Tags Posts tagged with "basketball"


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Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin's rise to prominence at NYC's Madison Square Garden was awe inspiring.

Top 10 Reasons Jeremy Lin is dominating:

First of all, it’s nice to see Spike Lee happy again after the disappointing Knicks struggled year after year.  Who would have ever guessed that a young asian american point guard would be the catalyst to help begin the turnaround.  Jeremy Lin is making Spike Lee happy and Lin is making a lot of basketball people and non-basketball people happy.  Here are a few reasons for his success.

10.  Defensive Play:  Frank Hamblen (One of Phil Jackson’s top assistant coaches) used to always say that if the other team finds a weak link they will pick at you “like a scab.”  Not only is Jeremy Lin a good defender, he is averaging 1.8 steals per game in the past six games.  If Lin’s overall stats only included the games where’s he’s received high minutes, Jeremy Lin would likely be in the top ten players in the league in steals alongside names like Wade, Chris Paul, and Ricky Rubio. Jeremy Lin easily holds his own on man to man defense.   He helps his teammates out a lot by playing the passing lanes and coming up with steals. Nobody is able to pick at Lin (like a scab) because he plays good defense.  Lin’s on-the-ball defense still has plenty of room for growth, but his off ball defense as evidenced by his ability to steal passes and strip players is very strong.

9. System and Minutes: Two factors that have played a role are playing time and touching the ball.  Lin is averaging almost 40 minutes a game which allows any player to find a rhythm and keep it for most of the game.  If Lin misses shots early in the game he has the confidence to know that Coach D’Antoni is going to keep him in there.  But the second factor is D’Antoni’s system itself.  Under this offensive system, Coach D asks the point guard to find the balance between scoring and setting up your teammates.  So far Lin seems to have found the perfect equilibrium in part due to the knowledge of the offense that Lin clearly has.  But the reality is also that the point guard is going to be doing the vast majority of ball handling and decision making under the typical D’Antoni system.  That helps put Lin into a rhythm from which he can build each game.

8. Athleticism: How many point guards can say they dunked down the middle of the lane in Madison Square Garden.  Not only does Lin dunk the basketball on this particular play, but he dunks the ball with authority as he drives into the lane with a purpose.  There are plenty of point guards in the NBA who won’t or can’t attack the rim with the attack mentality that Lin shows here. Jeremy Lin is a very athletic even within the NBA ranks.  And it’s nice to see the NBA’s first American of Taiwanese or Chinese origin go down the lane in MSG and throw down a dunk with authority.

7. Pick and Roll:  Lin has excellent vision in finding big men like Amare and Tyson Chandleer on all different angles of the pick and roll.  At the same time, his vision and understanding of angles allows him to pass to 3 pt. snipers like Steve Novak.  Mike D’Antoni’s offense is predicated on the pick and roll and requires a point guard who can make split second decisions which Lin does very well.  If you are a big man playing on the same team as Jeremy Lin, you are going to be licking your fingers because you know that Lin is going to get you open layups and dunks inside if you are ready to catch passes.  After the win at Toronto Amare Stoudamire talked about Lin and his “poise.”  Amare has seen poise before with two time MVP point guard Steve Nash in Phoenix. At the same time players like Steve Novak are happy because Lin is making everyone else better on the team and Novak is one of the beneficiaries of this also. When Jeremy Lin comes off the pick and roll it looks natural, fluid, and that something positive is going to happen for the Knicks. [content_ads float=”left”]

6. Confidence, Emotion, and Aggressiveness: When I was going through the pre-draft workout process one of the Chicago scouts commented that he liked to see players with a little bit of emotion.  Players like Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls) feed on energy and sometimes that energy transfers to teammates, fans, and coaches.  Jeremy Lin is not only showing us his passion for the game, but his aggressiveness and confidence continue to shine through.  After Lin had his first breakout game, (10 made shots on 19 attempts) everyone was curious to see what would happen in the very next game.   Lin came out again and was 10 for 17.  What that says is that Lin is not afraid of success.  He’s not the type of player to have one good game and then get scared. Lin is hungry to push himself and his teammates to the next level.  Lin’s not afraid to show some emotion.  He’s got the swagger that makes any opponent wonder to themselves, “That basket must look like the size of the ocean for this kid.”

