“But to me, a king should never leave his kingdom."
“I lost to Michael Jordan. I battled Patrick Ewing and his Knicks. I lost to Larry Bird and his Celtics. I lost to Isiah Thomas and his “Bad Boys" Detroit Pistons. I lost to Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway’s Orlando Magic."
“Even if Durant didn’t win a championship like me, John Stockton or players who briefly spent time elsewhere like Ewing, Karl Malone, etc. the rest of the world would have looked at him in a different light because he fought, rather than joined, the giants—LeBron, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Chris Paul, etc. And to me, that’s a true legacy."
“It would obviously be great to have both—your kingdom and an untarnished legacy. But there are only so many people who enjoy that luxury.
Jordan had both, because he already won six rings before going to the Washington Wizards. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Kobe Bryant. You can even put Hakeem Olajuwon in there, since he won two championships before going to the Toronto Raptors.
But I can’t loop LeBron into that company. He left his kingdom in Cleveland for Miami, which was Dwyane Wade’s kingdom. "
“People always ask, “What made you stay in Indiana for all those years?"
This is the best way I can answer that question: Your checkout teller at the grocery store, the attendant at the gas station, the ushers, the waiters, the waitresses—all these fans laughed and cheered with me, and they cried with me after the losses to Shaq, MJ and the Knicks. We were in it together.”
“I could not look at those fans had I gone somewhere else. I could not win a championship in Miami like LeBron, popping bubbly and all that, knowing there’s a group in Indiana that stayed with me when I wasn’t able to win a title. I couldn’t turn my back on that fanbase and say, “Yay, I got a ring!"”
“The Celtics wanted me to come out of retirement in 2007-08, when they won a title with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. I couldn’t do it. There was an opportunity to join the Lakers at one point. I couldn’t do that, either. And maybe I should have.
But to me, a king should never leave his kingdom.”
p.s.米拿多年前的自傳名為《I Love Being the Enemy》，台灣的中譯本叫做《樂為敵人》，充分反映了米拿的性格，是很好看的一本書；有時我工作得累了，總會隨手翻開，想想這個孤高的瘦骨仙，如何與隊友對抗可能是歷史上最強悍的東岸敵人。