Could Darius Miles have Played Last Season?

After reading the below chronology, it seems obvious that Darius Miles was forced into retirement because the Blazers had a good team without him, didn't want him to upset team chemistry, couldn't trade him, and didn't want shoulder the burden of his huge salary.

In fact, I would guess most NBA fans suspected this all along. Still, if Miles successfully returns to action with Boston, one is left to wonder whether the doctor's declaration was fraudulently procured.

David Stern, what do you think?


Miles Says He's 90%

Darius Miles, the No. 3 pick in the 2000 draft, has returned to practice with the Trail Blazers in an attempt to reclaim a career derailed by a knee injury and enough off-court problems that he doesn't fit into Portland's new emphasis on citizenship. The former All-Rookie selection is still just 26 and averaged 16.9 points in 23 starts in 2005-06, but also missed 34 games with cartilage damage and then all last season after microfracture surgery. The Blazers say Miles is about six weeks from being activated.


Miles Scrimmages

Darius Miles moved a step closer to returning from microfracture surgery over the weekend when he participated in his first five-on-five action since August 2006 during the Blazers' Sunday practice.

But Blazers General Manager Kevin Pritchard said Miles is still several weeks away from any possible game action as the team eases him into a practice routine to see if his knee will withstand the more rigorous workload.

Still, the practice session was viewed as a positive step toward Miles' return from the surgery, which was performed in November 2006.

Miles said he participated in full-court four-on-four drills and half-court five-on-five sets.

"I'm anxious to play," Miles said. "I love what we're doing. I love the chemistry. I love just everything that's going on."


Blazers Offer Miles to Knicks

Amid an 11-game winning streak, the Blazers offered Darius Miles to the Knicks for for David Lee. Miles was perceived by the Blazers as a chemistry-buster.


Bill Simmons Says Dump Miles

Bill Simmons of ESPN.com, on injured guard Darius Miles' job prospects in Portland after the team ran off a 13-game winning streak without him: "Keeping Miles makes as much sense for the Blazers as replacing Zac Efron with Pacman Jones for `High School Musical 3' would for Disney."


Miles Says He's Ready to Play

Darius Miles says he's ready to return from microfracture surgery, but the Trail Blazers are in no hurry. No surprise. Trading Zach Randolph for almost nothing in an addition-by-subtraction move was one of the keys to their turnaround, and Miles is thought to carry similar baggage.


Agent Pushes to Activate Miles

Jeff Wechsler, Darius Miles' agent, is pushing Portland hard to activate and play his client, out almost 1 1/2 seasons following dreaded micro-fracture knee surgery. A Paul Allen favorite, Miles would never have been re-signed by the Blazers had the owner not overruled the front office of Steve Patterson and John Nash on a deal (including Theo Ratliff) to the Knicks during Larry Brown's glory year.


Miles' Rehab Hits Snag

Darius Miles ' return from microfracture hit a snag last week when tendinitis developed in his left Achilles' tendon. Miles was placed in an orthopedic boot for a week and will be re-evaluated either Tuesday or Wednesday.


Miles' Rehab Back on Track

Darius Miles had his orthopedic boot removed before Wednesday's game and said he has been cleared to practice by team doctors. Miles had been wearing the boot for the last week because of tendinitis in his left Achilles' tendon. The recovery allows Miles to resume his attempt to return from microfracture surgery on his right knee, though the Blazers have not offered a time frame for a possible return.


Latest Behavioral Issue May be Miles Last in Portland

The high-priced, rehabbing forward might love the NBA lifestyle, but his days as a productive player are over

The exotic dancers working the late shift at Dolphin II Gentlemen's Club in Beaverton on Saturday evening were delighted when Trail Blazers forward Darius Miles showed up, carrying banded stacks of 50 one-dollar bills.

Miles and the members of his entourage, which included former Oregon Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon, spent the night moving between three stages, removing the bands and tossing the stacks in the air, sending a shower of loose bills fluttering down on the dancers.

"It's raining!" someone shouted.

At one point, a dancer had so many one-dollar bills on the stage around her, she asked a bouncer for a paper sack. Miles also had someone request a song from the DJ, according to a patron. Which is how the University of Oregon fight song ended up being played while women gyrated on stage and Miles threw dollar bills, laughed, pumped his fist and slapped backs with a former Heisman Trophy candidate before disappearing into the VIP room.


Fans Say Dump Miles

Amen to (John Canzano's) column in the Feb. 15 Oregonian ("Darius Miles, hang it up"). At all costs, don't let Darius Miles come back and screw up the present edition of the Blazers! He would totally mess up the chemistry of this young team, because he is --and always will be --a cancer and malcontent.

Anyone remember when Miles claimed he was promised a starting spot at small forward during his contract negotiations? He then opened training camp in an unexpected competition with Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a power forward whom the team unsuccessfully tried to trade over the summer. The decision to move Abdur-Rahim to small forward was largely viewed as a ploy by management to increase his trade value, but Miles took it as a betrayal. What a joke. Instead of trying to beat out Abdur-Rahim, Miles sulked through training camp, and when Abdur-Rahim was named the starter, it created a divide between Miles and Cheeks. The coach, Miles felt, was being a company man instead of standing up for what he felt was right.The rift boiled over in January 2005, when Cheeks called out Miles during a film session, spurring Miles to unleash a profanity-laced tirade against the coach that Cheeks said included several racial epithets.

Miles rarely showed a desire to work beyond the immense range that his natural abilities would already carry him. He seemed to enjoy reaping the benefits of being a famous basketball player, but never convinced the Blazers that he perceived a need to develop beyond his raw talent. Miles was fine so long as he was left alone to let his natural ability take care of business. But things often went wrong when he was pressed to give more. He wanted to win, but resisted the burdens necessary to help a team succeed. He wanted to be a starter, but withdrew when he was expected to earn the position. He accepted the franchise- cornerstone status that was handed to him, but never the leadership responsibilities the position required. It made Miles a poor fit in the high-demand positions toward which his talent was lifting him.


Blazers Begin Process to Force Miles Retirement

The Trail Blazers took the first steps Monday toward deciding the future of forward Darius Miles by asking the NBA to appoint an independent doctor to determine whether Miles' right knee injuries are career-ending.

Miles, who hasn't played in nearly two years, said earlier this season that he was healed and ready to play. The team, however, has said it is concerned about Miles' long-term health and his ability to play.

If the doctor rules that Miles, 26, can no longer play, the Blazers can waive Miles, after which the remaining two years and $18 million on his contract would come off the Blazers' salary cap. However, if Miles signs with another team after being waived and plays in 10 games in any one of the next two seasons, his salary would go back on the Blazers' books.

In response to the Blazers' request, Miles cleaned out his locker.


Blazers, Miles Part Ways

An independent doctor termed Miles's injuries to be career-threatening. The Blazers' subsequently requested waivers on Miles. His release gives the Blazers a roster without any player who has been suspended or disciplined by the team or the NBA, the first time that has been the case in at least 15 years.

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