Boston Celtics great and NBA Hall of Famer Bob Cousy had been out of the league for more than a decade before Andre Miller was born. Their paths have never crossed. And while both are point guards, the two played very different ways in very different eras. Cousy was a 13-time all-star; Miller has never been named to an all-star game. Cousy has six NBA championships, whereas Miller has never been out of the first round of the playoffs.
But both played the position well. You'd have to in order to be among the all-time leaders in the NBA in assists, which is one thing Miller and Cousy do have in common. And though Miller will never top Cousy when it comes to championship rings or all-star appearances, he will forever have a leg-up when it comes to career assists. With his fourth helper March 20 against the Lakers, the long-time nemesis of Cousy's Celtics, Miller passed Cousy to move up to 14th all-time in assists with 6,957.
One might assume that Miller, a player who has been grossly under-appreciated during his 11 years in the NBA, might not care about passing a legend like Cousy. After all, one of the reasons Miller has been overlooked throughout his career is due to his low-key, business-like approach to the game, an approach that gives some the impression that Miller doesn't care about much of anything.
That's not the case. Andre certainly isn't the type of guy who is going to draw attention to himself, but he does believe in and value accomplishments, which is why he was hurt that a one-game suspension this season broke his consecutive games streak. And it's the reason why he did take some pride in passing Cousy on the NBA's all-time ledger.
"(Cousy) is a name everybody can associate with," said Miller, "so it's definitely a good thing for me to be up there with him."
If he can play at least one more season at his current pace, Miller will be associated with many of the great points guards in NBA history, including Tim Hardaway, Terry Porter, Lenny Wilkens and Maurice Cheeks. Passing Cheeks, who sits at No. 10 on the all-time list with 7,392 assists, is Miller's next goal, and a very attainable one at that.
"I won't finish no Top 5," said Miller, who needs 435 assists to crack the Top 10. "If I can play three or four more solid years and stay healthy then (Top 10) will be my goal."