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Suddenly, we're a destination

Posted by Bob Ryan, Globe Staff  August 8, 2007 03:44 PM

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What? Hal Greer wasn't available?

(Had to get the cheap shot out of the way quickly).

Reggie Miller, huh? Makes sense on one level. If you recall, when Danny Ainge was bombarded by assertions that old shooting guards never die, they merely fall apart at age 32 or so, he cited Reggie Miller as an example to the contrary. And Reggie did retire after 18 seasons with his head pretty high, averaging 14.8 points a game in the 18th and final season of a very distinguished career coming off picks to drill jump shots, spotting up for threes, and banking in patented wrong-legged leaners.

So Danny and Reggie are discussing a possible comeback. Wow. Reggie retired at the end of the 2004-05 season at age 39 (his birthday is Aug. 24, which makes him almost 42). It's hard enough to imagine someone in his 20s staying away from the game for two whole seasons and returning to be any sort of a viable player. In fact, can't think of anyone who tried it. No one normal, anyway.

The one example is, of course, Michael Jordan himself. His Airness was 30 when he retired at the end of the '92-93 season. He stayed out for one season and 65 games before making a late-season comeback. At age 32 he embarked on his second run of three consecutive championship seasons. A second retirement lasted two full seasons. Returning at age 38, he put up two final 20-point seasons for the Washington Wizards, invigorating D.C. area basketball in so doing.

But who compares to Michael Jordan?

I'm not going to pooh-pooh this until I see it. I have too much respect for Reggie Miller, a very intelligent man. We know he hasn't gained so much as an ounce. He could conceivably get into very good shape. I don't know if that would be 15 minutes a game NBA shape, but it would assuredly be good shape.

He knows himself. I assume he has reason to believe he can still make an open 15-footer. The larger question would be how he gets it off. He was always the master of Getting Open. Could he still do that against defenders young enough to be his son? Doubtful, but not necessarily inconceivable, I guess.

This Reggie comeback is a long, long shot, a five-pointer at the very least. What it does tell us is how impressed Reggie Miller is with what Danny Ainge has done. He thinks it would be cool to play with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. He must smell a ring.

It's the first week in August, and we can't stop talking about the Celtics. The glam Pats start on Friday. The Red Sox make more news losing than most teams do winning. But the Celtics are once again in the news.

That's fine with me.

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About bob ryan's blog Opinions, observations and anecdotes from Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan.
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Bob is an award-winning columnist for the Globe and the host of "Globe 10.0" on Boston.com.

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