Reggie Miller shared some heartbreaking news on Monday night.
The NBA Hall of Famer revealed that his father passed away in a long Instagram post.
“This HURTS,” Miller wrote. “The man who bought me my first set of baseball cleats, first basketball, who taught me to drown out all the outside noise and FOCUS is now and will forever be my guardian angel. Thanks, Pops for EVERYTHING!!! Say hello to Mom for us, and know that your teachings will live on through me to my kids. Please respect my brothers and sisters during this time, though (it’s) difficult he’s in a much better place.”
According to author Mark Montieth, Reggie’s Dad Saul Miller was a jazz musician who played basketball in high school. Montieth notes that Reggie got his trash talking ways from Saul.
Saul was a jazz musician in Memphis, a saxophone musician good enough to play in bands with the likes of Phineas Newborn Jr., B.B. King, John Coltrane, Lionel Hampton and Ike Turner. He also played backup on an iconic recording, Rocket 88, considered by some the first rock and roll song.
He was a high school basketball star, too, and played at Lemoyne College as well, and has the newspaper clippings to prove he was a clutch shooter just like Reggie. Music was his first love until he met Carrie, the woman who tamed him. They raised five children together, all of them wildly successful.
Saul was/is jazzy cool, with flair and a hint of cockiness. He would talk good-natured trash to his kids in games of H-O-R-S-E, for example. He also mastered self-discipline from his career in the Army, which he passed on to his kids. That’s why Reggie played the way he did, with a combination of ego, work ethic, flamboyance, respect for authority and discipline.
During his Hall of Fame speech Miller spoke about the impact his dad had on is life and career.
“You made time to be there for all of us,” Reggie said. “So, again, Dad, Mom, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us.”