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Shaq, NBA, Mean Streak, Terry Porter, Minneapolis
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal is an American basketball player,
Most of our shoot around practice this morning covered how we were going to contain Shaq, Steve Nash and Amare Stoudamire. The early part of this season was frustrating to say the least because we were ahead in many of our games going into the 4th quarter and then it seemed like somehow we disintegrated in the final minutes of the game. But finally a few days we had a breakout game in Detroit where our defense and our offense came together and we had a nice win.

People ask me about Shaq all the time and I just tell them that off the court, he’s one of the most community oriented and genuine people but on the court he has a “mean streak” (in the positive sense of the word) as some basketball executive types like to say, meaning that he takes the game very seriously and he’s going to do everything within the rules to dominate a game.

Of all the players in the NBA Shaq has a way of really being honest with reporters and connecting with the fans in a way that is rarely seen in any sport. Right now, Shaq’s coach, Terry Porter is limiting Shaq’s minutes right now to ease Shaq into their new offensive system. Here is Shaq’s quote:

“They (Suns athletic trainers) do a good job of massaging me and getting me ready,” O’Neal said recently. “Just the agility, the bones, the muscle. Terry does a good job of managing my minutes and how I practice and all that. But I’m ready to go. I just want people to know that and understand that.”

Tonight we have our chance to try to put a dent in the Suns record.

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Hagia Sophia Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, , largest Christian Cathedral in the World, Ottoman Empire, Museum, Muslim Emperor
Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo: ruzgar344
Today we had some time off, so John Edwards (My current teammate who has played for the Hawks and the Pacers) and I went over to see some sites here in Istanbul, Turkey. The coolest one to me was the Hagia Sophia Mosque. For one thousand years, it was actually the largest Christian Cathedral in the World. Then, it was taken over by the Ottoman Empire (I learned all of this from our guide today!) and converted into a Mosque. Today it is a museum! So it’s been a Christian church three times (Replaced once then burned down a second time, finally rebuilt a third time), a mosque, and now it’s museum! How cool is that! The Muslim emperor at the time of conquest ordered that the many Christian mosaics not be seen in the Mosque. But instead of destroying the incredible mosaics, it is said that perhaps his appreciation of art caused him to cover them with plaster instead. Now, that it’s a museum, Istanbul has peeled off the ancient plaster and many of the mosaics are fully intact and incredible. All of the Islamic and Christian influence can be seen in the building! Then we ventured down to a giant underground water tank (Cistern) that was like a mini reservoir to hold water for those many times when Istanbul was attacked and seiged over the centuries. It was awesome!!

I am very excited about our team this year. Gerald Greene Jr. one of my new teammates here is an amazing talent. Obviously he is the slam dunk champion from the NBA from last year, but he does so much more than that. His energy is huge for our team and he’s vocal. His three point shot is good and gets better every day. Sebastian Telfair game him the perfect alley oop pass the other day in a game and when I saw Gerald go up and catch that ball it was in a place that only a few NBA players could get to.

Juwand Howard has been a great addition to our team. He’s really a guy who has kind of done and seen most everyting in the game of basketball. He’s a guy who kind of talks to everyone on the team, 1 through 15 and helps them know what they can do to help the team. The fact that he can shoot the ball from deep differentiates him from a lot of other “bigs” in this league.

OK, I’m out of here and off to try to sleep. I’m not sure…I got one hour of sleep only two nights ago so I definitely need some rest!! Maybe it was the jetlag!

Trivia: From Wikipedia:

Hagia Sophia is featured in the 1963 James Bond film From Russia With Love where Bond’s lover Tatiana Romanova slips Bond small blueprints of Istanbul’s Russian consulate where Bond needs to steal the Lektor communication device. The Hagia Sophia is also seen in background shots in the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough.

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John Amaechi, NBA, John Amaechi Book, Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers,
John Amaechi is an English retired basketball player. Photo: s_bukley/shutterstock.com
The purpose of this posting is to address a very talked about issue in the NBA as of today. I read some comments online recently that got me fired up and I felt that I wanted to write about the John Amaechi Book that just came out. I do not believe my blog is an appropriate forum for me to discuss my personal views on this issue in general and I have instructed my webmaster NOT to allow users’ comments either for or against the topic on this website. The issue I will address is the prospect of having a teammate like Amaechi.

