When Denver Nugget guard Andre Miller, a former Clipper, walked into Staples Center Saturday night, he went into the visiting locker room.
As he passed the Clipper locker room, did the Los Angeles native have any regrets?
Not so much as a twinge.
“Sometimes, I didn’t even want to go out on the court,” he said of his one season as a Clipper. “I had to get out of here. You hear rumors about a team and, when you play for them, you find out some of those rumors are true.
“There are a few others [on the Clippers] who probably don’t want to be here, but you do what you have to do. It’s part of the business.”
Miller was one of four Clipper free agents to sign offer sheets in the off-season. The Clippers matched offers to Elton Brand and Corey Maggette but did not match the offer to Miller or the one to Lamar Odom from the Miami Heat.
And if the Clippers had matched Miller’s offer sheet?
“I would have been stuck here,” he said. “I would have had to make the best of a bad situation. I would have had to have a better attitude.”
Miller said he likes everything about Denver and the Nuggets.
“It’s slower there, more of a family environment on the team,” he said. “I enjoy my teammates. I enjoy everybody.”
Miller, who averaged 13.6 points last season, was averaging 15.1 with the Nuggets before Saturday’s game. But his assist average was down to 4.7 from 6.7 last season.
By the time Mike Dunleavy was hired to coach the Clippers, he said he believed Miller was already a lost cause.
“His mind-set was that he didn’t want to be here,” Dunleavy said. “He was very forceful about that.”
With the Kings playing in the afternoon, the Staples Center surface had to be switched from ice to hardwood. It takes a crew of 35 as much as 2 1/2 hours to make the change.