Earlier this week, we noted that Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller was suspended for one game by the NBA for a huge hit he put on Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin on Sunday night. Miller, taking exception to two shoves in the back from Griffin in rebounding scrums, charged full court in transition to blindside Griffin with a shoulder check, sending the Rookie of the Year candidate hurling to the ground. Incredibly, Miller wasn't issued a foul in the game, as the referees didn't see the incident, but upon review was suspended for one game without pay by the league office for the hit. Unfortunately for Miller, the ruling came with a greater consequence than the fine and missing Portland's Tuesday night win over the Phoenix Suns. Miller's league-leading 632 consecutive games played streak was ended by the suspension. Asked for his comments on the suspension at Blazers practice on Wednesday, the Columbian reports that Miller didn't mince words.
"It just shows you how soft the league has gotten, protecting young players. It's not like it was when I came in this league .... It wasn't justified at all. If I was a dirty player that was looking to go out and hurt someone then I can understand 'OK, this guy has a reputation.' Back in the day, like John Stockton, tough minded player, some people thought he was dirty, he never got suspended for anything. The league has changed, they favor the young guys now and that's just how I feel."Miller also sounds disappointed to see his streak go. " "It means a lot," Miller told the paper. "Obviously it doesn't mean anything to the league. I take pride in it. I did what I did." Here's video of Miller's hit on Griffin one more time, in case you missed it. There's nothing "soft" about it.