When I played for the Lakers, Phil Jackson would get the team together after Sunday games and lead us in “The Lord’s Prayer” as found in the New Testament. During the prayer it was almost like a magnifying glass showed a huge range of differences in the room. Some prayed with Phil while others stayed on the side in a moment of silence. Others bowed their heads. Still others watched the scene in silence. Everyone probably did something slightly different but the prevailing feeling in the room was respect for each man’s own decision. There was no ridicule, coercion or pressure from anyone in the room for or against any particular action. When the prayer ended all of the differences faded away and we were back to one goal: winning.

I first met John Amaechi years ago when I was new with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers had just won the first championship and our power forward AC Green was off to the Miami Heat. We needed a veteran power forward to start alongside of Shaq and to give Robert Horry some rest.

Our General Manager, Mitch Kupchak brought Amaechi to Los Angeles and made him a big offer. (Which Amaechi eventually turned down to return to the Orlando Magic). I remember the day I met him. I was in the weight room and Mitch called me outside to the court. “Mark, meet John Amaechi.” We shook hands and exchanged a few words and that was it. Amaechi was 100% professional and 100% about basketball. I think that’s why he had such a successful basketball career over 8 years. His career was all about basketball and trying to help his team win games.

I still remember Rick Fox’s words in a team meeting where he explained that for young players in the NBA there are “certain rites of passage that must be met.” Clearly one of those is respect of the locker room. I have come to believe that if you have at least one dominant basketball skill and you respect the sanctity of the locker room you will play a long time in the NBA.

In a locker room there is only one goal and that is to win basketball games. If anyone does anything against that goal such as dividing the group, trying to push a personal agenda, or trying to get personal accolades they are essentially cut off from the group and sooner or later management will literally cut them off.

I don’t care if my teammate is green or purple. I don’t care if he is from the U.S., overseas, or Mars. If my teammate respects the space of every man in the locker room and keeps the locker room code, he will be welcomed by me.

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Steve Nash, The Phoenix Suns, Mike D'Antoni, Kevin Garnett, UCLA Bruins
The Phoenix Suns are a professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the only team in their division not to be based in California. Photo: Debby Wong
Tonight we played against one of the best teams in the NBA–The Phoenix Suns. Steve Nash finished his normal “day at the office” with 20 points and 18 assists. Kevin Garnett was dominant on offense and defense and finished with 44 points, a load of rebounds, and a lot of defensive plays that won’t show up on the stat sheet. Every starter for Phoenix was in double figures. It was a great game to play in and a great game to watch.

Mike D’Antoni has changed the way basketball is played in the NBA. (On a side note: He and I jawed a little bit during the game during a stretch when I was pushing for a technical foul for the Phoenix bench when they really protested a call. He heard me calling out to the officials: “Give them a technical” and then he yelled at me to “just play basketball.” It was a little heated for a second then it just died down. I got his point and he was probably right.)

But Phoenix’s new style has impacted everyone from the refs to NBA coaches all the way to professional scouts. The big bruising players are still effective in the NBA, but speed and shooting are at a premium now because of the success of the Suns and the way they have shown you can win with leaner, faster players with high skill levels. I think D’Antoni’s style is showing the pros and colleges a new and exciting way to play the game. I can tell you firsthand that playing against the Suns is fun for us as NBA players, win or lose, because you know it’s going to be uptempo and there’s going to be a lot of scoring. You know you’ll be playing against one of the best teams in this league.


I had a huge celebration when I watched the Stanford men’s basketball team knock off the top ranked UCLA Bruins yesterday. This year, all the national experts are saying that the Pac-10 is the top conference in college basketball. Even though Fred Hoiberg likes to mess with me about how he doesn’t like Stanford’s mascot–The Tree–our mascot was out there dancing around Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto after our big win. I think I will get some video footage of it and email it to Freddie. The funny thing is that everywhere I go people ask me about the Tree. “Hey is it true that the Tree got suspended for two games a few years ago for yelling at a ref.” I hear questions about that all the time. I’m not even totally sure what the right answer is. Well, all I can say is that the Tree is doing something right because everyone’s talking about him/her and the on-court exploits of the tree are taking on an almost mythical status.

