Authors Posts by Mark Madsen

Mark Madsen

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Rookies, Dwane casey, Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves's Game Film, Rashad McCants, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Locker Room
Talking About Rookies, Players, discussion with Coach Casey about last season and the Timberwolves' game film. Photo: shutterstock.com

2005-06 Mark Madsen/Timberwolves Diary Week 1 (Oct. 31)
We have a lot of rookies on the team right now. One of the their jobs is to bring Krispy Kreme doughnuts to practice every morning for the staff, coaches and the occasional player who is trying to gain weight. Recently, as a few of us changed in the locker room and speculated on how hard practice was going to be that day, one of the rookies looked at another rookie and said with a very serious tone, “Hey, we’ve got bigger problems than that, where are the Krispy Kremes?” Kevin Garnett wasn’t there yet, but if he arrived at practice and saw that the rookies had failed there would be problems. With KG, it’s not about having doughnuts at practice, it’s about respecting seniority, learning responsibility and coming through. The rookies made some hasty calls and propped open a Target Center exit door to make sure that the goods arrived. The Krispy Kremes weren’t fresh that day; they were the day-old kind you can buy at a normal supermarket. I think they’ve worked-out a whole new plan to make sure they get the fresh ones from here on out.

My first interaction with Dwane Casey was over the summer when he reached out and called me on my cell phone. We talked for 20 minutes about last season and the Timberwolves’ game film he had already broken down and analyzed. He relayed to me that he had studied each of our games from last season at that point. After one preseason game this year we were on the plane flying home and I walked by the coaches to get to the restroom. Coach Casey was there making notes as he watched that night’s game DVD on his laptop. The next day we watched the tape as a team and he pointed out our lapses or mistakes, but also made sure we knew when we had done things correctly. Coach Casey demands defensive concentration, effort and perfection. He has told us that if we miss shots it’s fine, but not playing defense is inexcusable.

I want to introduce all of you to an outstanding player and person, Rashad McCants. On our first day of training camp, we were taking our physicals and a few of us were talking about how excited we were to be back after a long summer. I looked at Rashad and told him something like, “I’ve been waiting all summer for this.” He replied back, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.”

We got Rashad with the 14th pick in the draft this summer and I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed getting to know him so far. When we played at Indiana, Rashad posted up Ron Artest, demanded the ball and then lofted a soft jump hook right over one of the NBA’s toughest defender. I think Rashad is kind of like a boxer who goes into the ring believing he will win every fight. Most days after practice Garnett works with Rashad and they do drill after drill together with KG challenging, tutoring and encouraging the rookie. To have Garnett as a mentor is something that he will surely benefit from.

Away from the court, I wish I could have taped some of the comments Rashad was making at our annual “Business of Basketball” meeting the other day. He studied business at North Carolina, but it sounded like he could have studied law with the insightful comments he was making.

I am excited to be doing the diary for a second season and look forward to giving some insight into this year’s team. If you have suggestions about what you want me to write, or to give me a grammar lesson, come let me know before a game at Target Center.

Thanks, Mark

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New Dress Code Memo, Players, NBA, Kevin Garnett, Dwayne Casey, Mini Camp, Fred Hoiberg
I am Updating my blog. Photo: shutterstock.com
It’s 2AM and I can’t fall asleep. I guess now is a good time to update my blog.

  • I just re-read the new Dress Code Memo from David Stern to all of the players. I think the things that jump out at me from the memo are 1) Players ARE allowed to wear “dress jeans” and 2) Players are NOT allowed to “wear sunglasses while indoors.” (both taken directly from the memo)
  • Kevin Garnett–if you watch closely this season, you will see something new from KG. In the warmup line, after he is introduced he will bow in a martial-arts-like gesture to all of us (teammates) and we will mimick it back to him. I first met KG about 12 years ago at the NIKE invitational for high school players in Indianapolis. I was going to be a H.S. senior and he was going to be a junior. KG was dominating back then too. I looked at him and he was 6’11” with those wide shoulders and I thought, “Now that’s the type of person that’s going to the N.B.A.” Allen Iverson was at that camp along with Jahidi White and I think Maurice Taylor was there too.
  • Dwayne Casey–Coach casey is one of the smartest defensive minds that I’ve ever seen. After our mini-camp in Las Vegas I think I told my Dad that Coach Casey was having us do things on defense that I have NEVER done in my entire career. The defensive philosophy he is teaching us works incredibly well. It basically emphasizes rotations and every man on the court being partially responsible for the ball even if it’s out of your defensive zone.
  • Today in practice KG and I were both going for a rebound. He came down on my foot and sprained his ankle. I felt terrible but he said he’d be ok in a couple of days.
  • One of the happiest moments of my basketball career came in Milwaukee on Saturday night. Two years ago, TJ Ford and I collided and he aggravated his existing bruised spinal cord when he fell. The Bucks missed TJ terribly and he was out for TWO YEARS!!! Some people said his career would be over. On Saturday night, Michael Redd announced TJ’s return and the Milwaukee crowd went nuts. I stood and clapped so hard for TJ even though we were in a team huddle. I have great admiration for TJ and I am just happy he is back. Here is a link to a great article about TJ and his family. Article
  • One of my next postings will be dedicated to Fred Hoiberg and everything he has gone through in the past four months with his heart surgery. Fred has the chance to become the first player in NBA history to play with a pacemaker. More importantly, I just hope that Fred takes it slow and has a complete recovery. Fred is a great family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. As far as I’m concerned if he walks away and never plays again, I will be happy that he got his heart situation fixed. But from a selfish standpoint, Fred is one of my best friends and and may be one of the greatest pure shooters to ever play in the NBA. Whatever Fred Hoiberg chooses I will support 100%.

