Since the Clippers have become sexy again (thank you, Chris Paul), I remember the first time in my life when people actually began mentioning them as a potential playoff team.
It’s like the scene in Major League when everyone around town is talking about the Indians during a successful run and saying “These guys might not be so f—ing bad.”
Three rookies and two first-year players – Quentin Richardson, Keyon Dooling, Darius Miles, Corey Maggette and Lamar Odom – on the 2000-01 team followed up the next year by the addition of Elton Brand to go along with guys like Eric Piatkowski and Michael Olowakandi made the Clippers somewhat intriguing.
Turns out, the Asian groundkeepers from Major League were right. “They’re still shitty” as they said.
A lot of that falls on the Clippers as an organization. But, some of it should fall on Darius Miles.
After being compared to Kevin Garnett for making the leap straight from high school to the NBA – and being picked No. 3 overall – Miles seemed like he would be part of a Clippers core for plenty of years and playoff runs.
Turns out, he never really had a jump shot – or developed one – and at 6-foot-9 he should have been a better rebounder. Yet, because he weighed about 150 pounds (truthfully 210, but he looked as slender as a meth head) he couldn’t bang down low and because he couldn’t pass or shoot, he couldn’t sit on the perimeter.
In his eight NBA seasons he averaged just 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. It’s not Adam Morrison (another No. 3 overall pick) statistics, but it isn’t Carmelo Anthony either. In two of Miles’ seasons he averaged – repeat, averaged! – a negative win share. That means that the team would have been better off not having him play a single minute.
What Miles did get known for was his head-pounding that he did on the court with Quentin Richardson where the two would turn their fists upside down and hit the top of their heads.
The move, known as “antennas up” in reference to people should pull up their antennas and pay attention to what we’re doing. The move carried on with each doing so when they were no longer teammates.
It did become hip enough that the move was featured in a Nike commercial, directed by Spike Lee where the best part is Miles’ block at the 0:09 mark that looks like a fourth grader is shooting the ball.
Being in L.A., Miles and Richardson also parlayed their shared fame into a small part in Van Wilder but that seemed to be the only highlight of Miles’ career.
He was arrested recently for carrying a loaded gun – repeat, a loaded gun! – in an airport and trying to get it through security. That followed up his arrest for pot (but, really, it’s the NBA so we shouldn’t be surprised and he was playing with the Jail Blazers at the time) and driving on a suspended license. I guess when you roll in a car pictured to the left, you might attract some attention.
It’s just that the attention Miles drew was rarely for what he did on the court. Except for the “antennas up” salute.