LOS ANGELES – Bob Miller stood outside Staples Center about 6:45 on Saturday night. He was about to see the statue of his likeness unveiled, a tribute to his 44 years as play-by-play man for the Kings.
His statue would join those of former Lakers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Jerry West; former Lakers announcer Chick Hearn; boxer Oscar De La Hoya; and former Kings Luc Robitaille and Wayne Gretzky, on Star Plaza.
As he looked around, Miller saw hundreds upon hundreds of fans on hand for the ceremony. They surrounded the still-covered statue, and they were hanging over the railings of the second and third floors of Staples Center.
Miller was asked if the meaning of it all had hit him. Then, classy guy that he is, he spoke in humble tones.
“What has not sunk in, I really didn’t expect to see this many people around here tonight,” said Miller, 79. “It’s a beautiful night and they’re all so complimentary, and I’ve always appreciated my association with the fans and their loyalty and their passion for Kings hockey. It was so great to visit with them, and that means a lot to me.”
Humility doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy his accomplishments.
“The statue, and the banner inside, just like the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame (he received his star in 2006), are permanent fixtures,” Miller said. “And that means a lot, that they’re going to be here, I hope, forever. That is very satisfying for me.”
Miller’s statue has a microphone in his right hand. He’s waving with his left, which is fitting because by all accounts, he is not short on character. As they took it in, Miller, his wife Judy and the rest of their family were all smiles.
Among the former Kings on hand were Marcel Dionne and Rogie Vachon.
Kings players and coach John Stevens paid tribute to Miller during interviews this week at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo.
Defenseman Alec Martinez, who is in his ninth season…