tag line for the photo of Miles on the bench supposed to say ‘splinters’? hmmm

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    Great news.

  • Bombsquad

    How many of us got handed tens on millions of dollars before we turned 25? without attending a day of college even? Dmiles has enough cash. His first clipper deal was pretty big, his Blazers deal huge. He’s in his prime age-wise, he’s added more strength and can contribute for the next 8-10 years in the NBA. He ain’t Bonzi Wells, he ain’t Lloyd Daniels he ain’t even Ruben Paterson or Stephen Jackson.

    Darius is a good guy, he’s here to stay. What was his motivation to go through two years of rehab? Same as us..He love ball.

  • http://www.yamahyouth.com Germs

    If he can’t make it back, there is always an acting career he could pick up again…

  • ka

    darius and steph should do a super hero team up to stick it to the man.

  • http://www.yamahyouth.com Germs

    The memo Portland send. Is it in the same category as the Sam Bowie over MJ thing?

    Good thing to read that the NBA stands behind Miles though.

  • Rob

    how come nobody talks about the doctor who told d.miles his career was over, maybe he was payed beforehand to give that assesment of miles so the blazers wouldnt have to ever worry about it, they know more than they let on

  • Rob

    oh and 2 more things 1: portland couldnt have ever resigned miles again if they wanted to and make another marbury situation, he’d turn em down soo fast. 2: this whole situation wont affect the players, look at portlands record today theyre 5th in the western conferance which is stacked as it was last year, so this only applies to the front office, theyre 10 deep, dont worry bout em maybe another vet or 2 but theyll b great

  • underdog

    Posted Jan 10 2009 10:50PM

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies re-signed forward Darius Miles on Saturday despite a threat of legal action by the Portland Trail Blazers. – Nice. I’m a Grizz fan from now on. Plus all the respect for D-Miles, because he didn’t give up. Allegedly career ending injury is a b|tch.

  • http://nbl antho

    I need to say that no teams are leting Darius Miles to have a chance not grizz but i think that Miles should go back to the caves because he could be a backup SF for LeBron. I know that theres jj hickson and aleksandar pavlovic but he could be a good fit for the team.

  • http://www.friendster.com/sesa Sesa

    I’m not a fan of D-Miles but thanks to Larry Miller I am now.
    This is just to see the misery of an A-Hole like Miller

  • http://thesportsdiaryonline.blogspot.com Roy

    Co-sign Ryne. :D

  • unclecliffy

    I love how everyone is championing Miles for “not giving up”. How about when he gave up on the Blazers when they tried to make him one of the cornerstones of the franchise and paid him crazy money?

    He signed the contract and then totally quit on the Blazers when they were going through their rough years. This is pre-injury stuff. And now all of a sudden Miles is the victim?

  • http://slamonline.com grillzboy224

    this is funny LMAO

  • Jr. Ellis

    I Happy to have him in memphis it might work,he always a very good player in my eyes,back in the day with him amd QRICH…ANYWAY CAN,T take a mans living like that….well we see I been a season ticket hold for 18yrs now …well see.

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi T

    @Jr Ellis: 18 years for what team? The Blazers? Cause it can’t be the Grizz.

  • JoeMaMa

    Good for Darius Miles! He proved that you can screw around, do nothing, poison your team, repeatedly bite the hand that fed you, ruin a few Trail Blazer years, embarrass the city of Portland, and still get paid!!!
    Miles once scored 47? Great. Willie Burton once scored 53. “Even the sun shines on a dog’s ass.”
    Good guy, though.

  • CP34MVP

    Lets Go Blazers! They dont need f/a’s anyhow. lol

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    Atta boy Miles, you work those games.

  • Wendy

    So, players with career-ending injuries automatically don’t receive any salaries anymore? Or are they still getting paid, only it is not counted against the cap? Somebody please explain.

  • http://dfjlf.com Jukai

    Instead of posting my opinion, I’ll just repost JoeMaMa’s opinion:
    “Good for Darius Miles! He proved that you can screw around, do nothing, poison your team, repeatedly bite the hand that fed you, ruin a few Trail Blazer years, embarrass the city of Portland, and still get paid!!!
    Miles once scored 47? Great. Willie Burton once scored 53. “Even the sun shines on a dog’s ass.”
    Good guy, though.”

  • http://www.garrettelliott.com Garrett

    I think the real question here is: will he be healthy enough to make a sequel to “The Perfect Score”?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Haha @ Garrett.
    That is the question.

  • http://www.basketballnonsense.com Melvin

    I wouldn;t care signing for a douchebagf\ but anyway its just 10 day so I will take that into consideration

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Damn, Darius is only 27?!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    He was just 26 a minute ago TAD.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    It feels like he should be 30, at least.

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  • http://www.betagainstme.com/?affid=959 BetAgainstMe

    Never thoucgt that Blazers could do such ridiculous things

  • Cizzo

    D Miles needs an oppurtunity to re-establish himself back into the league regaedless if some rich dude can’t finacially stablize his already loaded team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Keith

    Ryne: Not sure I agree with your statement that he’s always been one of the most polarizing players in the NBA. I always got the feeling people straight up hated him.
    Oh, I see what you mean: he split people between hating him and those who were disappointed in him.

  • http://www.alloutblitz.com Cordeazy

    Miles will never ever do anything in the league. Ever. Still, nice to see a bball team biting their nails to see if he’ll play.

  • S. Trotter

    He was a knucklehead for sure. I’m just of the mind that when you pull a kid off his prom floor, give him millions of dollars and send him on his way you are bound to have issues. Think about all the dumb stuff you did as a kid. Throw a few millions in there and what would you have gotten?

    He is 27 now(just barely and adult) and I think he may have put all of that sillyness behind him. I for one enjoyed watching him play, and hope that he turns out to be good for Memphis.

  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com nbk

    he works out at the gym i go to in the offseason and he was there pretty much every day he is serious about coming back.

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    he breathes the same air that i do and lives on the same planet as me. we’re like this him and i.

  • Butch

    I like everyone else, love a great comeback story. Most of us have had down times in our lives and I applaud those who keep trying to come back. Although the money is the big issue with the Ahole blazer management, the money part means nothing to me. I am just happy that he is able to play again; I really doubt that he did it for the money as he has made over fifty million. I hope Darius has matured and uses this opportunity to prove people wrong.

  • http://slamonline.com/online/nba/2009/02/whats-my-name-21 John

    HATERS how can u call this man a punk hes an awesome talent whos worked hard 2 come back and hes still young were talking about a baller whom played a vital role n taking the sorry azz Clippers 2 da playoffs

  • dar

    You seen that game against cleveland Miles was ballin he had 12 against KING James he’s older now and he know the game more

  • http://SlamOnline John Hall

    hells yeah dudes got made skillz if he can hold up vs bron i dont c y he cant hold his own n da L HE’S made his mistakes but u live u learn like terminater he’ll be back