Blog Entry

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

Posted on: February 20, 2009 8:08 pm

The NBA lost a great man and a one-of-a-kind owner Friday when Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller died. He was 64.

Miller had been suffering from the ravages of Type II diabetes. The last time I saw him, Miller was confined to a wheelchair on the court during a halftime celebration honoring Jazz announcer "Hot" Rod Hundley, who was calling his 3,000th game when the Jazz played the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 7. Two weeks later, Miller had both legs amputated six inches below the knees -- a telltale sign that the diabetes was taking over.

Miller left his mark in ways that a basketball blog would trivialize if I tried to give him a proper sendoff. The news release sent out by the Jazz mentions his entrepreneurial spirit, the college scholarships he and his wife, Gail, gave away, the charitable foundation that gave back millions to all the communities in which he did business. He lived to see 21 grandchildren born. What could be a better mark of a man?

Since this is a basketball blog, we have to talk about his basketball accomplishments, which are dwarfed by an otherwise extraordinary life. To me, Miller's mark on the game -- sadly -- already has been erased. He has employed one coach, Jerry Sloan, for 20 years. The Phoenix Suns just fired a coach, Terry Porter, after 51 games. Porter was the eighth NBA coach fired this season alone. I could look up how many head coaches have been fired since Sloan was hired, but it would make me sick.

Larry Miller understood loyalty. He understood winning. He understood people. He will be missed.

My father had Type II diabetes. Mercifully, he didn't have to experience all that the disease has to offer. We lost him three years ago to a massive heart attack, on Thanksgiving Day. There are marches and runs and telethons for every disease known to man. Diabetes is as bad as it gets, and those who are stricken with it suffer in anonymity -- and worse, with scorn and humorless jokes.

Whatever you do before you put your head on the pillow, do that for Larry Miller.


Category: NBA

Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2009 1:12 am

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

Where do I start? First of all DM2 never "turns into" type 1. If you mean that Type 2 diabetics can progress to requiring insulin that is true but they are still Type 2 diabetics. I am a doctor specializing in the care of diabetes. In 27 years of practice I can't recall a single Type 2 diabetic who adhered to a reasonable medical program who required a major amputation or progressed to kidney failure due to diabetes. Not one! Especially over the last 15 years with the monitoring tools and medications available these complications are nearly totally avoidable if the patient commits to dealing with the problem. That is the message here. Type 1 diabetes is an entirely different story although the outlook there is much, much better than it once was. We can't cure Diabetes, 1 or 2 but we definitely have the tools to control it and avoid what happened to Larry Miller.

Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2009 8:47 pm

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

I don't really know anything about Larry Miller, but what you said was stupid. Amputations and kidney failure is still a big risk with people with diabetes and so are other complications. Type II diabetes can be controled with medication and exercise BUT it slowly turns into Type I diabetes. So you can take 100% care of yourself if you are diagnosed with Type II diabetes but if you live long enough it will turn into Tpe I diabetes.

How do I know this? Because I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of seven. Getting Type I diabetes is the luck of the draw, nothing can prevent it, but I do know that complications are a HUGE issue no matter how well you take care of yourself whether it be Type I or Type II. I control my diabetes better than most people with diabetes, yet my odds of complications are still great. A doctor told me he has seen people who take great care of themselves but they got every complication imaginable, and he has also seen people who don't care at all about themselves, yet they hardly get any complications. There is a correlation between taking care of yourself and less complications, but a lot of it is genetic. But the complications are unavoidable.

Since: Oct 22, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2009 7:43 pm

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

He was a great owner. 

Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2009 2:12 pm

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

I will no doubt take a load of crap for this but I am going to say it anyway. I am sure Larry Miller was a wonderful guy and it is a shame he died at 64 but Larry Miller has been 150 lbs overweight at least since I lived in Utah 23 yrs ago. Weight loss and exercise combined with basic medications can control this disease. It is not cancer and it does not need to be a death sentence. Amputations and kidney failure are no longer inevitable for diabetic sufferers but they need to change their diet, get off the couch, follow their doctors' recommendations and take their medications. If Larry Miller had done that he would more than likely be alive and healthy today. No I don't know the details of his medical history but I have managed enough patients like him to make a pretty good guess. Complications like the ones he sufferered are unnecessary and avoidable. That is the message that needs to be understood from this unfortunate situation. Many people have done great living with their diabetes by confronting the problem and the lifestyle issues that are responsible for it.

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: February 21, 2009 11:52 am

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

A rare spasm of eloquence in the comments section of this blog.Agreed. The same can be said of the actual blog too...

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: February 21, 2009 10:21 am

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

I've been a Jazz fan since the New Orleans days with Goodrich and Maravich.  I just have to say thank you Larry Miller.  You will be greatly missed.

Since: Jan 31, 2007
Posted on: February 21, 2009 12:54 am

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

A man in our neighborhood died a sudden death leaving behind a wife and several children and no life insurance.  In comes Larry Miller.  He loans the mother enough money to pay off her home and pay her way through school so she could get a better job.  The loan had no interest and no payments for several years, buying this widow time to get her life in order.  Calling him classy or compassionate does not seem adequate.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 20, 2009 11:31 pm

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

No we will not my friend. Hopefully Larry is in a better place my heart goes out to all the JAZZ Family. rest in peace and god bless

Since: Mar 1, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2009 10:54 pm

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

Agreed, Miller was one of a kind. He single handedly kept the Jazz in Utah and we Jazz fans will alwys be grateful for that. Rest in peace Larry.

Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: February 20, 2009 10:01 pm

We'll never see the likes of Miller again

the sons he has left in charge of his "empire", as we call it in utah, are very smart and buisness minded men, the Jazz are in good hands.

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