Friday, 28 September 2012


It's Cheryl Miller Time.



Spike Lee leads the Madison Square Garden, New York chant against Knick villain Reggie Miller as the film director and his audience get under the three-point assassin's skin like he did in return, numerous times. 8 for 9, 18.7, 30 for 30 times before. Still on this night in the Garden of Basketball's Eden it wasn't 'Winning Time' for TNT's Reggie. This was no ESPN special. As Reggie misses shot after shot to Spike's "ice-cooold" cackles the focus is now on NBA TV and Reggie's older sibling Cheryl Miller. The sister who's career cast a shadow over her brothers...that was until he took it all out on the Knicks.

Revenge was sweet for Reggie as the hot-bed of hoops in New York became the place where 'Miller Time' was served on refrigerator ice, with a bitter after-taste for Knickerbocker fans who where left reaching for the Buds. You could see it in Reggie's killer eyes. That cold, hard down-the barrel stare. The same glare he gave, surrounded by his family on draft night as an interviewer said "as long as you bring the same intensity as your sister", as sais sister turned round to see little brothers reaction with a warm, joking smile, as the question was raised about just how good he'd be. Friendly, sibling rivalry at its finest. You see that's just how good Cheryl was. Reggie Miller is one of the greatest NBA players that has or ever will live, especially in the closing moments. Still, even this recent Hall Of Famer had to wait his turn after his sister.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

You see one of the best side-line reporters in the game today isn't someone who got her job because of her famous brother, just like Reggie isn't someone who got his explosive side-line gig thanks to his sisters recommendation. When it comes to the Miller family it's not a case of 'it's not what you know, it's who you know'. Instead it's simple and plain and known that Reggie and Cheryl where and are just that good themselves. What one had in on the outside, the other had on the inside. What one did for the men’s game, the other did for the women’s.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

You see even today after all the Candace Parker's, the Diana Taurasi's and the Maya Moore's the women's game is still cruelly disregarded and critically underrated by some. Even the worldwide fame Lisa Leslie brought it as the M.J. of the WNBA has been glossed over by the ignorance of those whose minds are already made up. Still, don't let the lipstick fool you. Before Lisa and before the exposure there was Cheryl. A USC, 32 point and 15 rebound per star who-like Michelle Wie in golf-was good enough to enter the men’s leagues. Nothing but a cruel knee injury could stop this women who unfortunately could only end up coaching (but what an inspiring, influential one she was) in the established WNBA. A woman who still, despite that has done more for the women's game of basketball then the record books or the water-cooler conversations of fans who only think women in basketball belong with skirts and  pom-poms can testify.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

Still you better believe the hype that turned into the promise that is now the legacy of a legend. A legend that made women's basketball and the Miller name a household name before Reggie and the great expectations of the NBA's sister act. The big in height and bold in personality Cheryl used to beat a young Reggie playing hoops in her garden like she bullied opponents with her blocks from school to her basketball graduation. The Hall Of Famer didn't just better her brother sometimes, she also beat Wilt by 5. Cheryl holds the record for 105 points in a single game...and that feat was televised. Still, why does it go ignored somewhat? It's just as legendary as Chamberlain's mysterious three-figures. Before this disregard turns to disrespect it's time we kept it 100 with someone that took over the century mark while she was still trying to hit the top-grade in class.

It's Cheryl Miller time.

Still as she schooled everyone Cheryl showed how she belonged in a class of her own. One that her name, the Hall Of Fame and the words of those who believe and know can't quite justify. Spike knows it, Reggie knows it. The multiple gold medals of the women with the voice for broadcasting and the experience to boot prove it. Revolutionising the women's basketball league like Drazen did for hoops in Europe or Yao did for roundball in Asia, Cheryl changed the game. For that very fact what she has done goes beyond gender or a surname. Like her brother she belongs with the basketball greats and it's all because of her. Now let us chant her name again in celebration and appreciation. "Cheeeeryl...CHEEERYL"!

It's Cheryl Miller time.

No comments:

Post a Comment