Classic card of the week

Oliver Miller, 1992-93 Topps

Here is a “Time-Life Magazine”-worthy floor shot of Oliver Miller throwing it down with lukewarm authority. How he got down the floor before everybody else on this play is anyone’s guess. Though my hypothesis would be that he was not an active participant in the previous defensive series.

But let’s see how long it takes the back of the card to mention Oliver Miller’s weight:

They called Oscar Robertson “The Big O,” but the massive Oliver Miller gives new “dimension” to that nickname.

That dimension is fatness. I also appreciate how “dimension” is in quotes, as to imply that Oliver Miller is so fat -– How fat is he? -– that he can only fit in an alternate dimension. That is not nice. But what else?

On offense, Miller was nearly “automatic” –- the Razorbacks’ most accurate shooter ever.

I am at a loss as to why “automatic” is in quotes. As far as being Arkansas’ most accurate shooter -– that is what happens when you do not/cannot move from the five-square-foot parameter directly underneath the basket.

So we know about Oliver Miller’s weight issues. But can Wikipedia shed any new light on his basketball career? Of course they can:

In December 2001, after another brief term with the Globetrotters, Miller was released for showing “no appreciation for what it takes mentally and physically to be a Harlem Globetrotter.”

Let me start by saying this: You can get released by the Globetrotters? To the point where they need to issue a statement? I had no idea. Also, how in the hell do you lollygag it on the Harlem Globetrotters? They’re whole shtick is bringing energy and excitement to the crowd by executing incredibly difficult and detailed basketball trickery. What did he expect? I can just picture Oliver Miller standing on the court, holding a stick with a spinning basketball on top of it with one hand, and a hot dog with the other, and then taking a pass to the face because he wasn’t paying attention to the rest of the routine. Then he gets chewed out by the head Globetrotter as the confused crowd looks on, wondering whether or not it’s all part of the act. And if you think that’s a hypothetical scenario, believe me –- I was there.

So anyway, if you’re the Phoenix Suns, how can you not draft a 300-lb center with your first round pick? And was that shot at the Phoenix Suns just sarcasm based on retrospect? Possibly. But please allow me to relay a question that, for me, has become one of the great mysteries of life: How can you play basketball and, simultaneously, be fat?

Honestly. This is something that has absolutely, positively befuddled me for years. I mean, basketball is one of the most physically taxing sports out there. You can burn up to 80 calories just watching a game of basketball. For the average person who plays the sport consistently, it is near impossible to not remain in adequate shape. To play the game professionally -– as in, it’s your freakin’ job to play a game that intrinsically prevents you from being fat -- and to remain overweight in the process shows an uncanny lack of discipline and effort both on and off the court.

I guess I just answered my own question. Still though.

Did you know?
Oliver Miller was the reason Krusty the Clown bet against the Harlem Globetrotters.


Bill said…
You can't blame Krusty, he thought the Generals were due.

Also, I first moved to Arizona in 1993, and my classmates and I thought Oliver Miller, along with Richard Dumas, were going to be cornerstones of a dynasty. Maybe we were getting a little ahead of ourselves but we thought it would be "automatic."

Finally, I agree wholeheartedly that it seems impossible to play basketball for a living and still be fat. Full court basketball requires so much running that you almost have to go out of your way to still be fat. Maybe Oliver had some bacon hidden underneath each basket during practices or something.