'MILLER time' is over for Barako Bull.
On Wednesday, two-time league MVP Willie Miller bared to Spin.ph that Barako Bull management has already told him he’s no longer part of the team for the coming 40th season of the PBA.
“Sinabihan na nila ako, wala na nga raw akong pwesto sa team. Hindi na nila ako na-offeran after ma-expire ang kontrata ko,” Miller said.
“Maayos naman 'yung sinabi ng Barako dahil na-allow nila ako na humanap ng ibang team, sinabi na nila sa agent ko (Danny Espiritu),” he added.
Although not in panic mode yet, Miller admitted starting to feel a bit alarmed at the possibility of failing to hook up with any teams in time for the opening of the league on October 19.
“Sa ngayon kasi hinahayaan ko na lang muna na 'yung agent ko ang humanap para sa akin. Wala naman akong magagawa eh. Sa ngayon, continuous workout lang ako,” said the combo guard out of Letran.
With the latest development in his colorful pro career, is Miller ready to faced imminent retirement?
“Tawag na bang retired agad 'yun kung hindi ka kinuha ng isang team? O ang retire eh `yung ikaw mismo ang magsasabing mag-gi-give up,” replied the 37-year-old pride of Olongapo City.
“Pero pwedeng mag stop ako sa PBA, pero hindi ako magre-retire sa basketball… ang sarap ng basketball eh,” said Miller, who hinted about his plans of continue playing even in leagues such as those inside his village in Taguig.
At the moment, Miller said he has no plan to try out for spots in other PBA teams, stressing he has already proven himself as a player, both in the amateur and pro leagues, for the past two decades.
“Panget namang mag try-out ako, kasi parang ang panget eh. Magta-try-out ka, matanda ka na,” said Miller, who spends most of his time in the offseason tending to his kids.
“Matanda ka na, magta-try-out ka pa. Hindi sa magaling ako eh. Matanda na ko, siguro naman nakita naman na nila,” he added. “May asim pa naman ako… asim kili-kili.”
Miller said he does not hold any grudge with Barako Bull management over its decision to pursue a new direction without him.
“Ngayon kasi ang mindset ng mga teams, pipili ng either bata o matanda. Yun lang naman 'yun eh. Gusto ng ibang teams mga bata… wala tayong magagawa. Kung gusto ng ibang teams may experience… eh di ganun. Yun naman yun eh,” he said.
Asked if the other 11 teams might be considering tapping his services, Miller was in his usual element.
“Maghahanap nga ako ng kaibigang magtatayo ng team… para sigurado ako ang number one pick,” he said before bursting into laughter.
As for the possibility of him suiting up for expansion franchise Kia Motors, Miller has this to say.
“Kia? Gusto bang manalo ng Kia? Kung gusto manalo ng Kia, pwede naman (ako dun),” he said.
Here's a podcast of interview with Willie Miller: