Andre Miller ready to move past confrontation with Nuggets coach
Denver Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw, left, greets Washington Wizards guard Andre Miller as he takes floor in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver, on Sunday, March 23, 2014. (AP / David Zalubowski)
Pat Graham, The Associated Press
Published Monday, March 24, 2014 9:37AM EDT
DENVER -- Andre Miller is ready to "flip the page" and not dwell on the confrontation with his former coach that eventually led to a trade out of Denver.
To show it, Miller, now a backup guard with Washington, reached out and shook hands with Brian Shaw at halfcourt before checking into the game to start the second quarter Sunday at Pepsi Center. The two briefly spoke, too, as Miller chomped on his gum.
Miller got into an on-court shouting match with Shaw during a New Year's Day game. He didn't play again with the Denver Nuggets and was dealt to the Wizards on Feb. 20.
"I'm here to play the game and get on," Miller said in the locker room shortly before making his return to the Mile High City. "We're at a point in the season where we need to get this win. That's where my focus is."
Miller is playing 13.9 minutes a night and averaging 4.1 points since his arrival in Washington. He said he hasn't spoken with his Denver teammates since the trade, figuring it was easier for everyone to "flip the page."
"Just let them get into their groove and how to figure out moving ahead as a team," Miller said.
Shaw holds no grudges, either, even if he hasn't spoken with Miller since the New Year's Day spat.
"I'm sure both of us didn't take this personal," Shaw said. "It's unfortunate that it had to happen and neither one of us wanted that to happen but I don't have a problem with him. I have the most respect for Andre Miller but he has moved on and is in a better place in terms of his situation. His team is going to be in the playoffs. I'm happy for him to be in that situation."
Miller was suspended by the team soon after shouting at Shaw, but it was later rescinded. Miller still stayed away from the Nuggets.
"It was a decision made by both sides, to benefit both sides," he explained. "It was made out to be, 'He's disgruntled' or 'He's exiled from the team.' That wasn't the case. I had a choice."
Asked why he decided to stay away from the team, Miller shrugged.
"Just where I was at, where my thoughts were, and how I felt," he said. "I thought it was best for me to just move on."
When the Nuggets started losing players to injuries, Miller said the Nuggets inquired if he wanted to return.
"I decided to stay away and continue to work out and be prepared for whatever happens," Miller said. "I wish I could've been out there with my teammates. But I made the decision for myself just to stay away. I didn't want to bring any more attention to the organization or to the players to distract them from moving forward. I just kind of stayed away."