Nuggets veteran forward Mike Miller joined Julie and Mose on Altitude Sports Radio on Friday afternoon to discuss his Nikola Jokić, the state of the Nuggets team and Miller’s plans after his NBA playing career comes to a close.
Julie and Mose delve into Mike Miller’s unique bond with Nikola Jokić, asking the veteran to give his take on the young center’s talent and growth this season.
“Nikola Jokić to me, I may be a little biased because he’s like a little brother, I think he has the potential to be a hall-of-fame type of player.”
With Nikola Jokić taking huge strides this season, Julie and Mose ask Miller to describe Jokić’s next steps in his development process as a young player.
“I think the best thing this season is we identified is that he is our best player. He is Denver’s best player. Now the hardest thing for him is when you young like that and you come over as a 41st pick and the expectations weren’t there and now they are, is now taking on and demanding and being aggressive when he sometimes he was accustom to not being aggressive. So I think those are the next steps for him. Is being more aggressive, understanding he is the best player on the team and probably the best player on the floor a lot of the times… I think for him, he’s going to continue to develop his outside shot, he’s always been an unbelievable playmaker. He’s probably our most skilled player. He’s one of the best, if not the best, big man passers I’ve ever seen. So he’s got all of the tools and now it’s going to be the mental part of it. Growing, demanding, and letting everyone know he is the best player on the floor.”
Diving more into the team as a whole, the hosts discussed the certain state and future of the Nuggets with the veteran.
“I think, obviously the Nuggets organization from top to bottom has done an amazing job at getting young talent. We have one of the intriguing, exciting young rosters, I think, in the NBA with where the future of the game is going. It’s fun to see.”
Talking about the growth of the Nuggets this season, the group then turned to the development of the Nuggets young core.
“There’s nothing better than experience. And I think the organization and the coaching staff did a great job of making sure their young talent got to go through some of the hurdles that go into playing 82 games. Being at this time this year, the last 15-20 games actually really meant something, we were fighting for that playoff spot. Those type of developments are so good for these young kids. Seeing what is to make the playoffs and now the next step is the playoffs.”
While Miller didn’t see many minutes on the floor, he did have a important role on the team this season. Julie and Mose asked Miller to describe his role as a mentor and veteran voice for the young Nuggets roster this year.
“I’ve seen a lot of guys with a lot more talent than me, not make it into the NBA or not play as long as they should have. And to be a part of a locker room and a team like this, and help build them and make the most out of their opportunities- it’s been a lot of fun for me. This team has so much potential. I can’t wait to see the moves it makes this summer and going into next season.”
So what lies for Mike Miller once he decides to hang up the shoes once and for all? Julie and Mose wanted to know if Miller has given thought to a possible coaching career next.
“I haven’t really put a whole lot of thought into it. The one thing I do know is playing 17 seasons in the NBA, I kid about it, but I’ve got a Harvard education in basketball. I’ve played for amazing coaches, including Coach Malone here in Denver. I’ve been able to expunge a lot of the stuff and understand what culture is and how to build culture inside locker rooms and what it takes. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 17 years, it’s very, very, very small, minute details that take you from a 40-win team to a 55-win team and advance in the playoffs. It’s those types of things that I’ve been able to learn and see. If it is coaching when I’m done, then you know, it’d be a whole lot of fun.”
Listen to the full interview above.