On a more serious note, I think that Stanford’s Coach Trent Johnson is showing why he should be a leading candidate for coach of the year. He has dealt with some tough injuries this season but has done a great job of developing his young players like Brook and Robin Lopez. It was special to watch such a well coached team two nights ago. It was nice to see Lawrence Hill take over that game in the second half along with Anthony Goods and the Lopez’s controlling that paint.

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Mike James, Best Point Gaurd, NBA, Kevin Garnett, Minesota, Basilica Block Party, Timberwolves
Mike James is an American professional basketball player. Photo: shutterstock.com
I think that Mike James was one of the best point guards in the entire NBA last season. I can’t express how excited I was when we signed him this summer. We only played Toronto twice last season, but both times, Mike James absolutely killed us. I know that Kevin Garnett has a lot of respect for Mike James and the way Mike James can play the game of basketball. I only know Mike in the context of playing against him over the years but one thing that stands out about him is his confidence.

“If it wasn’t for the game of basketball, I know what I would have done, and it wouldn’t have been nice,” he said, referring to his rough childhood in Amityville, N.Y. “The only other thing I knew was the streets. Basketball was my way out, so the only thing I can do to give back to the game is play with my heart.“Christopher Cornell – All Headline News Staff Writer

If you don’t love this quote then you probably don’t love the game of basketball. This quote from Mike James shows his human side and the reality of the tough neighborhood of where he came from. I cannot wait to play with this guy. Having competed against him I can tell you that he is one of the best competitors in the world. KG is going to love him.

I have quite a bit to say about our two new draft picks, but I will put all of that in my next entry. In the meantime, let me share a little bit of what I’ve been up to in the Twin cities.

Minnesota Calendar of Events

Two weeks ago I attended the Basilica Block party with some friends. The Basilica of St. Mary’s put on a great event along with Cities 97 and I especially enjoyed listening to Guster perform live. I have to say that the crowd roared when one of the lead singers got up on stage between songs and admitted that he had used a few expletives in one of his songs personally apologized to the Parish. I don’t think anyone in the audience really cared, and to be honest, I’m not sure if the head priest was going to put anyone on probation, but the crowd thought it was a great line.

Minnesota nice took on a new meaning on that Friday night when a Minnesota Timberwolves fan passed by my and my friends and whispered in my ear something like “Now I know for sure that the NBA height charts lie….there’s no way you’re 6’9”.” We both laughed and he walked away. I didn’t have time to explain the little “trick” that we use of getting measured in our shoes.

Tonight I made the decision to run my first ever 5K. If any of you have ever been involved with the Lifetime Fitness Torchlight 5K run, it is an event I will never forget. One of my friends here in MN was a record holder in the 400 hurdles at BYU and he told me about the event. About six of us got together to run the event. For those of you that are non-runners, I have to paint the picture for you. There were literally thousands of people lined up on Hennepin Ave and 11th street which was the starting line. Right at the front were the “hard core” runners who must have been waiting for a long time to get the prime starting spots. They were the super athletic guys and girls with the running gear that looked serious. In my mind I was going to try to win the race. When the gun went off I stayed right up at the front of the pack and dreamed of winning. After about four blocks, I realized that there was no way I could stay up there with the gazelles. Serious runners go VERY fast—I was shocked at how fast the pace was.

When I finally settled into my pace, I was passed by two 45 year old men pushing strollers with two kids in each of them. Finally when I finished the race this older gentleman came up and said to me “Good job out there Mark….what was your time?” I responded by telling him that I clocked just over 28 minutes for the 5k and asked him how he did. He got sheepish and said, “Well, I ran it in 24 minutes and I’m 60 years old as of two days ago.” The kid who won the entire event must have been about 18 and I think he finished the 3.1 mile course in slightly over 15 minutes. I think that young guy has a serious running future in store for himself.

The running community is really fun to be a part of. It was especially cool at the end when everyone sat down and drank powerade and ate salty potato chips and power bars together. I hope to see some of you at one of the next big Minneapolis Marathons, or a 5K in Minneapolis! In the meantime I will reflect on the comment one runner made to me while he passed me midway through the run while it must have looked to him like I was standing still. I think it went something like this. “Don’t worry about it…you’re definitely a fast twitch athlete!”

PS–If any of you can find Marko Jaric’s Myspace.com profile I will post your picture on this blog. Marko told me he has one, but I can’t find him for the life of me. I finally updated my myspace page even though there is a fake one of me that looks real, but it’s not and it says some crazy stuff.

