The 28-year-old Darius Miles smiled when he looked at his stat-sheet after playing in a summer charity game. The most important part was the 26 points.

Miles, out of the NBA, now wants to make a comeback.

“This is the best I’ve felt in five years,” Miles told FanHouse. “Even through all the rust, you can see, I still have my skills. And because I was forced to develop other parts of my game, I might be better than I ever was.”

Miles was a hopeful star when he was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers as the third overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft. Since then, he has been considered a bust. He has also gone through recent troubles with the leagues with substance abuses along with a bunch of injuries which forced him to quit.

Miles can revive himself and re-shape his career up. At 28, he has a lot of time to have a better reputation in the league. Miles was working a bit with the Charlotte Bobcats during this year’s Summer League. A great way to fix up his career is with Larry Brown, who is known for fixing up NBA players with a bad reputation.

“He doesn’t have the spring in his legs that he had 7-8 years ago, but nobody does,” said Bobcats assistant coach Dave Hanners. “He still has that great feel for the game. He knows how things will unfold before they do. That’s special. And he still has a strong desire to play.”

But they aren’t promises he will make the roster, with Theo Ratliff and Larry Hughes in the mix. But Miles can still make it and show that he can ball.

“I’ve been hurt for such a long, long time that people forgot who you are, what you can do,” Miles said. “If people see me, I think they’ll like me. My body feels great, and if it holds up, I can play with the elite like I used to. And I’m excited about the possibilities now.”

Miles went to a tough path, becoming a journeyman from going to Cavaliers and then to the Portland Trail Blazers. There, he had one of the worst contracts in NBA history with a six-year $48 million deal. The Blazers announced his retirement a year later, hoping to get some salary cap back.

He then went to the Boston Celtics in 2008, but nothing really happened there. He then signed with the Memphis Grizzlies, but was handed with yet another suspension upon drug abuse. But after reserving for the last 34 games, Miles showed signs of a flashiness. It seemed if Memphis would sign him, but that later became a distance memory when he was arrested for marijuana possession back in Illinois.

And from there, his NBA career was over. But Miles is improving himself as a player, teammate, and wholeheartedly a person. He is working well in rehab and is doing well for the Bobcats in the Summer League play.

“I’m not mad at the Blazers or anyone else for the past, but I know I can play again. I’ve learned a lot about the business of basketball. My son is 2 years old now, and he’s never seen me play. I want him to come to an NBA arena to see his father play again,” Miles said. “I’ve got a lot of years left, and I want to be part of something again.”

Though Miles isn’t like what he used to be or what he was thought out to be, he can still bring it. All he has to do is play hard, do things right, and try to make this Bobcats’ roster.

“I have nothing guaranteed right now. I’m just thankful for this chance,” he said. “Sometimes I still have to tell myself to take it slow. But I’m out there now jumping around, and I don’t have to worry about my knee anymore. My game is back.”

Even if he doesn’t make the team’s roster, I hope an NBA team is keeping an eye on him.

Actually, I am sure of that.

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