PORTLAND, ORE.: The first time C.J. Miles ever saw snow was his rookie season with the Utah Jazz. That was also about the time of his first ice-related accident. Miles, who grew up in Texas, was turning out of his apartment complex for practice one day when he hit a patch of black ice and slid into a pole, denting his shiny new black Escalade.
Miles chuckled recalling the memories on Friday. He is returning to Salt Lake City tonight for the first time since leaving the Jazz as a free agent last summer. He averaged 8.4 points in seven seasons before signing a two-year deal with the Cavs in August. Rumors swirled that Miles had a fallout with Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, but Miles insists it was a mutual departure with no hard feelings.
“It was made to seem there was this bad ending, but it really wasn’t,” Miles said. “I know that’s going to be asked when I get there. There’s no beef, there’s no nothing. Coach Corbin was great to me.”
Miles said Corbin was the coach he went to for nearly everything. Miles worked with Corbin before games, practices and after practices. He got to know Corbin’s family and children.
“He was pretty much my player development guy,” Miles said. “I’ve got nothing but love for him.
“It was just time. It was time for me to be able to expand a little bit more and keep trying to grow as a player. Here I’ve been given the opportunity to do that beside that terrible start I had to the season.”
Despite a dreadful first couple of weeks, Miles has rather enjoyed his first season with the Cavs. He’s averaging 11.2 points, his second-highest average for a season, and his 38 percent on 3-pointers is also the second-best mark of his career.
This entire road trip, which concludes tonight, has been a reunion tour for the Cavs. The first stop was Luke Walton’s return to Staples Center to play the Los Angeles Lakers, then came Omri Casspi’s first game back at Sacramento. Now it’s Miles’ turn.
Cavs coach Byron Scott said he wasn’t concerned about Miles being anxious in his first game back.
“I think C.J. has been around long enough. He’s a veteran,” Scott said. “I don’t think you have to say anything to these guys. I think he’s going to go in there and obviously want to play well, like most guys do when they go back to a place they played. I just want him to go out there and play the way he’s capable of playing and see if we can get a W.”
Miles wasn’t planning much for his return, just a small dinner with a couple of friends on Friday night after the team arrived. Then he’ll catch up with some former teammates such as Paul Millsap and Earl Watson before the game.
“It’s a great city. The people are nice, they’re behind the team,” Miles said. “The passion is a lot like Cleveland and how they are for their sports, but the Jazz being the only professional team in the state makes it crazy there.”
Scott stumps for Irving
After a rather lukewarm endorsement for Kyrie Irving’s All-Star chances a couple of days ago, Scott wanted to revisit the topic after practice on Friday.
“I look at every guard in the Eastern Conference and I don’t think there’s one that’s better,” Scott said. “I think he’s definitely deserving.… Does he deserve to make it? You’re damn straight. Is he good enough? Are his stats good enough? Without a doubt. But I think our record hurts him.”
When asked Wednesday morning about Irving’s chances of making the All-Star team, Scott labeled them at 40/60 and said, “I don’t know if I think he should make it.”
“My answer was based on what I think other coaches in the Eastern Conference are going to think, because of our record and things like that,” Scott said Friday. “Because of the way the voting is normally done, it’s not always based on how you play as an individual. It’s also based on how your team is playing as well.”
Reserves for this year’s All-Star game will be announced on Jan. 24.
Jason Lloyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Cavs blog at http://www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JasonLloydABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.