Reggie Miller’s 10 Most Villainous Moments

  • Today is June 1, exactly 20 years after his infamous showdown with his two biggest rivals: the New York Knicks and Knick superfan, Spike Lee. It’s on this day 20 years ago that Miller scored 25 points in the fourth quarter during Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, propelling the Pacers to victory over the Knicks. It remains one of the most spectacular shooting performances in playoff history and, arguably the defining Reggie Miller moment. As a tribute, here’s a look back at his most villainous moments.

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  • The John Starks Headbutt

    This is about where the Knick/Pacer rivalry began. In Game 3 of the first round of the 1993 playoffs, Miller and Starks got into a war of words that escalated to the point where Starks’ headbutt got him ejected.

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  • The Fight With MJ

    When these two antagonists met in 1993, bumps and elbows were traded. Things boiled over finally, when Miller bumped MJ after a tip-in and it let to a bench-clearing brawl that got Miller ejected but no penalty for MJ—that is, until the league office reviewed the footage and suspended him one game and doled out a $10K fine.

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  • The Bow

    In this 1994 game at Chicago, Miller hit a J with two seconds left to put Indiana up one. Of course, that couldn’t be it. Miller went to center court and took a grand bow for the crowd before Toni Kukoc deaded all that with a banked in shot with 0.8 second left.

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  • The Choke

    1994. Game 5. ECF. Spike. Yeah…

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  • Eight in Nine

    The Knicks were up six with under 20 seconds left to go in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals. That’s when Reggie Miller stepped up and dropped eight points in nine seconds of game time and the Pacers stole the game. Indiana would go on to win the series in seven.

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  • The Wave

    The basketball equivalent of “Bye Felicia.” Miller hit a game-winner in this 1997 match against the Suns in Phoenix and sent the home crowd home with this wave.

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  • The Shove

    Jordan will always be remembered for pushing off on Bryon Russell in the 1998 Finals (unless you’re a “Russell slipped” conspiracy theorist.) But earlier in those playoffs, Miller pulled a much more blatant game-winning J over MJ.

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  • Knick Killer in 2000

    Birdman handrub, indeed. Miller scored 34 points and made four three-pointers in 6 1/2 minutes late in the game of the ECF Game 6 to push Indiana into the Finals. Then, in true Reggie style, flexed on ‘em, calling the Garden the Pacers’ “home away from home.”

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  • Fight with Kobe

    At the end of this 2002 game against the Lakers that featured lots of jabbering between the two, Kobe shot a three in Miller’s face during a runaway win. That sparked this melee that got both players suspended for two games.

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  • Reggie Miller Can Dunk????

    Down two to the Nets in the 2002 playoffs, Miller drove and slammed (with two hands, natch) to tie the game at 107 with 3.1 seconds to go in regulation. New Jersey came back in OT but how insulting could it be to get dunked on by one of the all-time greatest shooters?

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