Andre Miller joined Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports on The Vertical Podcast recently and expressed his displeasure with the Minnesota Timberwolves organization.
“They’re so talented and they work so hard, and it’s like they’re getting a bad deal because you throw five 19- to 22-year-olds out there to play against men and try to compete for a playoff spot,” Miller said on the podcast. “And you want to teach them the right way, but then you throw them out there and they just get ate up. It’s not fair to them because they’re working hard in practice and then you throw them out there and let them learn like some lost puppies.
“If you don’t have a parent or somebody to teach these guys on the job … you’ve got to mix them in with the veterans and let them learn together instead of throwing them out there by themselves and allowing them to develop a losing mentality.”
Minnesota began the year by starting Tayshaun Prince and Kevin Garnett beside Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Miller was the primary backup point guard and Kevin Martin was one of the first options off the bench.
Now the Wolves are starting Rubio, Zach LaVine, Wiggins, Towns and Gorgui Dieng together. LaVine has come into his own since being switched to the 2 full-time and Dieng and Towns have chemistry in the frontcourt. Rookie Tyus Jones is the primary backup point guard, and Shabazz Muhammad, 23, is usually the first guy off the bench.
Mitchell was told about Miller’s comments Friday before his team won in Washington for the fourth time in seven games, and told the Star Tribune that he hadn’t heard Miller’s comments but was aware of them.
“Unfortunately Andre feels that way, but that’s Andre’s opinion,” Mitchell said. “I don’t think we threw our guys out there. If you look at our team and you look at what really made me go to the young guys, all the young guys were leading scorers, all my young guys were leading rebounders, all my young guys were leading in assists. So just go look at the stats and if you can show me where the other guys are playing better, then I would agree with it.”
Miller said that he didn’t want to spend his final season with a team full of rookies that wasn’t going to make the playoffs.
“There was no way I was going to stay in Minnesota on a team that never had any goals, from what I thought,” he said. “I didn’t want to sit there and let this be my last year. There were no expectations in Minnesota with that team and which way they wanted to go. It wasn’t communicated, so I was like, ‘If this is my last year, I can’t go out like this.’ ”