When players move from college to the NBA, most go through an adjustment period as they acclimate themselves to the league. Players who pursue playing opportunities overseas have to do the same, but while also adjusting to a new country.
Former Mason County and University of Kentucky great Darius Miller appears to be handling that transition well. He’s coming off his second year in the Basketball Bundesliga League, the highest level of professional basketball in Germany.
Germany is kind of similar to America. Obviously there’s differences, but a lot of people speak English, the food is not that much different, so I don’t really think it was a hard adjustment.
Miller’s latest success with Brose Baskets Bamberg included him winning Finals MVP as the team won its second straight league championship, adding to his national championship at UK and a state title with the Royals.
“It was a great experience,” Miller said. “We got another championship, a German championship. The team was great, I really enjoyed playing with them.”
Miller came on strong when it mattered most for the team, averaging 18 points in the finals and hitting 16 of 19 threes in the three games. But throughout his second season in Germany, Miller said he was finally starting to feel comfortable in the team’s system and the overall playing style of the league.
“It’s definitely more team-oriented,” he said. “There are a lot more systems involved, but I don’t know if I would say it’s more skilled. There’s a lot of skill over there, but there is skill everywhere. But it is definitely a different type of game, maybe a little bit slower game.”
After adjusting to differences in the rules, such as the absence of a three-second violation and a shorter three-point line than the NBA, getting used to a new country was almost easier than the basketball side of the move.
“Germany is kind of similar to America,” Miller said. “Obviously, there’s differences but a lot of people speak English, the food is not that much different, so I don’t really think it was a hard adjustment.”
After initially being nervous about the move to Germany, Miller adjusted quickly and was able to experience much of what Europe has to offer. Brose Baskets also played in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague this season, and Brose Baskets played teams from all over the continent.
“That was amazing just seeing the different countries and different cultures,” Miller said. “It was amazing just traveling and seeing the world.”
Brose Baskets finished in the top 16 in Euroleague, and received news Tuesday that they would be among that league’s field again next season. Miller will be there, too, after signing a two-year deal with the team in June. The contract does, however, allow for a possible NBA return.
An NBA-out clause is included if Miller was two receive an offer before mid-July. He’d have the same option next summer, too.
Miller said he is not going to be participating in the NBA summer leagues this offseason, which makes a return this year unlikely. But he is open to the idea under the right circumstances.
“If a good situation lands,” Miller said on a possible NBA comeback. “I’m not just going to come back just to say I’m in the NBA. But if there’s a good situation where I feel like I’ll have a decent role and I’d be able to play, then I’d definitely come back.”