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Summer Vacation, Physical, Champlin, Arn Tellem, NBA Athletes, Basketball Trip
Our team member will report to a local medical facility for our “exit physicals” and then the season will officially be over.

This coming Thursday, every member of our team will report to a local medical facility for our “exit physicals” and then the season will officially be over. We will be left with a long summer vacation to mull over what we could have done better and how we will prepare for next season. My summers normally constitute working out with weights, running and improving on my basketball skills, as well as a few other activities that I’m looking forward to.

Last summer I did my first ever youth basketball camp in Champlin, Minn. There were about 40 kids who came to the camp, and it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Because I do want to become a coach when I am done playing, it’s a great opportunity for me to learn about coaching and how to work with kids. One of the reasons I did the camp last summer for the first time is because of a story that my mom told me. When my mom was growing up in Long Beach, Calif., she was involved in the orchestra group at her school and she loved to play the violin. There were many devoted leaders and mentors in the area involved in music, and they sponsored summer camps, one of which was called Arrowbear. My mom says that the orchestra programs throughout Southern California were all huge and very strong, because there was so much support locally from teachers and retired musicians, who simply wanted to share their gifts and experiences. I really hope that through involvement in this camp, I can in some way help promote the game of basketball and create positive memories for the kids that attend.

Another summer activity that I hope occurs involves my basketball agent, Arn Tellem. Arn represents around 100 NBA athletes, including Kobe Bryant, Antawn Jamison, Tracy McGrady and others. Mr. Tellem is Jewish and last summer he planned a basketball trip to the Middle East where for about a week, a group of players would go to cities like Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and other areas to hold clinics for Palestinian and Jewish basketball players. His vision is that there would be several camps/clinics

where he would bring together Muslims, Christians and Jews through basketball and try to build bridges between the groups. Arn invited many of the players that he represents to fly over with him. The response was overwhelming and many players committed immediately. At the last minute the trip had to be cancelled due to an escalating security issue, but there is talk of trying to make the trip this summer. I think that would be a fantastic experience.

Even though it’s been a tough season, we’ve still tried to keep it loose. A few days ago in Indianapolis, Trenton Hassell was counting out loud the number of tickets he needed to leave for family members. “Eight plus three is 11, plus three is 14, plus…” Marko Jaric thought he heard an addition mistake during the process, so he smiled and called out, “The high schools in Europe are as good as the colleges here.” Trenton laughed and reminded the whole locker room that “Marko didn’t even go to high school. He went to ‘basketball school’ instead,” which is common for young professional athletes in Europe. Then Trenton took it one step further and said, “Marko if you’re so smart, then what’s the square root of 169?” “What does that mean?” Marko said. Finally, a teammate went up to the dry-erase board and wrote it up in math lingo and Marko got it right and laughed out loud and said, “Your terminology in the states is different!”

I wanted to thank all of you for taking the time to read this diary and I especially want to thank this newspaper for publishing it. I hope it’s given you an insider’s view of the NBA. I’ll keep on writing this summer on my blog at markmadsen.com. Have a great summer!

– Mark

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NCAA Tournament, Mississippi State, Minnesota, March Madness, NBA,Coach Mike Montgomery, Shaquille O'Neal, Dallas Game, Dirk Nowitzki, Target Center
Talking About Games, Fans, Coach and Players. Photo: shutterstock.com

This last week was a tough one for me. The Stanford Cardinal, my alma mater, was bounced from the NCAA Tournament in the first round by Mississippi State. However, our women’s hoops team is still alive and is led by a Minnesota native, guard Susan King Borchardt. Susan attended Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, and married Curtis Borchardt, who was a teammate of mine at Stanford. Curtis now plays center for the Utah Jazz.

March Madness is a fun time for all of us in the NBA, because it gives us a chance to talk some trash to each other (for fun of course) about how everyone’s college team is doing and how far they go, or quickly they get bounced. We spend a lot of time together on buses and planes, so inevitably there is going to be plenty of opportunities for good-natured ribbing. And I certainly got my share last week when my squad went down.

