It’s “Miller’s Time”

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When the “RCN SportsTalk” show launched over 15 years ago, one of my first ideas was to brainstorm a list of people I thought that were extremely popular sports celebrities from the Lehigh Valley – which, when the program started, was the only place that the program aired – and would make for a very special night of television viewing.

That initial list consisted of about 55 people.  Through the great work of the show’s producer (and perhaps an even greater amount of luck and good fortune), within a few years we had nearly all of those people from that list on our program.  

A few ‘stragglers’ who either had time conflicts with being at our studio on a Thursday night or guests who were only available at a time when our studio was occupied with other projects kept those individuals from being on SportsTalk.  However, by year six of the program, we had all but two of those people from the list on our show at least once.

One of them was Larry Miller – widely regarded as THE greatest basketball player to ever come out of the Valley.

(Incidentally/ironically, the only other person from that original list who has not been on the show and I began a very special friendship a number of years ago when I contacted him and he told me why he did no longer does any public appearances.  It is actually a wonderful story about why he has NOT been on the program – one that we still have fun with to this day. But that’s a story for another blog entry.  After all, it is “Larry Miller’s time,” which is the name of his new book that is being released this month.)

I have actually been close to having Larry on the show several times, although, up until recently, he has rejected every single media request offered to him over the last 40 years, from sports newspapers, radio stations and major television networks from all across the country.

A couple times over the last 15 years, we thought we had a commitment from him to appear, only to have him change his mind.  One such occurrence was actually through a mutual friend of Larry and myself – Joe Murphy, who was also an RCN employee who just passed away around this time a year ago.

Larry had also allegedly agreed to appear at special nights for his high school alma mater – Catasauqua High School – only to again, change his mind and be a no-show.  While he’s always been easy to find at local Catty establishments, he has shielded himself from the limelight – a trait that has stayed with him even when he was playing professional basketball in the late 1960s and early 70s.

But now with a new book out, he is looking to make the media rounds and discuss some very revealing experiences about his playing days, from the reason why you started playing basketball in this area and the pride he feels for this region, through his days at the University of North Carolina, the ABA and the highs and lows he’s gone through following his playing career. I literally have 15 years worth of questions that I have stored up for him and can’t wait to address as many of those topics as time will allow.

At least, I’m hoping to get a chance to ask those questions. Tune in this Thursday at 7 p.m. on RCN TV to find out if I finally got that chance … and if the “time” is finally right for Miller.

Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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