Photo by the Bee's Jose Luis Villegas
Kings center Brad Miller hands his 18-month-old daughter, Anniston, to her mother and Miller's longtime girlfriend, Abby Robinson, while at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas on Thursday
LAS VEGAS - I just spoke with a candid and remorseful Brad Miller about his recent suspension.
After failing a drug test for a third time due to marijuana use, Miller will miss the first five games of this coming season and lose approximately $693,000 of his $11.3 million salary. Miller - who came into town yesterday to see the Kings summer league team in action - confirmed that the failed test took place near the end of the Kings' regular season.
We caught up by phone this afternoon while he was watching his toddler daughter, Anniston, back in his condo at the Palms.
Q: Brad, you knew this was coming. But what was your reaction when the news came out?
A: I just want to try and take advantage of all of the resources. As soon as I get back to Sac, I have to go and talk to a doctor and stuff, just try and take advantage of that. Obviously, I know I'm an idiot for putting myself in this situation. Sometimes things have to get really bad before I fix things in my life, and that's (how) it's been my whole life.
Telling mom and grandma wasn't a great conversation to have, obviously. It was pretty tough trying to take the high road.
Take the high road in terms of trying to take advantage of people and resources they make you have to do and help me get through it. All the stress gets to you, and this is one way to take my mind off of everything. I'll look for something different. I don't like sleeping pills - that's my biggest problem. Whether it's some sort of vitamin or something that can help as well. I want to talk to them and find some help. That's one of the main things I'm going to do when I get back to Sacramento.
Q: Is the stress and helping you sleep your main reasons for using it?
A: It's tough to sleep, you know. And you know, the people who might think I'm a bad guy for this. I'm not a bad guy. I'm still me. It's just one thing I thought would help. It obviously wasn't the right thing to do, but it was helpful to my mental state. I have normal Brad and the when-I-get-on-that-court Brad. It's a battle all the time to get that balance between the two. People meet me, and they're like, 'Man, you're not laid back.' Well that's because you never met me off the court. We'll see how they can help and make it easier. One goal is to come back in even better shape than last year. That's what I've got to do right now. No. 1 and No. 2 goals are to get the health and come back and have another hell of a year.
Q: You have guys out there like (Dallas') Josh Howard who just say, 'This is what I do,' but you sound like you're trying to cut it out of your life.
A: Back in the day, I was worse. It's nothing like it ever was. Obviously, the little one has changed a lot of my philosophies and a lot of the ways I act. (I don't want your blanket in my mouth, thank you). That's one of the big things is that it does change you.
Q: Two years ago, you didn't have the year you wanted to have. You come back refreshed and in much better shape, physically in a whole different world. Has this been a process the last couple years to clean things up overall outside of this situation.
A: The thing is, I don't like drinking anymore. A couple years ago - I'll say it - I drank way too much and didn't like who I was. It wasn't good for my relationship and basketball and everything. I'm just trying to find a way to change out of that, that relief. When all that came in, I haven't done it in years during the season. I just drank and that wasn't a good thing to do. I didn't like that person at all. My boys (friends) did, but that's your boys.
Q: I'm sure you care first about your family and friends, but Big Brad has received plenty of love over the years from Kings fans. Was it a blow to the gut to have your name out there like this and see the reaction from those folks?
A: It definitely sucked because I was having a good year, and this obviously puts a big damper on the year that it was. When stuff gets bad, I've always tried to persevere out of it and come back stronger. (Are you done?...She is a handful for sure) Come back as strong as I can mentally and physically, just everything. That's one thing I can do and that's what my goal is right now.
Q: What are the specifics on what you do right now - whether it's treatment or therapy. What goes on here?
A: Go to therapy, talk to the doctors and get everything out there and see what it does. It's not going to hurt. That's for sure. I've been wanting to go for a couple of years. If this is what it takes, then that's what I'm looking at. This is what finally got me in there to talk to somebody. In college I went a couple of times when I was thinking about leaving Purdue my sophomore year.
Q: Related to this (marijuana) or other stuff?
A: Other stuff that probably needs to come up again, family stuff. Starting to get underneath all the pressures and all that stuff and get a handle on everything. It's been a long time, and I'm just looking to get some help.
Q: You sound pretty open to anything?
A: I'm open to anything. If this is what helped me, then obviously there's got to be something else out there that I haven't found yet that I'd like to find. I'm open to whatever they can give me that can help me out, that's what I'm looking for.
Q: Not to get too personal with you, but what gets at you so much as far as the pressures? Basketball, life stuff?
Q: Just people. I'm obviously very private, and you have so many people always coming at you wanting for something. I don't ask people for want. I understand it's because of the situation I'm in, but I want to just get down the pressures and see how I can handle it. I just like to sit at home and chill for the most part and whatever.
When I make a guarantee, I stick to it. This ain't going to happen. I guarantee everybody that. If you think this makes me a bad person, you don't know me. I've made mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. I just happen to be in the NBA and everybody sees it.
I'm not a bad person. I'm the same person day in and day out, just try to be laid back and be the same person.
Q: Have you received more support or grief from people around you?
A: I got a lot of grief, which is expected. When it came out, I was on a houseboat trip with my friends (in Kentucky). My true friends really support me. People who might not be a true friend get on you and make you feel like you're an awful person for this. This is when my true friends have come out and been supportive and helpful. - Sam Amick