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Westside Workouts: It's Miller Time
THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2000   7:00 PM CT
By Jeff Balke
Copyright 2000

Porter Speaks with the Media
Auburn's Chris Porter takes a timeout to speak with the media after his workout Thursday with the Rockets. Hey Chris, nice workout shirt ...
Well, I got the call to go to Westside Tennis Club in Houston on Thursday about an hour before the Rockets began working out the four players on the schedule for today: Harold Arceneaux (6'6" SF Weber State), Maruise Gainous (6'9" PF TCU), Mike Miller (6'8" SF Florida) and Chris Porter (6'7" SF Auburn).

First off, let me say that Westside is one heck of a nice place. It is a tad bit confusing getting around but I finally managed to find my way down to the gym just before Miller finished his workout. I caught just a glimpse of it before I was whisked off to the media room. The Rockets are very private about their workouts and media is not allowed. The few seconds I saw, however, showed me that Miller definitely has good footwork. I can't speak for his shot because he was playing defense when I walked in.

Anyway, after about 15 minutes, Miller came out for an interview and several TV and radio stations were there to talk to him. Miller is projected to be high on the Rockets list and could be available around number 9.

Miller is a big kid - not bulky but wide. He is a well-spoken nice guy and he is definitely 6'7" or 6'8". I'm 6' and he towered over me!

"I feel very comfortable with the coaching staff," he said. He added that he felt he could bring versatility to the Rockets and that he really wanted to "help make other players better."

Miller said that he hoped the coaches saw that he wanted to be an unselfish player and grow with a team. "Everyone on this team is unselfish and wants to win," he added.

He has already worked out for Orlando and has a couple more stops though he didn't say where.

Click the thumbnail for a larger picture

Mike Miller talks with reporters

Another shot of Mike Miller with reporters

Auburn's Chris Porter after his workout
My impression was that he is a good kid. I use the term "kid" because he looks like a high schooler. I'm sure he doesn't play like one but the guy looked young. He is very well-spoken and the media guys seemed to like him. Now, back to the media room for more waiting...

Thirty minutes or so later, we got to head into the gym where we were able to talk to Chris Porter after his workout. I saw Rudy Tomjanovich, Carroll Dawson, Jim Boylen (man, does that guy look like Jeff Daniels!!!), Larry Smith, John Lucas and his son, John Jr. who is supposed to be one of the best high school guards in the city at Bellaire. He enters his senior season next year. Funny, but he looked more like a middle schooler - what a baby face!

Anyway, we spoke to Porter for a few minutes. He seemed like a nice guy though not as well-spoken as Miller. He is also tall and lanky with a big 'fro. Kinda reminds me of Kobe Bryant. Anyway, he was asked about the fact that his athleticism was not in doubt but there were questions about his outside shooting.

"There are critics everywhere," he said. "I just want to come in and show my tenacity."

Porter could definitely be on the All Cool Voice team. He has a low, gruff voice just pitched above Barry White and he is soft-spoken to the point of barely being audible. Seemed like a very cool guy and he definitely has the frame for the NBA - long and thin.

Both players really impressed me with how easy-going they were. I didn't get a chance to stick around for the other two, but I'll be going back on Friday to catch Etan Thomas and hear Rudy's comments on the players they had in this week. He is supposed to address the media then.

It was a lot of fun and all the Rocket people were super nice. There were even a couple of guys there I assumed were agents (older guys on the sidelines talking to Rudy, CD and others) who were discussing draft position, etc. It was a very well-run situation and I am very appreciative of the chance to participate.

More to come tomorrow!

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