Heat G Miller says he has tough decision to make

Mike Miller showed how tough he is while playing through

injuries all season. Now he needs to make a tough decision about

his future.

Miller plans to meet with doctors soon to determine if his

injured back needs surgery that includes a lengthy rehabilitation

process. The Miami Heat guard also played with a foot problem this

season, and typically declines to discuss his injury woes in any

specifics other than saying he’s well enough to play.

Miller set an NBA Finals record by making seven 3-pointers as a

reserve in Miami’s title-clinching win over Oklahoma City on

Thursday night. He limped with nearly every step while scoring 23

points in 23 minutes – Miami won the game 121-106, taking the

series with the Thunder in five games – and Miller raised the

possibility afterward that the final game of this season may have

been the final game of his career.

”It’s been a roller coaster ride for everybody,” said Miller,

who has three years and $18.6 million remaining on his contract

with the Heat. ”Everyone is dealing with something. Through the

injuries, I’m just glad they didn’t take me back to the barn and

put me down. I’m just happy to be here.”

On Monday, he’ll be at a championship parade. City officials

announced the event celebrating the Heat title would begin at 11

a.m. Monday, with about 90 minutes needed to complete the

route.

Since signing with the Heat two years ago, Miller has dealt with

a slew of thumb, ankle and shoulder injuries, plus needed surgery

before this season to correct a hernia issue. There were many times

this season when back pain prevented him from sitting on the bench;

he’d either sit on the court, or sprawl out on the baseline or

sideline to keep his back stretched.

”Mike Miller, I don’t know how this guy was playing,” Heat

coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Miller is not the only Miami sharpshooter who is weighing his

future options. Miami native James Jones said he is not absolutely

certain about returning next year when the Heat try to defend their

title.

Like Miller, Jones also has dealt with some injury problems in

recent seasons.

”I really couldn’t tell you what the future holds for me,”

Jones said. ”Growing up in Miami and playing basketball on the

biggest stage with the world’s best team and have an opportunity to

win a championship is something that I never believed would come

true. Now that it has come true, I don’t know. Who wouldn’t want to

go out on top?

”It’s great to have options,” Jones added. ”That’s the one

thing about it. For the last 31 years of my life I’ve been grinding

every day trying to take a championship on some level and I got it.

Now that’s a dream fulfilled and I’ll have to move onto the next

challenge. If that’s championship No. 2, it’s championship No. 2.

If not, it’s been a great run.”

Combined, Miller (53) and Jones (46) made 99 3-pointers for the

Heat this season.

Miller said he was still thrilled that Heat owner Micky Arison

and team president Pat Riley wanted him in Miami two years ago,

adding that whatever decision he makes will be with the team in

mind.

”I’ve got to make the best decision, not only for the

organization, for the players that work every night, for the

Arisons who believed in me, for coach Riley for bringing me here,

and then my family,” Miller said. ”Just got to make sure it’s the

best one. If it is, I couldn’t picture a better point to go out on

top like this as a champion. But we’ll see. We’ll visit the doctors

and see what parts work and don’t, and go from there.”

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