Larry Miller, the former president of the Portland Trail Blazers, current Nike and Jordan brand chairman, has a secret he has kept from some of his closest friends, even Michael Jordan himself.
Miller said he committed a murder when he was a member of a gang in Philadelphia during his teenage years.
He sat down with Sports Illustrated for an exclusive interview before the release of his tell-all book “Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom,” which will be released next year.
During the interview, Miller, now 72 years old, shared that he spent time in prison after shooting and killing a person when he was 16 in 1965.
He kept the secret from not only Jordan but also Nike founder Phil Knight, NBA executives and his own children until recently.
Miller said he did not know 18-year-old Edward White when he fired a .38-caliber gun into his chest, killing him.
”That’s what makes it even more difficult for me, because it was for no reason at all,” Miller told Sports Illustrated. “I mean, there was no valid reason for this to happen. And that’s the thing I really struggle with and that’s — you know, it’s the thing that I think about every day. It’s like, I did this, and to someone who — it was no reason to do it. And that’s the part that really bothers me.”
He said he shot White after a friend had been stabbed to death during a fight with a rival gang. After drinking a bottle of wine and getting the gun he had received from his girlfriend before that night, the group went looking for anyone from the rival gang, shooting the first person they found, he told Sports Illustrated.
He admitted he was drunk at the time and realized what he had done once the “haze” lifted.
Miller, who had been a good student before joining the gang, went back to school while in prison. He earned an accounting degree from Temple University at the age of 30 about the same time he was released.
He had been interviewing with the accounting firm Arthur Andersen for a job but during his final interview, he disclosed his past, moments before he was going to be offered a job. That job offer didn’t happen. So he decided not to share his past from that moment forward, he told Sports Illustrated.
To read more about Miller and how he became the man he is today, click here.
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