Thursday, July 17, 2008

Darius Miles Comeback Update

I didn’t think I would be doing another Darius Miles post so soon. From (assist from this Blazers Edge thread), we get an update on Big Pun’s latest comeback attempt.

In recent weeks, Miles has had workouts -- ranging from two hours to less than 30 minutes -- with the Nets, Celtics, Suns and Mavericks, all of whom controlled the terms while asking Miles to compete against other players.

Further, the article reveals he is doing pretty well in at least some of these workouts. Reportedly, he is back to his physically capable self. When you learn he is seeking the minimum (you know, since he still has about $18 mil from Paul Allen coming to him), it starts to seem likely the 26 year old could very well be in the league this season.

Financially, a healthy Miles is an inexpensive gamble. It would be a judgment call on whether his attitude has improved enough to where he can become consistently beneficial to a team. A new outlook would be a pretty positive outcome from Miles recent tribulations. Conceivably, a veteran playoff team perhaps could rationalize that established alpha dogs on the team would keep Miles professional on the court and off.

On the other hand, it isn’t too hard to see that Miles attitude probably hasn’t made a complete turnaround:

"I've been on the good side, where everything is good for you -- fans, shoe commercials, movie deals, my jersey in the top five. Then I'm on that side where I'm just labeled this criminal, this thug, this bad guy -- 'He can't be coached.' I've been on both sides and it's funny, I don't know how I went from that side to this side. I don't have a [criminal] record. I don't do anything out of the ordinary. I never had problems with my teammates. It's crazy how you get labeled.''

Perhaps we should kindly refer Miles to his Wikipedia page to ease any confusion. He has never seemed all that self-aware. He seems to think the problems that derailed him from stardom are attributable to forces far beyond his own personal control.

Total enlightenment waved bye-bye long ago, so the question is if he has improved his attitude enough to be a consistent positive team member. If a team figures he is worth the risk, his salary would go back on the Blazer’s books (although they might be able to get out of this too-- salary cap stuff makes my head hurt). Obviously this wouldn’t be a good thing, but Portland is in pretty good shape future-wise regardless. That being the case, it would be compelling to see Miles return to the NBA. I bet you would be watching, too.