Why Reggie Miller Despises the New York Knicks?

Reggie Miller Despises the New York Knicks
NBA's most heated rivalry

In the world of NBA rivalries, few match the intensity of Reggie Miller’s enmity towards the New York Knicks. “I hate them,” Miller famously declared, abandoning any pretense of diplomacy. The seeds of this animosity were sown in 1993, as the Indiana Pacers and the Knicks clashed repeatedly from 1993 to 2000. Over his 18 seasons with the Pacers, Reggie Miller despises the New York Knicks, and his personal vendetta against them became legendary.

Why Reggie Miller Despises the New York Knicks?

Nicknamed the “Knick Killer,” Miller’s fierce performances against New York are etched in NBA history. The rivalry ignited in Game 2 of the 1993 playoffs when Knicks’ John Starks snubbed Miller’s handshake, only for Miller to retaliate with a stunning 36-point explosion in Game 3. The infamous head-butt incident that saw Starks ejected only fueled the fire.

Starks later claimed that Miller had elbowed him, but Miller brushed it off, insisting the media overhyped the incident. By the 1994 conference semifinals, Miller’s attitude had shifted. Embracing the role of the villain, he declared, “I want the Knicks… I like being the bad guy.” This newfound persona added fuel to the already fierce rivalry, culminating in a grueling seven-game series won by the Knicks.

As the rivalry grew, so did Miller’s disdain. In 1995, the Pacers sought redemption in the playoffs. Miller, unapologetic and unfiltered, said, “If it comes out of my mouth, it was meant to be said.” His resolve was clear, leading to unforgettable moments like his 8 points in 8.9 seconds comeback, crushing the Knicks’ hopes in Game 1 of the 1995 playoffs.

By 2000, Miller’s hatred was palpable. “They don’t give us any respect. So why should I respect them?” he questioned, solidifying his grudge. The Pacers and Knicks battled fiercely, with Miller delivering iconic performances that fueled the animosity.

One memorable moment came in 1994, when Miller taunted Knicks’ superfan Spike Lee with a choking gesture after scoring 39 points in Game 5. Another unforgettable instance was his 8-point miracle in the final seconds of Game 1 in the 1995 playoffs, a testament to his clutch prowess.

The rivalry reached its zenith in the 2000 playoffs, where the Pacers, driven by Miller’s disdain, triumphed in a decisive Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. The cycle repeated in recent seasons, echoing the intensity of the ’90s battles.

Sarah Thompson
Hey there, basketball fanatics! I'm Sarah Thompson, and my world revolves around the heartbeat of the hardwood. With a background in sports journalism, I've turned my passion for the game into compelling narratives. From game-changing plays to off-court drama, I'm here to keep you in the loop. Expect insightful analyses and exclusive player interviews that dive deep into the soul of basketball. Join me on this court-side journey, where every hoop has a story to tell.

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