Now that his 14-year-old son, Duane, is at an age when he can fully understand and question what’s going on around him, Andre Miller said he feels more of an obligation to set a good example. When he looks back on the in-game shouting match with Denver Nuggets Coach Brian Shaw that led to a stalemate with the franchise and an eventual trade to the Washington Wizards, Miller is most upset about the embarrassment it caused.

But through some uncomfortable conversations with his son, Miller was able to use his misstep as a chance to impart a lesson that has helped the 38-year-old point guard play 15 seasons in the NBA.

“I told myself coming into this league, if I kept my mouth closed and don’t say anything — just go out and do my job — I’ll last a long time,” Miller said. “I tell my son because my son observes all this: ‘It’s better, regardless if you’re a leader or not, just to keep your mouth closed because this is a business and the coach is going to always be right. And it’s no point in going back and forth.’ ”

Miller will return to Denver on Sunday to face Shaw and the Nuggets for the first time since he left in a trade he felt had to happen.

After the ugly exchange with Shaw late in the second half of a Jan. 1 loss to Philadelphia, Miller spent seven weeks away from a game he takes pride in always being available to play. To Miller, the uncharacteristic blowup went deeper than him being upset about not playing because of a coach’s decision for the first time in his career. Miller believes Shaw sat him as punishment for speaking up on behalf of his teammates at a team meeting.

“I spoke up in a team meeting, privately, behind closed doors, about communication and brought it to the coaching staff because the players on the team asked me to,” Miller said. “That’s why I think I was benched. That’s the only reason. I know what the issue was about and I don’t think it was handled the right way.”

When asked recently about the incident, Shaw described it as a “tough situation” because the first-year coach was in the process of developing other young players at the same position, which made it difficult for Miller to get the minutes he was accustomed to receiving.

“I have all the respect in the world for Andre,” Shaw said. “His reputation as a player has been great throughout his career, and he’s a guy that wants to play and be out on the floor all the time. I’ve always heard as players get older, it’s more and more difficult to coach them, and I remember. I played until I was 37. In our minds we may think we’re one thing, but in reality, it could be something totally different.”