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Hi, I read your Q and A about all the kids in Minnesota and I thought that was cool. I’m actually one of the kids you signed and gave your shoe too. I am really interested in Timberwolves b-ball. I like your style of play and dance. Im on the White Bear A-team and I try to play like you every day. I’m looking forward to your games in the future. I’ll be in that autograph hallway and cheering in the stands.

Sincerely,
John

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Physical, Individual Traning, Rashad McCants, Basketball Program, Minneapolis, Strength Coach
Talking about physical, training camp, Rashad McCants, Team and My confession Photo: shutterstock.com
Yesterday when we were all taking our physicals a few of us were talking about how excited we were to be back after a long summer of individual training. I looked at Rashad McCants and told him something like, “I’ve been waiting all summer for this.” His replied back, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.”

I’m very impressed with Rashad as a player and as a person. First, he came from one of the top notch basketball programs and Universities in the country, UNC. But what I really like is his confidence and his humility. Today in the scrimmage, Rashad played very well. I know it’s been tough for him, because he had a severely sprained ankle for a lot of the summer, but he’s healthy now and playing great. Rashad takes his time and uses his strength to bump people off of him and then shoots a very accurate shot.

Right now, they have our entire team at a downtown Minneapolis hotel as we have two practices a day. Our strength coach makes us weigh in before and after practice to see how much water weight we have lost and to make sure we are getting hydrated enough. KG is playing as well as ever. When I saw him last week for the first time in a month he looked awesome after a long summer of conditioning and intensive training in the L.A. area as well as here.

Now that I’ve shared some basketball stuff I have one confession to make: I finally have a very embarrassing moment that I still can’t believe happened. About a month ago, I went to put gas in my Toyota Sequoia. The gas nozzle didn’t fit! Well, I found a way to fill up the entire tank by aiming the gas into my tank. I didn’t drive more than two minutes before my car died. I had put diesel into a car that takes unleaded! Even though most of my day was dedicated to calling towing companies and auto dealerships, luckily the car was restored to full functionality. Moral: Don’t ever put the GREEN nozzle into your car if it takes unleaded. If it doesn’t fit….don’t jam it in there!

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Las Vegas, Basketball Camp, Gambling Experience, Timberwolves, Troy Hudson, Anthony Carter
Las Vegas, officially the City of Las Vegas and often known as simply Vegas, is the most populous city in the state of Nevada and the county seat of Clark County. Photo: shutterstock.com
When I was about fourteen I came to Las Vegas for a basketball camp and was tempted to put a quarter into a slot machine. I dropped the quarter in and out came 5 quarters. As I was reaching for the winnings, a voice called out, “Hey how old are you?” A huge security guard was staring me down as I shook a little bit. “Take the money and run!” he bellowed out!

That’s my first and only gambling experience. For the next three days most of the T-Wolves team will be here in Las Vegas for a voluntary mini-camp so that we can all get to know each other as players better. The Timberwolvs rented us each a room at the Palms Hotel here in Vegas. When I walked into the lobby I immediately ran into Troy Hudson and Anthony Carter. It’s great to see friends after a summer of being in different places. I’ve been doing some high altitude training in the Salt Lake City area. If anyone out there wants to get some conditioning in, you’re more than welcome to come run some 400’s with me at Olympus high school just off of 4500 S. Today at 10:30 AM we’re meeting in the lobby to go start playing ball against each other. I’ll try to record some of the cool stuff that happens.

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Target Center, My Locker, McHale, Coaching Search, Rotations, Interviews, Timberwolves Assistants
I clean out my locker in Target Center. Photo: shutterstock.com

Today I went in to the Target center to clean out my locker and tie up a few loose ends. I saw McHale up in the office working the phones on the coaching search and we talked for a while. I asked him how the coaching search was going and he said that they had good interviews with the three current T-wolves assistants as well as several other candidates. The one thing McHale said was that he really wanted us to become a better defensive team with better “rotations” and more scrambling.

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Mark, we are sooooo happy to keep you here in Minnesota. I have been glued to my computer the past couple of days to see what your decision was going to be. We are officially keeping our season tickets since you are coming back. Thanks for staying here.

M.C

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Mark, I’m not sure you’ll remember me just by my name but I’m the young lady you met at the airport. I’m writing to thank you very much for being so kind and patient with me and my mother. It meant a lot, as a fan, to shake your hand and get a picture with you. Trust me when I say it was the experience of a lifetime ;-). Well, thank you again and I wish you the best. Take care and good luck! -Your Fan

J.V>

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I had the chance to work with Mark at his camp this past week. I have met a lot of Pro athletes over the years and NEVER have I met any who have been so good with the public. Mark is a class act and i hope to get the chance to work with him again in the future.

E.R.,
Fridley High School