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WATCH: Reggie Miller gets one more finger wag at retiring David Benner

Pacers legend Reggie Miller surprised retiring media relations director David Benner at his farewell ceremony Sunday.
Credit: AP
Retiring Indiana Pacers Director of Media Relations David Benner reacts after receiving a gift from the Boston Celtics as Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens, left, looks on before an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 1, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

INDIANAPOLIS — A special guest stopped by Gainbridge Fieldhouse to help send a longtime Indiana Pacers employee into retirement.

The Pacers held a ceremony before Sunday's game against the Detroit Pistons to honor longtime media relations director David Benner. During the festivities, Pacers legend Reggie Miller walked onto the court to surprise Benner. 

The friends wagged their fingers in each other's face for a moment, a throwback to their pregame ritual during Miller's playing days in Indiana, before embracing, with Miller's son sharing in the moment

The Pacers shared a "then and now" video, showing a young Miller "trash talking" a stoic Benner before a game. 

During the game, TV cameras showed Miller and Benner sitting together, sharing a laugh during the second quarter.

"We've been linked 35 years, I believe, right? My very first interview, getting off the plane from California, it was by David Benner. You know how much I love you. You know how superstitious I became because of you, you know our little finger wagging in your face. Thank you for keeping me sane all those years, keeping me safe from the media. I love you, brother. Congratulations," Miller said in a video shared by the Pacers.

Former Pacers general managers Donnie Walsh and Larry Bird, as well as team president Kevin Pritchard also offered their congratulations in the video.

"I was there a long time and without your help, I don't know what happened. Thank you so much and stay healthy my friend," Bird said. 

Thank You David Benner

Today, we're celebrating the incredible career of David Benner. As our media relations director since 1994, David and team won the NBA's Media Relations Team of the Year Award twice during his tenure. With the help of Donnie Walsh, Larry Bird, Kevin Pritchard and Reggie Miller we want to thank him for 28 great years. Please join us in wishing him the best in retirement! 💙💛

Posted by Indiana Pacers on Sunday, April 3, 2022

Benner worked as the Pacers media relations director since 1994, twice winning the NBA Media Relations Team of the Year Award with his staff. He announced his retirement before the season and his Twitter account for the past six months have been a walk down memory lane for Pacers fans as he visited former players at various stops around the league.

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