Darius Miles – a night to remember

Darius Miles – a night to remember

You probably don’t remember where you were on this day 14 years ago, unless you celebrate the birthday or have an anniversary on this date. On the other hand, Darius Miles exactly remembers where he was. With Portland Trail Blazers he played a regular season game at Denver in Pepsi Center.

The Blazers had a season to forget; their record was poor with just 27 wins. Nevertheless, Blazers fans could put their hopes on the development of young players at the roster like Travis Outlaw, Sebastian Telfair or Darius Miles. Unfortunately, none of the players fully realized their potential. Darius Miles, the third overall selection at 2000 draft, was an athletic and entertaining player on the court. However, off the court Miles was a controversial player throughout his career.

In the 2005-06 season, he heavily injured his right knee. This injury was severe enough to qualify it as a career-ending injury. His basketball dreams were over at the age of 27; Miles also had difficulties in his personal life. All that later developed into severe mental health problems and depression.

In Denver, Darius Miles had a career-best performance. Coming off the bench, he scored his career-high 47 points in Blazers loss 119-115. It was by far his best game in a mediocre season in which Miles averaged 12,8 points and 4,7 rebounds. Darius Miles was the only hot player for the Blazers that night. On the other hand, Denver’s trio, Anthony, Nene, and Boykins combined for 81 points.

Miles magnificent scoring performance was not enough to set a franchise season record for points scored in a single game. Just a few months before, on January 14, Damon Stoudamire set a franchise scoring record with a whopping 54 points. This record was later broken in 2017 when Damian Lillard scored 59 points.

Darius Miles will be remembered for his problems off the field, his arrest, bankruptcy, etc. Basketball-wise he will be remembered for his strong dunks and a career night in Denver on April 19, 2005.