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Miller declines Celtics' invitation

Mental grind too much for a return to the NBA

Reggie Miller closed the door on a comeback, declining the Celtics' invitation to return to the NBA. Miller, who turned 42 yesterday, determined his body could handle the rigors of an 82-game schedule. But Miller told Danny Ainge he didn't want to deal with the mental grind.

"I talked with Reggie late [Thursday] night and he said it was a very tempting opportunity, and very exciting," said Ainge. "He thinks his body could take it, but he was not sure his mind was ready for the whole grind. He's done. He's over the hump. He does not want to come back later. He doesn't want to go through what he put his body through the last few weeks."

Miller spent the last few weeks going through two workouts per day. The Celtics presented an intriguing scenario to Miller with the possibility of playing alongside veteran All-Stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. But the lure of the trio was not enough for Miller to give up the life of a television analyst and movie producer.

Ainge was disappointed, but not surprised by Miller's decision. Since Miller retired after the 2005 NBA playoffs following 18 years with the Indiana Pacers, Ainge figured a comeback was a long shot.

"He could have helped us," said Ainge. "You hope he might consider it for a lot of different reasons, but I never really planned on it happening. It's not a setback, but if it could have happened it would have been something nice."

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