Tags Posts tagged with "Eden Prairie"

Eden Prairie

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Mark Madsen took new job
I just took a new job! Photo: shutterstock
I just signed a one year contract to be an assistant coach with the Utah Flash, located in Orem Utah…..and I’m excited to start coaching! One week ago I went to a Timberwolves game and it was surreal to be up in the stands watching my old teammates and friends, Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, Gomes, Cardinal and the entire crew! I had the chance to go to NBA training camp and a firm offer in Greece, but the NBA opportunity was a long shot to make the team, and as much as I would love to go to Greece, the timing wasn’t quite right.

I thought to myself: “Well, i can wait, stay in shape, and hope for a great NBA opportunity with a team where a big guy gets hurt, or I can jump on this opportunity.” Ultimately it was an easy decision because I’ve always thought that I would like to coach, and you never really know when NBA playing opportunities come. I also just kind of thought it would be too boring to workout on my own while waiting for the right NBA opportunity which might come and might not.

Then when I spoke to Brad Jones, head coach of the Utah Flash and he shared with me his philosophy and some of the responsibilities he would entrust me with, it seemed like a great fit. (Brad Jones is also the nephew of utah Jazz head coach, Jerry Sloan). And then on top of it, The Flash owner Brandt Andersen reminds me a little bit of Glen Taylor (Timberwolves owner) in his commitment and passion for the game. In fact, I had heard about the Michael Jordan vs. Bryon Russell challenge, and then I realized it was Brandt Andersen who came up with the idea.

Even though I am a native Californian, I do have some family ties in Utah and in the Provo/Orem area. So ultimately I do feel it will be a nice fit. I’m grateful to Brandt Andersen and Coach Brad Jones for the opportunity and promise to work very hard and try to make the team better. I will be keeping my home in Minnesota and look forward to getting back out to Eden Prairie this summer to enjoy all of what Minnesota has to offer. Thanks for all of the positive feedback on Twitter and FB and I hope to see some of you at some Utah Flash games this season!!

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Dwane Casey, NBA, Michael Olowokandi, Eddie Griffin, Kevin Garnett, Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Bellanotte, ESPN
Talking about Coach, Teammates, Tv Shows and Other Poeples. Photo: Gil C / Shutterstock.com

We’re almost a third of the way through the season and here are a couple of things I’ve noticed about our team thus far. I believe that Dwane Casey is one of the best defensive teachers in the NBA. The other night against New Orleans/OKC, I looked at the scoreboard towards the end of the third quarter and realized that the Hornets had scored only 36 points to that stage. Part of our defensive success this season, is having three shot blockers on the back line in Michael Olowokandi, Eddie Griffin and Kevin Garnett. Each of them blocks shots using a different method. KG uses his long arms and good positioning, while Kandi has quick feet and uses his height and knowledge of angles to block shots. Eddie has a gift for timing the ball and he is one of the quickest players off the floor. For guys like me and Skita (Nikoloz Tskitishvili), practices in some ways are harder than games because we’re going against three near seven footers every day.

I’ve also noticed that overall we are a pretty close-knit team this season. After one recent game, KG reserved a table for the whole team at Bellanotte and we all went there together for steak and chicken. On more than one occasion the entire team has gotten together for a big meal or something. I’ve been to Bellanotte three or four times this season and I have been to Champps a couple of times too for a burger with friends on my own. It’s great to go out as a team, but the reality is that most nights guys are exhausted and just want to go home and crash or watch ESPN.

We watch ESPN in the locker room too, and sometimes it’s a little surreal when the TV’s on and the anchors start talking about our team. I might be there talking to Wally Szczerbiak or KG and then all of a sudden Sports Center is showing them on the court going to work. Neither of those guys pays too much attention to the media hype that surrounds them and are both pretty down to earth.

