For the most part, Brad Miller is universally loved by Sacramento King fans – and for good reason. The former Boilermaker spent parts of six seasons (five full seasons) rocking the purple and black of Sacramento, living the undrafted to multiple time All-Star storybook career along the way. In that time-frame though, Miller was known as a pouter – a guy that found himself on the wrong side of a technical foul 82 times during his career, picking up 33 of those in just three seasons (’03-04, ’04-05 and ’07-08) with the Kings and 45 total during his Kings tenure. In addition to the tech’s, Miller was ejected four times and suspended for seventeen games as a King – five of which came from a third failed drug test. Miller was the guy who irritated fans by not running back on defense when things didn’t go his way. Miller was the guy who would commit multiple fouls out of frustration, no matter how harmful to the team the timing was. Miller was the guy who’d let a bad call or another player take himself out of the game because he couldn’t handle his emotions. Miller was essentially…DeMarcus Cousins?
We all remember the wild elbows being thrown by Miller if he didn’t care for the way he was just boxed out. We all remember the shoves – the harmful hacks – the pushes – the rakes across the face. It’s not that Miller was an on-court thug – not in the least bit. What he was though, was a hot-head. A player who in the moment, couldn’t contain his frustration. If Miller took offense to a particular player or play, it didn’t matter if the Kings were up by three with only twenty seconds to go – Miller was going to get his retribution, no matter the cost. We all knew it was coming – that cheap foul he was so notorious for. It was clockwork, much like another particular player.
Granted – both Cousins and Miller have their own reasons why they were loved/loathed by the King fan base. Miller was a much more personable figure, a player who had essentially come from nothing to stardom in the NBA while Cousins is a more gruff, entitled high lotto pick in the eyes of many. Miller was a blue collar talent who worked his way up while Cousins struggles with many things outside of his offensive game and finds difficulty fitting in. Still – the similarities between both players are striking, at least when it comes to their temperaments yet the fan and media reaction/perception to both is vastly different.
This isn’t mean to be a slight or even defending one player over the other – simply how two players, both well known for their heat of the moment issues, were perceived differently despite their similar frustrating on-court personalities.