Former Pacers great Miller blasts Jackson's behavior
INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller said Tuesday he doesn't understand why Stephen Jackson's teammates are standing by him following a violent incident outside an Indianapolis strip club.
Reggie Miller has never been shy about expressing his opinion, and now he's not happy about the behavior of Stephen Jackson.
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Police said Jackson fired a gun in the air in apparent self-defense early Friday after he was slugged in the mouth and struck by a car that sent him tumbling onto the hood.
Miller, who played 18 years for the Pacers and is the NBA's career leader in 3-pointers, spoke out about the incident Tuesday on Dan Patrick's ESPN Radio show.
"That's ridiculous," Miller said. "That is a black cloud. That is a punch in the gut for [team CEO] Donnie Walsh and [team president] Larry Bird.''
The Pacers have an aggressive preseason publicity campaign, with television ads and billboards featuring players and the "It's up to us" slogan.
"You shouldn't stand behind a player that is someone slapping you guys in the face during the middle of training camp being out at a strip club at 3 o'clock in the morning shooting it up like it's the Wild, Wild West."
Even Jackson, who was suspended 30 games for his role in the brawl with Detroit Pistons fans two seasons ago and often was at odds with coach Rick Carlisle last season, talked about spending a summer "soul-searching" and returning with a positive attitude.
The Pacers didn't even make it to their preseason opener before their latest public relations mess. The Pacers have rallied around Jackson, and Miller disagreed with that on Patrick's show.
"You shouldn't stand behind a player that is someone slapping you guys in the face during the middle of training camp being out at a strip club at 3 o'clock in the morning shooting it up like it's the Wild, Wild West," he said.
Miller, now a TNT basketball analyst, ended his career following the 2004-05 season. He was a five-time All-Star, led the NBA in free throw percentage five times and is No. 12 on the league's career scoring list.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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