In 1998, our Stanford team made it to the Final Four in San Antonio. When we left our hotel for the game, they made us sneak out of the kitchen because there were so many wild fans in the lobby. Coach Mike Montgomery put a password on the phones in the players’ rooms, so that only family and friends could call us. As a side note, many NBA players use aliases when they check into hotels so that people can’t reach them on the phone in their rooms. I use my own name because no crazy people ever try to get a hold of me. Shaquille O’Neal’s old alias was something like Henry

Perot (not using it anymore, so don’t try), but Phil Jackson always used his real name. Kevin Garnett’s alias is… well he probably doesn’t want me to share it, sorry.

At the Final Four we lost a semifinal game to Kentucky by one point in overtime. The only consolation was that they wound up winning the whole thing. When we got back to school it was like a circus. Someone had circulated a fake e-mail that our point guard, Arthur Lee, was going to leave early for the NBA and a lot of the fans on campus were going berserk, because they loved the way he played. Now that Stanford is out, I think I’m going to cheer for Washington. I love the way guard Nate Robinson plays and how fearless he is.

Last week in the Dallas game, I fouled Dirk Nowitzki and did something to my wrist. I took myself out of the game immediately, because I knew something was wrong. They took X-rays on the wrist at the arena during halftime and told me it was fine. They taped it up like a boxing glove and I finished the game. Injuries are part of basketball and this one is pretty severe because I can’t really catch or use my right hand very much at this point. On Monday, they injected my wrist with dye and then took an MRI to see exactly what happened. I am going to a hand specialist in the Twin Cities this week, so I’m hoping to see all of you at the Target center soon. I’ll talk to you next week.

— Mark Madsen

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NBA, Business, Flip Saunders, Basketball, NBA Head Coach, Phil Jackson, National Basketball Players Association
Talking about Flip Saunders, Players and practices. Photo: shutterstock.com

If there’s one phrase about the NBA I never liked it’s this one: “It’s a business.” Unfortunately as players and coaches we know the phrase is true. We know that we can get traded, released or let go. This week the organization made a business move and relieved Flip Saunders of his coaching duties. I think that all of us players feel partially responsible and we’re very sorry to see Flip gone.

Flip coached me for a year and a half and during that time I learned a tremendous amount about the game of basketball. I reached Flip on his cell phone right after practice when they announced he wouldn’t be our coach and we had a good talk. He said he was going to find the positive in the situation and enjoy spending time with his wife and kids. Believe me, there are only a few people out there that have what it takes to be an NBA head coach. You have to know how to handle and communicate with today’s athlete, which is no small task. You must know the X’s and O’s and be resilient. Flip has all of those qualities and he is passionate about the game. I’m looking forward to the next time I see Flip so that I can thank him in person for a great two years.

Every coach is different. I still remember my rookie year in the NBA with Los Angeles losing our home opener. After we all got to the locker room, Phil Jackson walked in and said, “The dogs bark and the caravan moves on… practice at 10:00 tomorrow.” Then everyone just got up and wrapped ice on their knees and stepped into the shower.

Kevin McHale will coach us from now on. Mac (as everyone calls him) will be different than Phil and Flip. I think as far as the offense goes, Mac is going to run a lot of the old Boston Celtics’ sets which rely on setting hard picks, making crisp passes and throwing the occasional “dribble weave” into the mix. The “dribble weave” is where a post player dribbles the ball toward a guard, hands it to him and then knocks the living daylight of the guard’s defender with a screen. Prior to being named head coach, Mac always worked out with players after practice and taught us post moves. I think the transition should be smooth.

All-Star Weekend is here already and Ervin Johnson (player representative) and Kevin Garnett will be going to Denver in different capacities. Erv will go to Denver to help out with negotiations between the owners and the National Basketball Players Association, while KG will be appearing in his eighth All-Star game. Hopefully the owners and players representatives can make progress in working toward a new collective bargaining agreement to avoid what hockey is going through right now. Erv is someone who is always involved in helping others. He loves to do things in a quiet way to help out folks and he’d probably hit me with a forearm to the chest if I told any of the things he’s done (just kidding). Let me share just one thing: Erv rounded up donations from our locker room and from players on other teams, in addition to digging in his own pocket, to help pay for the NBA chaplains from each team to attend All-Star Weekend in Colorado.

Hopefully you are enjoying this journal. If you have any questions you want me to answer, you can send them to me on my website: www.madsen35.com. Have a great week!

— Mark Madsen