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News » Good Brad-vice from vet

Good Brad-vice from vet

Good Brad-vice from vetIt doesn't take a long look inside the Bulls' locker room to discover that Brad Miller is a square peg on a team of round pegs. Besides being one of the few veterans on a young roster, Miller doesn't appear to share many interests with his teammates.

But despite the cultural differences, Miller has been a popular figure in the locker room almost from the day he arrived in February after being acquired in a trade with the Sacramento Kings.

He quickly became a leader, a mentor and an occasional source of comic relief.

''I'm a goofy son of a gun, a small-town guy, and they get a kick out of all the stuff that I do,'' Miller said. ''If I like you, I really want to see you stay in the league.

''I helped Spencer Hawes a lot [in Sacramento]. I don't know how well it's gonna translate, but he was my project out there.''

While ''project'' wouldn't be the right way to describe their relationship, Miller has spent a lot of time since joining the Bulls working with fellow center Joakim Noah. Although his turnaround last season began before the trade, Noah credits Miller for helping him become a better player.

''Brad's a real cool guy, and he's someone I feel I learned a lot from,'' Noah said. ''He brings a great vibe in the locker room. Not only is he a hell of a player, he's someone I feel brings a good vibe and a good attitude to the locker room, and I love having him around.''

Young players sometimes are reluctant to listen to advice, but when Miller speaks, they're usually all ears. Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro knows why.

''Brad Miller's played a lot of years in this league, and it's not because of superb athletic ability,'' Del Negro said. ''The players know that and know he can give them advice that can help their games.''

Entering his 12th season in the NBA, Miller is happy to be back on a team that enters the season expected to make the playoffs after a few dreadful seasons in Sacramento.

''The momentum we had at the end of last year -- the regular season, the way it ended, and the opportunity we had in the playoffs to advance -- the guys have really come together,'' he said. ''We enjoy being around each other. We're out here working. Being an old guy, I push the young guys, and the young guys push us.''

Although he will be retired by the time most of the Bulls reach their primes, Miller is an important part of the team's future because he's in the last year of a contract that will pay him $12 million this season. The Bulls can use his contract as a carrot in a blockbuster deal at midseason or simply let it expire to create cap room next summer.

Either way, his days in Chicago appear to be numbered, but Miller said he's having too much fun right now to think about the future.

''I could care less at this point,'' he said. ''The end of my contract's here, and I'm extremely happy here. You never know what's gonna happen. That's the business part. If it happens, it happens.

''I know what the situation is. I'm just gonna play my butt off and help the team.''

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 12, 2009


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