BY Bryan Chai, The Western JournalFebruary 27, 2023
1 year ago

Top NBA Draft Prospect Entangled in Murder Case... Watch 'Pat Down' He Receives Before Every Game

The ability to read the room is as important of a societal skill as there is.

It is also an ability that appears completely foreign to the vast majority of the University of Alabama basketball program.

For those who haven't kept up with this bizarre and tragic story, Alabama freshman Brandon Miller, a player that many consider to be a top-5 NBA Draft pick, has been embroiled in a murder case involving his now ex-teammate Darius Miles and a young mother.

On Tuesday, according to ESPN, Tuscaloosa Detective Branden Culpepper testified that Miller was the one who brought the gun to Miles the night of the fatal shooting, after Miles had texted him and requested it; 23-year-old mother Jamea Jonae Harris was the victim. The incident in question took place Jan. 15.

The detective's testimony came as part of a preliminary hearing for Miles and Michael Lynn Davis, both of whom face capital murder charges for the death of Harris. Miles, who was promptly removed from the Alabama basketball team, admitted to providing the gun used in the shooting, but Davis was alleged to have actually fired the gun.

As AL.com notes, when Miller eventually arrived at the scene of the crime, Miles told Davis, "The heat is in the hat." Culpepper claims that meant the gun was present.

When Miles added, "There's one in the head," Culpepper claimed that meant there was a round in the chamber.

Despite this testimony, Miller has not been charged with anything. In fact, Tuscaloosa chief deputy D.A. Paula Whitley told AL.com that "There's nothing we could charge him with."

Which brings the story back to being able to read the room.

Despite Miller's alleged involvement in the death of a young mother, the 6-foot-9 superstar player has actually played this season as if nothing askew had ever happened.

Some might argue that this is a horrible look for the Crimson Tide basketball program (indeed, multiple outlets, including the New York Post, have made that exact point), and that Miller should at least be put on hiatus while the legal process works itself out. Others might argue that Miller hasn't been charged with anything, so what exactly are you punishing him for?

What virtually nobody is arguing, however, is that Miller seriously needs to re-think his pre-game introduction routine.

Take a look at it below (and take note of the Crimson Tide fans raucous reaction to Miller's introduction):

As Miller is introduced, one of this teammates "pats him down," as in what you do to check a fighter for illegal objects or a suspect for weapons and/or drugs. ESPN noted that Miller had been doing this all year, and that he still continued after the death of Harris.

Objectively speaking, that's just a poor look. At best, it comes off as insensitive. At worst? It almost feels like a flippant act of defiance for those clamoring for Miller to face some sort of charge.

Alabama head coach Nate Oats did address the situation after the game, in which his Crimson Tide beat the Arkansas Razorbacks 86-83, with Miller leading Alabama in both scoring (24 points) and minutes played (38).

"I don't watch our introductions, I'm not involved with them, I'm drawing up plays during that time," Oats said. "Regardless, it's not appropriate. It's been addressed and I can assure you it definitely will not happen again for the remainder of this year."

Alabama next plays on Wednesday, when they host the Auburn Tigers. Since the game is in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide will get their fanciful player intros, meaning basketball fans will learn pretty quickly whether or not that introduction has actually been squashed.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Bryan Chai, The Western Journal

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