Portland, Ore. – the former Portland Trail Blazers President and current Nike executive Larry Miller He has admitted that he killed a teenager when he was involved in a gang 50 years ago.
Miller, now 72, reveals long-guarded secret in an exclusive interview Sports Illustrated Published Wednesday. He described his decision to be candid about his past as “really difficult”.
“Because for years, I ran from it,” Miller said. “I tried to hide it and hope people don’t find out about it.”
Miller also kept secrets from powerful friends like Michael Jordan and NBA commissioner Adam Silver. He said he decided to go public ahead of his upcoming book, “Jump: My Secret Journey from the Streets to the Boardroom,” which will be released next year.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, Miller said that he grew up in a stable family, but things started to spiral when he was 13 and he joined the Cedar Avenue gang in West Philadelphia. He said he was a “straight gangbanger” at the age of 16.
On September 30, 1965, Miller said he shot 18-year-old Edward White. The shooting was in retaliation for one of Miller’s fellow gang members being killed by a rival gang. Yet Miller admitted that he wasn’t even sure that White was affiliated with a rival gang—or any gang for that matter. Miller said he only shot the first person he saw and learned White’s name only after hearing about his death on news reports.
Jordan Brand President Larry Miller attends the launch of the new partnership between Paris Saint-Germain and Jordan at Paris des Princes on September 13, 2018 in Paris, France.
“We were all drunk,” Miller told Sports Illustrated. “I was in a haze. Once it set in, I was like, ‘Oh, sh-t, what have I done? It took me years to understand the real impact of what I did.”
Miller was in and out of prison until the age of 30. But he continued his education behind bars and received an accounting degree from Temple University around the time of his release.
Miller almost got a job with the prestigious accounting firm Arthur Anderson, but the offer was turned down when he disclosed his criminal past. He vowed to keep it a secret even further.
“I’m never going to share it again,” he recalled telling himself.
From there, Miller went on to become vice president of Nike Basketball in 1997, president of Jordan Brand in 1999, and president of Trail Blazers in 2006, before returning as president of Jordan Brand in 2012.
Miller said he was nervous about coming forward. But Jordan, Nike and Silver have all backed out, he said.
“It’s freed me,” Miller told Sports Illustrated of relief. “I feel free to be myself now.”
Granthshala Business has reached out to the NBA and Nike for comment and will update this story accordingly.