Sometimes fans will ask me where I live and if I live alone, etc. When I got to Minnesota I decided to take the big step of buying a house. I chose Eden Prairie because I wanted a quiet spot. I lived by myself in Los Angeles for a little while, but I didn’t like it, so I decided to get some roommates. I chose to go that route here as well. I met both of my roommates through mutual friends, so I knew that they were good guys. They’re probably two of my best friends as well. Having people live with me means that when I’m gone on long road trips, I know the house is going to be fine.

The prior owners of my house were a classy middle-aged couple (we still stay in contact), and they had an amazing artist come in and paint flowers and birds on the walls of the kitchen and the living room. Sometimes when people come over for the first time and see three bachelors living in a house with painted flowers and birds in the kitchen, they wonder if we did it ourselves. I think it naturally catches people off guard a little bit. The honest truth is that I really have come to even like it a little bit. The only other thing that I have considered is painting everything white, which is way too boring. I have no design or artistic ability whatsoever, so that will be one of my projects for the summertime. I need to figure out if I go to a solid blue, black, green or something a little more “in style.”

Have a great week.

– Mark

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Great Summer, NBA Dress Code, Basketball Camp, Los Angeles Clipper, Robert Horry, David Stern
Talking about summer, dress code, basketball camp and last match. Photo: shutterstock.com

I am shocked about how much publicity the new NBA dress code has received in the media. I still have the memo from NBA Commissioner David Stern, which is about three pages long. I think the dress code is a good idea, but the outcry from the players was huge. Some players felt the do-rag and chains ban was a racial statement, while others were already dressing up anyway. I fall into the camp of indifference on the dress rules. I think the biggest concern about the new code for me was that we would have to dress up every time we got on a private plane, even if it is well after midnight. Luckily they decided not to make it uncomfortably strict. We can still wear whatever we want to practice. For me that’s sweats and sandals.

I had a great summer. My little sister married a guy from Berkeley and the wedding was in California. At the reception, both sets of parents were on the dance floor shaking it with the bride and groom. It was cool to see some 50 and 60 year olds out there dancing like crazy. I didn’t realize my parents were such good dancers. Before I knew it, I was out there doing my thing. I was a little startled when I looked over and my 15-year-old brother was dancing with a 22-year-old woman (good thing she was a long time family friend). Now, five out of the 10 kids in my family are married and five of us are single. Maybe later in the year I will write a little bit about being single in the NBA and what it’s like. I think anyone who is single knows it would take more copy space than a paragraph or two to describe what it’s like on the dating scene.

In general, my summer was pretty good. Even though we were raised in the San Francisco-Oakland area, my parents recently moved to Utah. I have a lot of family there, so I spent a good portion of my summer in the Salt Lake City area. I did some rehab on my wrist and a lot of running in high altitude. I spent some time here at my home in Minnesota and some time in Northern California. I made it to Orange County once and took a trip to Jackson Hole with some friends.

One of the highlights this summer was running my basketball camp for the first time in Champlin. I enjoyed it so much, that I am definitely going to do a camp again next summer, either in Champlin or Eden Prairie. When I was with the Lakers, Robert Horry told me that when he ran his camp in Alabama, he was there from 9-5 every day. There are a lot of NBA player’s camps where they show up for an hour on one or two days. My goal is to do my camp the way Robert did his. I was able to be there every day and it was a blast to work with kids. I am thinking about doing a camp in Rapid City, South Dakota too. I’m not sure if I can make it work, but when we had our preseason game there this fall, everyone was so excited and the gym was so loud. I just thought that’s a city that enjoys the game.

Last week we played at Seattle on Friday and against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night. We arrived in our hotel in L.A. at about 2:45 a.m. Saturday. One of the hardest things is being able to relax and sleep after a tough game. I’ve tried counting sheep, counting numbers, counting my breath pattern and finally I’ve just realized sometimes it just takes time. There are times you just have to watch a movie like Bourne Identity or my personal favorite, The Natural. Earlier this season I was reading a book about Special Forces. My problem was that it was so exciting, I couldn’t put it down.

I am always open to suggestions as to what Timberwolves fans want me to write about. If you have a topic suggestion or a question you want me to answer, please feel free to drop me a note atmark@markmadsen.com. Have a great week.