Blog
Mark Madsen's Blog

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Blog, Football Pad, Nick Collison, Supersonics, NBA Players, Miami Heat, Kevin Mchale, Wally Szcerbaik, Fred Hoiberg, Kevin Garnett
It's been tough with losing lately and so tonight, now that we just won, I can be happy and return to the keyboard. Photo: Shutterstock.com
I’m sorry that I’ve been away from the typewriter for so long……it’s been tough with losing lately and so tonight, now that we just won, I can be happy and return to the keyboard. I played our game tonight with some sort of football pad on the right, lower part of my back. It’s a little strange to play a game so strapped up, but I had really bruised my back two days ago and I needed some kind of protection. The funny thing is that the opponent knows when you are hurt from their own scouting report and from the fact that when you’re on defense, you constantly touch your man’s back to feel where he is so that you can watch the ball. Tonight on the court, Nick Collison from the Supersonics asked me how my back was during the game. He said he had watched the tape and saw me fall. He was really nice about everything as most NBA players are.

I must say that two years ago I had a hurt back (broken bone) and I was playing with the injury and someone from another team purposely hit me there. (I’m not going to give a name). By and large, most NBA players don’t try to dirty stuff like that, but there is always a few people out there who try stunts like that.

If any of you have seen our schedule, you will know that we will be in Miami on Dec. 31st. We play the Heat on Jan 1. I’m hoping the Miami Heat players really enjoy the new year and stay out as late as they want! 🙂 I’m probably going to be in the room kind of early but let me let you guys in on a little secret. I have NEVER been on an NBA team with a curfew. That’s the honest truth. I think it may be against the collective bargaining agreement of the NBA or something. Actually I think most of the guys on our team are very responsible when it comes to getting enough rest and understanding that rest is important. Most of the guys on this team don’t really go out late at night and Coach Casey and Kevin McHale let us police ourselves as we’re all grown men.

Wally Szcerbiak has been on fire lately. It’s almost 1am and I just read the ESPN.com AP story on our game against Seattle. I always like to see the media’s perception of things and then compare it to the inside. When I read the article two quotes jumped out at me. The first quote came from Wally when he said:

“My philosophy is any open look is an open look.”

Comment: Anyone who watches our games knows this is true. If wally has even one inch to shoot, then the ball is going up. Wally and Fred Hoiberg are the two best shooters I have ever seen in my entire life.
Said Casey: “Kevin and Wally are playing at an All-Star level.”

Comment: I really believe that both Wally and KG deserve to be invited to the all-star game.
I thought I would just share a quick little update on Fred Hoiberg. I played a three-on-three game with Freddie last week and the guy looked great. He may be the first player ever to play in the NBA with a pacemaker. It’s a little unusual because when he does practice he’s got this protective cover he puts over the pacemaker that looks like a little box under his uniform. I truly believe that Fred will be back in the NBA as a player if that’s what he and his wife decide on and if the doctors give their OK. I know that Fred has a very important test coming up on Jan 3rd down in Rochester so let’s all pull for him!

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Robert Horry, NBA Finals, San Antonio Spurs, Utah, Text Massages, Mark Madsen
I sent massages to Robert Horry. Photo: shutterstock.com
I think you guys will find this pretty funny. Last year during the NBA finals Robert Horry had just hit a HUGE three pointer and basically won a huge game for the San Antonio Spurs. I was in Utah at the time and was so happy for Rob. I knew he’d be getting bombarded with phone calls so I sent him a text message from my new phone. (My phone keeps all text messages from the last six months, so I’ll basically quote it).

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June 15th 1:41 AM (I wrote to Rob) Congratulations on the 3 pointer record. Now hurry up and get your 6th Ring! MM

June 15th 1:54 AM (Rob wrote to me) Who is this?

June 15th 8:25 AM (To paraphrase my text to Rob) Your buddy, Mark Madsen!

June 15th 8:57 AM (Rob to me) What’s up Dog? Didn’t have your number stored. How’s the family? Better yet, how’s the hand? (My parents and some family members had met Rob and loved him.)

June 19th 11:54 PM (Me to Rob) Rob….great job! It couldn’t be happening to a better guy!

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I didn’t include everything from our texts during the finals, but I put most of it just because I thought some of you guys might get a kick out of it. I included this because Robert Horry was my first true mentor my rookie season along with Rick Fox and Shaq. But I have to talk about Rob a little beacause our lockers were right next to each other and he was such a great veteran for me to have. We sat next to each other in Phil jackson’s “Warrior Room” toom. (That’s what Phil called the film room.)

One time I came to the bench after I missed a shot and Tex Winter said, “Your job is to pass the ball!” Robert looked at me and said, “Don’t listen to that…..you are a scorer….when you get on that court you are a scorer!” Of course Rob and Tex had a great relationship but sometimes as players we have to keep each others’ confidence high.

Another time we were having a team meeting and Derek Fisher said something like, “We’ve got two superstars in this room (Shaq and Kobe) and the rest of us are role players and we have to do our job.” Derek was one guy who would tell everything like it was. He and Phil used to have heated exchanges from time to time and Phil loved it. He once called Derek the “emotional leader” of the team or something like that. We were losing at the time and it was sort of a clear-the-air type of meeting. I kind of agreed with what Derek had said. I could tell Rob was uncomfortable with what Derek said because he started shifting around and looked ready to say something. These meetings were great because the respect level was high so guys could say whatever they wanted and no one took it personally.

Rob then went on to tell everyone in the room, “Yeah, we have two superstars in this room and the rest of us are STARS. There are no role players in this room there are stars in this room.” I’ll never forget that because that is truly the way Rob plays basketball. I think his confidence level is so high that when the huge shot comes he just has such great self belief he always seems to knock it down. I could go on talking about Rob and the lessons he taught me.

Ocasionally Rob had a bad game as every single pro-athlete does. One time I think he played about 20 minutes and didn’t score and had one rebound. (I have plenty of games like that too.) I was curious to see how he was in the locker room. The media guy came by and handed everyone a copy of the box score of the game which is the routine. Rob glanced at the sheet of paper and then crumpled it up and tossed it away and went to shower. It was like Rob was not going to dwell on anything negative at all. I now do the same thing after a bad game. For me it’s kind of a mental way of telling myself. “Hey, I played terribly, but I’m crumpling up this bad memory and flushing it down the toilet and tommorrow I am coming back with all my confidence and effort! I’m going to be strong and forget about it like Rob does.”

I was lucky to have Robert Horry as a mentor. On every team some players really have a sports mind and can see every little nuance and others can’t see any of it. Rob is one player who seemed to see every single detail of every game. When we were on the court together, he’d see something on defense and shove me and yell “Go double team that, I’ll watch your man.” The first time I was scared to leave me man for fear he’d score and Phil would highlight it on film review the next day. But soon I realized that Rob was rarely wrong with his defensive assignments and he ALWAYS had my back when he told me to go double. I wish Rob the very best in everything and I look forward to seeing him soon on Dec. 15th.

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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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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.