Brandon Miller is facing questions from NBA teams at the Draft Combine about his role in the alleged murder that dominated coverage of his Alabama team last season.
Meeting with reporters Wednesday in Chicago, the Crimson Tide star said he was responding to teams by saying that the incident was “a lesson learned” and that he should have been more aware of his surroundings.
“The message I’ve presented to them is it’s all a lesson learned. You always have to be aware of your surroundings and know what you’re surrounded by. I feel like the night could’ve changed my career in less that a heartbeat. Always be aware of your surroundings.”
Miller is currently projected by Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek to go second overall to the Charlotte Hornets in the 2023 NBA Draft. He is widely considered a top-three talent after a stellar freshman season at Alabama, though there is little chance of him leap-frogging Victor Wembanyama as the top selection.
While his talent as a future NBA wing isn’t in doubt, Miller’s decision-making that fateful night in January will hang over his head for the foreseeable future, even if his comment indicates that he thinks he’s past the possibility of it affecting his career.
Jamea Harris, a 23-year-old mother, was shot and killed Jan. 15. Miller was reported months later to have delivered to then-Alabama teammate Darius Miles the gun that was allegedly used by another man, Michael Davis, in the shooting. Miller’s attorney later released a statement saying that his client was not aware Miles had left the gun in his car and learned about it on his way to pick Miles up.
Miles and Davis both now face capital murder charges — Miles has pleaded not guilty — while Miller was not charged with a crime or disciplined by Alabama. The story continued to gain steam due to Alabama’s repeatedly bungled attempts to move on from the incident, which included Alabama head coach Nate Oats saying the player was in “the wrong spot at the wrong time” and Miller continuing to use a pat-down intro before games.
Whichever team drafts Miller will have to answer questions about why it is comfortable with him despite what has been reported. So far, it doesn’t appear that Miller’s history will deter teams, but they’ll certainly want to take a closer look at his record off the court.