Mike Miller had a feeling Tuesday’s news was coming, but that did not make it any easier to accept.
Miller was waived by the Miami Heat using the amnesty provision on Tuesday, relieving the Heat of roughly $12.8 million from their luxury tax figure for the next two seasons. With the NBA’s tax rules set to become more prohibitive this year, the Heat are positioned to be one of the league’s biggest taxpayers — and they still will be after releasing Miller, albeit at a slightly lower figure.
“I understand the business side of basketball,” Miller told The Associated Press. “It’s a combination of being very, very thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had, but it hurts that we had a chance to do something very, very special and I’d love to have been a part of it.”
Miller, 33, has battled injuries throughout his career, particularly in the last few seasons. He averaged 4.8 points per game this season while helping Miami win its second straight NBA championship.
Miller was popular among teammates in the Heat’s close-knit locker room, by all accounts.
“I love Mike,” Dwyane Wade said, according to the AP. “We all love Mike. It’s tough to lose one of our brothers. But I think we all understand it’s not personal. It’s a business decision.”
Before Miller was waived, the Heat were estimated to owe $33 million in luxury tax this season, motivating team president Pat Riley to propose the Heat should get some tax relief since their “Big Three” signed under the previous collective bargaining agreement. As it stands, the Heat could still be made to pay as much as $2.50 per every $1 over the luxury tax line, depending on what other cost-cutting moves they make in the months ahead.