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NBA's Mike Miller weighs in on Conor McGregor, Jon Jones and the early days of MMA

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Everyone has an opinion about Conor McGregor.

Mike Miller of NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers thinks the brash Irishman's presence is a positive thing for MMA, he told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.

"I think it's great for the sport," Miller said. "I really do. It's gonna be interesting because he gets a big step up against [Jose] Aldo, but he's been calling his shots the whole way. It should be a fun fight."

Miller, whose team is currently in the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks, is a huge MMA fan and part owner of Power MMA in Arizona. On The MMA Hour, he discussed a variety of different topics, including his feelings on the Jon Jones situation. Jones was arrested on a felony hit-and-run charge last month, then indefinitely suspended and stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title thereafter. Miller said that was probably the right move.

"Until you figure out what's going on, it's like any sport," Miller said. "You always gotta be a little more attentive, figure out what the whole story is and what's going on and let him take care of his personal stuff and worry about that stuff, because that's the most important thing right now in his life. It's not the UFC or a title, it's is he healthy as a human and what he wants to do."

Miller, 35, has been an MMA fan for a long time, dating back to the early days of the UFC in the 1990s. He counts Keith Hackney among his favorite fighters and has stuck with Robbie Lawler as one of his favorite fighters since his UFC debut in 2002.

"That stuff was amazing to me and to see where the sport has gone, the evolution of the sport has been fun to watch from the beginning to now," Miller said. "Just seeing this thing grow has been remarkable.

"I prefer it now. Everything has times. It was fun to watch and that was that time. I think the sport has grown now. It's taken amazing strides. Where it's at now is really good. It'll continue to grow and continue to really catch the moment that it has and build to an even bigger brand."

Miller has dabbled a bit in MMA training down at Power MMA in Gilbert, Ariz., with the likes of Ryan Bader, C.B. Dollaway and Aaron Simpson. The 6-foot-8 guard/forward still does some work with those guys, but has tapered back on some of the harder drilling.

"At my point now I's about staying healthy and being able to shoot the ball," Miller said. "As I get older, it's about new training methods. I still like the stuff. I still do the conditioning with them. And I will always do the conditioning stuff with them. I think they're the best-conditioned athletes on the planet. Getting in there and messing around with them is a little more difficult now."

Though the UFC is on just about every weekend now with 40-plus cards on the docket in 2015, Miller keeps up like a diehard fan, he said. He watches all the fights and reads the MMA news sites. He's aware of everything going on with Jones and the UFC 187 main event between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson for the vacant light heavyweight title.

"How can you not like it?" Miller said. "For me, it's action non-stop and as you get up in weight classes, anything is possible. It's a little bit different in boxing in that situation there. It's a lot of fun."

And someone like McGregor increases some that fun, too.

"Any time you get the charismatic guys like him in the sport who are successful -- and obviously he's been successful -- I think it's great for any sport," Miller said.

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