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Reggie Miller dubs himself ‘the method actor’ of ‘Uncle Drew’ crew

The Hall of Famer, known for terrorizing the Knicks as a player, portrays an elderly New York playground star.

Reggie Miller, currently a color commentator for TNT,

Reggie Miller, currently a color commentator for TNT, appears in the upcoming film "Uncle Drew." Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ronald Martinez

Only in a work of fiction could Reggie Miller, longtime scourge of the New York Knicks, be welcomed at hallowed Harlem court Rucker Park.

“Well, since I was probably the most hated from Indiana, I don’t think I was ever allowed to go to the Rucker League,” Miller told amNewYork while promoting “Uncle Drew,” which hits theaters Friday.

The Hall of Famer, who as the star of the Indiana Pacers had unforgettable postseason battles with the Knicks in the 1990s, co-stars alongside Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving — in the title role. While he has a few TV and film credits to his name, this is the first movie in which he plays a character instead of a version of himself.

Like Irving and fellow former players Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Nate Robinson and Lisa Leslie, Miller played a septuagenarian whose prime was in 1968. All six endured 2 1⁄2 to 3 hours in the makeup chair and sported prosthetics to look the part.

Miller, a longtime color commentator for TNT, called the makeup process “tedious” and noted the difficulties of playing basketball where most of his scenes were filmed in hot Atlanta while wearing prosthetics.

“Because of the humidity [and] doing all those basketball things outdoors, the plastic and the prosthetics would start to kind of peel off your face a little bit,” Miller said.

However, he has great respect for the makeup team responsible for aging him up along with his co-stars.

“I know it was tedious [for us] just to sit there, but to actually apply it, with all the sticky glue, every single day, they’re the real MVP,” he said.

Miller, 52, describes his “Uncle Drew” character, Lights, as believing he was “the baddest shooter of all time” in his day and never letting go of that idea — even as his vision fades with age to the point of being “blind as a bat.” Later in the film, Lights receives a pair of Rec Specs that allowed Miller to “channel my inner James Worthy,” the former Los Angeles Lakers star and Hall of Famer who played in goggles for most of his career.

Ever confident, Miller touted himself as “the Daniel Day-Lewis of our group.”

“I was the method actor of everyone,” he said. “... As soon as I got the prosthetics on, I was in character. Think of me as Lights, not Reggie Miller.”

Although Lights is from New York, California native Miller played his entire 18-year career with the Pacers. But, during the summer of 1996, there was a public flirtation with the idea of joining his bitter rivals and playing for the Knicks.

At the time, his agent, Arn Tellem, said Miller’s interest in jumping ship was “sincere.” Now, 22 years later, the NBA’s former all-time leader in 3-point field goals admits he ultimately would not have gone through with a move he likened to Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City to join the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors in 2016.

“No, I could not have gone to the Knicks,” Miller said. “I just couldn’t do that. There was too much bad blood, too much history there.

“They chose Allan Houston — not that I ever was gonna go there. I just couldn’t. I could not do the Kevin Durant.”

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