Answer me this: Was anybody really surprised when Brad Miller punked Devin Harris the other night? Miller may have a pretty face, but he also has a history of setting teeth-rattling picks and committing bone-jarring fouls. But he's a Big White Center. That's what Big White Centers do. It's been standard procedure since the days when "Jungle" Jim Loscutoff was roaming the hardwood.

What actually was surprising was Josh Howard's reaction, namely sprinting 80 feet downcourt and delivering a flying elbow the the back of Miller's beautifully cornrowed coconut.

Howard claims he was just protecting his teammate from a dirty play. I guess his mother never taught him that two wrongs don't make a right, since blindsiding somebody with a sucker punch to the head is about as dirty as it gets. And you know what? He wasn't "protecting" anybody from anything. It's not like Miller had Harris in a choke hold or anything. There's a difference between protection and revenge.

The word out of Dallas is that this isn't the first time Miller has taken a shot at Harris. Harris claims that it's happened three other times, and that he was even knocked out of a game one of those times. Personally, I think Harris is a bit of a drama queen. Watch the video closely and you'll notice that he puts a little extra mustard on his fall. You'll also notice that things had calmed down right before Howard's sneak attack, but Harris still decided to take an extra shot at the dazed Miller after said sneak attack.

This is nothing new for Miller, though. Back on January 12, 2002, Shaq responded to a hard foul* by taking a clumsy swing at Brad Miller's head. The only reason Brad's still among the living is that Shaq missed, although I understand the gust of wind generated by Shaq's arm was equal to a Category 3 hurricane and actually killed three people in the crowd. Like Howard, Shaq took his cheap shot while Miller's back was turned. What's up with that?

*The foul was actually committed by Charles Oakley, who also hit Miller in the face on the same play. That's the reason Miller was stumbling away from Shaq, which helped him to avoid Shaq's clubbing blow. I'm not sure whether Shaq new who had actually fouled him, but I'm guessing that, if he had known, he wouldn't have taken a swipe at Oak.

The video is great. Shaq tries to hit Miller, Miller retreats in abject fear, Shaq lumbers around like a rampaging bear, Ron Artest and Charles Oakley jump on Shaq's back, and Miller somehow ends up shirtless. Best of all, Chicago's hometown announcers Johnny "Red" Kerr and Wayne Larrivee call the action. The funniest line belonged to Larrivee: "Shaq is violent!"

One last note: Brad Miller has been in two relatively serious confrontations during his career. Ron Artest was his teammate both times. Coincidence? Maybe Artest just brings The Crazy with him?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
That Shaq/Miller clip is fantastic. I love seeing Ron Mercer and Marcus Fizer. Plus: Ron-Ron jumps on Shaq. Shaquille O'Neal. Someone jumped on him. That defies logic.

If you really want to go down Ron Artest as a Bull memory lane, try searching for a clip of Artest body slamming the Big Dog in 2000-01.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I forgot that Bill Cartwright tried to "coach" Ron Artest at one point. What a laugh.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The true highlight for me is seeing Greg Anthony back when he started at the point for the Bulls. What a mess that franchise once was.

Gotta admit seeing Ron Artest leap on Shaq was hilarious.

Blogger Pete Fresh said...
So is Brad Miller Basketbawful's new Greg Ostertag. He's awkward, white, a redneck, sucks etc. I think we may be looking at Ostertag 2.0

Blogger Basketbawful said...
ben -- If there was any player crazy enough to jump on Shaq, it would be Ron Artest. Maybe Stephen Jackson, too. On the subject, if Shaq had shoved down Harris, you think Howard would have blind-sided the Diesel? Yeah, me neither.

hot shit -- Damn. That one's not available on YouTube (yet).

mr. lifto -- Coach isn't the right word, as you pointed out. "Handle" might be a better world.

josh -- What does it mean to have a 34-year-old Greg Anthony running your team on what turned out to be his NBA Farewell Tour? It means they were lucky to win 21 games that season.

pete -- Hm. I don't know if Brad is worthy to be the site's new Greg Ostertag. I mean, Brad's a two-time all-star (2003 and 2004)who actually has some discernable basketball skills other than "big" and "funny looking." He averaged 14/10/4 one season (2003-04), and once averaged almost 5 APG (2005-06). While his "accomplishments" may still be relatively meager, they're still beyond Ostertag's wildest dreams. I've got my eye on this Nick Fazekas kid, though (the "other guy" in the Miller/Harris/Howard scuffle)...he has potential.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
LMAO at the whole situation.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
WOW...I could only imagine what Brad Miller would look like today, had Shaq's massive meat hook actually connected with his tiny little head (when compared to Shaq's fist). That is an all-time classic clip.

I still can't understand, to this day, how Shaq-o-rama missed him.

Suns might win 70 games this year.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I think Shaq should punch YOU for that last comment regarding the Suns.

Blogger bob said...
Even as a Mavs' fan, I felt the Howard push was overboard. Who does he think he is, Carmelo Anthony ;)?

Harris is a good flopper. I heard he's getting lessons from Raja Bell via teleconferencing. Maybe it could be even Vlade Divac.

Hopefully Dallas can shake this off.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
So I guess I'm the only who thinks Brad Miller should have gotten hit for trying to act tough with those ridiculous braids.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
starang -- Shaq didn't throw a real punch. No way he would have missed if he'd really intended to hit Miller. Remember: He's a master of Shaq-Fu.

bob -- Heh, you know, the Anthony sucker-slap came to my mind too, but it's totally different, 'cause Anthony was facing the guy he smacked and then ran away.

sun devil -- If Howard had hit Miller because of his cornrows, I wouldn't have said a thing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
There's no comparison between Brad Miller and Ostertag. I've never seen Tag running nimble pick and rolls only to knock down the jumper at the top of the key.

Having said that, Miller needs to lose the cornrows. Reminds me of Radmonovic's hair in the playoffs with Seattle a couple years back.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Guys, guys, guys

Dan Gadzuric is probably the closest thing to the second coming of Ostertag. Despite absurd hair styles, Brad Miller is a decent center.

Also: Basketbawful, are you going to a season preview of awful things to look out for? Maybe?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
C'mon, Brad hockey-checking Devin Harris' petite 8th grader frame into the sidelines is not justified because "That's what Big White Centers do." Besides, it happened after the play was over in a moment of completely misdirected anger. One cheap shot deserves another, Brad deserved to get punked.