Despite being ravaged by injury for much of his time in Miami, there is no denying that Mike Miller was a difference-maker especially in key situations for the Heat. As a result of his consistent play and veteran presence there was a tremendous respect for him among Heat players and personnel. Miller was of course friends with many members of the Heat's core, he was roommates with Udonis Haslem at Florida and it's been said that he grew very close with LeBron in their three years as teammates.
As a result, many were shocked when the Heat revealed that they would use their amnesty clause on Miller before the start of the 2013-2014 season especially due to his one-shoe'd heroics during the Finals. This of course caught Miller off-guard, but now it seems that it could be, but one of the reasons LeBron felt melancholy during his last season with the Heat.
In an interview with the Northeast Ohio Media group, Miller discusses how he felt after being amnestied, the effect it had on LeBron James. Miller noted in the interview that:
"LeBron thought it was unnecessary change"
in regards to him being removed by the Heat, throughout the interview Miller continued to voice his displeasure with the move, and how he believes he could have been a difference maker against the Spurs during the Finals. Miller elaborated mentioning "legacy" and moving on to say that he's positive LeBron felt similar sentiments towards the whole ordeal.
"It was difficult for all of us. It was difficult for me. I had to uproot my family and move again. It was tough. I think he was disappointed because he understands legacies and he understands what he wants to do in life. That's what makes him special."
I'm not saying I would have been a difference-maker, San Antonio was unbelievable last year and there are a lot of things that go into a season, but it was difficult for LeBron.
Like most Heat fans, I too was upset when Miller was amnestied, nevertheless I do understand Miami's decision. I don't think anybody could have fathomed that after being so badly broken down with the Heat that he would go on to play the full 82-game season with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Of course it's sad when one loses a friend, but it's essential to note that sports is a business and Miami was only doing what they thought was best from a business point of view. Miami was very classy in his exit, and Miller also voiced that he recognized that and that he had prepared for the possibility of amnesty months in advance.
The "Big Three" era was something special for Heat basketball, but as we approach a new season with a new team it's time to stop dwelling on what could have been. While these players have a special place in the franchise's great history, they are of course now our opponents and I for one am fully anticipating the first time the Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers square off on both October 11th and Christmas day.