Driven: A TrueHoop review of Larry H. Miller’s autobiography

May 26th, 2010 | by Spencer Hall

Take a minute and read the review of Larry H. Miller’s autobiography, Driven by the BlogFather, Henry Abbott. Media members were given copies of the book, written with the help of long-time Utah sportswriter and columnist Doug Robinson. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but I’m planning to get into it in the next two weeks, at which time I’ll weigh in with a few more thoughts.

I’ve long been fascinated with Larry Miller. He was a complicated man who continued to change and grow and adapt to his world until the day he died. At the same time he left an unmistakable legacy in Utah that goes far beyond the Jazz. Henry points out some of the famous scenes that made Miller infamous as an outspoken and emotional NBA owner, but also discusses the moments of growth and learning that were always so public and to me, so interesting.

Through it all, the portrait that emerges is of a man who had his moments of ugliness. He flew off the handle more than a few times. But that relentlessness of spirit saw happy endings most of the time, even in those cases.

The Denver Nuggets fans he had argued with are quoted in the book as delighted at how Miller apologized repeatedly for his actions that night, and made them his guests at a later game.

Even the “Brokeback Mountain” controversy, after more effort, achieved some resolution. Miller called a meeting with protesters which he opened by saying “I want to hear what you’re feeling. What have I done to hurt you?” I don’t know that the riddle of homophobia was solved that day, but by their words and actions, it’s clear both sides were pleased with each other’s efforts towards reconciliation. Miller seemed genuinely surprised at the hurt gay Americans feel and it affected him.

“Yes, I would do it differently,” he writes. “I would either not procure the movie and not discuss it, or, if we had booked it, go ahead and run it because we were showing worse movies than that …I wouldn’t intentionally hurt someone unnecessarily. Even my own secretary was upset. I regret that I caused people pain or made like more difficult for them.”

Let me know what you thought of the book and your opinions on LHM’s legacy.

Spencer Hall
Founder Spencer Hall has covered the NBA, Team USA and NBA D-League since 2007 and launched Salt City Hoops in 2009. Spencer is now the news director at KSL.com
Spencer Hall
Spencer Hall

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3 Comments

  1. Jo Mateix says:

    I currently live out of the country, so I have not been able to get the book yet but as someone who born and raised in Utah and someone that has spent their whole life with the Jazz and everything that Larry did for and with the team I have to say that love him or hate him you have to respect the guy for his dedication, passion, and commitment not only to the franchise, but also to the game. Hopefully his son can bring that same determination to the future of the Jazz and keep them a solid team (championship or not) and treat it as his father’s legacy and not just a business asset.

  2. Rob Rocco says:

    Larry H. Miller is everything a fan would want in an owner. He was committed to winning, cared about the fans, and left his part of this world far better than he found it. He also took the hand of my 8-year old son and invited him to high-five the Jazz players during pre-game player introductions (Celtics, Feb 2005)–alife-long memory. He was a leader who made human mistakes but who in the end, was from my vantage point, truly humane. I never knew Mr. Miller but know how much he cared about Utah and how Utah is viewed outside of Utah. I look forward to adding the book to my library and only wish that before he passed, his Jazz could have won a championship or two. To his family…please keep the Jazz in Utah…it is where they belong!

  3. Dave says:

    I just finished this book and it’s absolutely fabulous. I never knew much about Miller, but I learned a great deal of respect for him.

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