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.