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Mike Miller playing with the Memphis Grizzlies in a photo from the 2013-14 NBA season. (Justin Ford, USA TODAY Sports)

Miller excited to play for Cleveland

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sports Mitchell,South Dakota 57301
The Daily Republic
Miller excited to play for Cleveland
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

SIOUX FALLS -- Mike Miller thought he would never play with LeBron James again. Playing with the four-time NBA MVP was something the Mitchell native missed during his 2013-14 season with the Memphis Grizzlies.


"Of course," said Miller about if he missed playing with James in 2013. "Basketball is always more exciting when you're playing with the best player on the planet. Especially as a shooter, it makes your job easier."

Miller and James were teammates in Miami for three seasons from 2010 to 2013. In that time, the Heat made three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

The 14-year NBA veteran said he will be heading to Cleveland Wednesday and should move into a house by Aug. 15 in an interview with The Daily Republic Saturday at Mike Miller's 10th annual Night of Hope Celebrity Party, a benefit for Sanford Children's Hospital, at the District in Sioux Falls.

Miller, who signed a two-year deal worth $5.5 million on July 15, said he is looking forward to the new experience of playing for the Cavaliers this season.

"I'm excited," Miller said. "Anytime you get to go team up with LeBron its great. Fortunately for me the opportunity presented itself and now it's time to make the most of it."

The two-year deal from Cleveland was offering less money to Miller than other deals on the table from Denver and Houston, but Miller said his focus is all team oriented.

"Win," said Miller about the main goal for him this season. "For me, anything I have for goals now are team-focused. I've been able to accomplish a few things and win a few championships. Now it's just about winning and staying healthy."

Coming off a season in which he played in all 89 regular and postseason games for the first time since his rookie season, Miller said he is open-minded about the role Cleveland needs him to play.

"Whatever they need," Miller said. "I'm at that point in my career now where it's whatever it takes and see what happens."

After averaging 7.1 points per game and making 46 percent of his three-point field goal attempts for the Grizzlies in 2013-14, Miller will be depended on for veteran leadership as the Cleveland roster is a young squad.

"Their talent there is phenomenal," Miller said about his new team. "But it's young talent that hasn't seen the playoffs yet. We (LeBron and Miller) bring that experience and hopefully we can bring that leadership that we will need."

10th annual Night of Hope

While Miller's offseason moves have been exciting for the former NBA rookie-of-the-year, the fact that his annual "Night of Hope" has reached 10 years has been a credit to the people of South Dakota according to him.

"It's growing," he said. "The only way you can go from one to 10 is to make it successful and have people that help. The reason we are at 10 years is because we have great people here in South Dakota."

Miller said he has enjoyed what the Sanford Children's' Hospital Foundation has been able to do to help families and children in need.

"Everything that I have done as an individual, philanthropist wise, is not possible without help of some great people," Miller said. "Events like this and people like this are my favorite part about helping host this event."