Tags Posts tagged with "KG"

KG

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Kevin Garnett, KG, Celtics Organization, Minnesota
Kevin Maurice Garnett is an American professional basketball power forward and center with the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Photo: Mike Liu
That is the big question that all of the fans and media are asking me constantly. Today a trusted media member told me that KG had been planning on coming, but that now it was “a decision that would be made by the Celtics Organization” and not by Kevin Garnett. I wouldn’t even waste Kevin’s time by calling him to find out if he’s coming or not. Kev loves Minnesota. If he can be here, he probably will, if he can’t make it due to his team telling him to stay home and rehab he won’t make it. That’s just the way it goes for NBA players as ulitmately it’s Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge’s decision.

But regardless we are read for this game. We felt we played great in Boston earlier in the season and gave ourselves a chance to win on the road. Our practice today was high energy and intense. Theo Ratliff got some live repetitions today in practice too, so that was great news.

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Brian Shaw, Kobe bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Orlando, Mark Blount
Mark Blount has been having a monster season for us and tonight he did it again. Before the game tonight against the Lakers, I caught up with one of my favorite all-time teammates: Brian Shaw. Photo: shutterstock.com
Mark Blount has been having a monster season for us and tonight he did it again. There are very few seven footers play in this league who can MAKE three consecutive three pointers in the last two minutes of regulation….how many seven footers even want to take three pointers in the clutch? Not many. Mark Blount did that tonight in our game against the Lakers and he basically saved our hide by getting us to the first overtime and eventually the second.

Before the game tonight against the Lakers, I caught up with one of my favorite all-time teammates: Brian Shaw. Brian is an assistant coach now with the Lakers and is on his way to a very successful post basketball career. When we both played for the Lakers, Brian was the one guy on the team who could pick up his cellphone and call every single teammate at any time. From Shaq, to Kobe to Slava Medvedenko, to Horry to Rick Fox. Forget about his basketball I.Q. for a moment (which is off the charts). His ability to communicate with today’s athlete is a rare gift and something that would serve him well as a GM or as a head coach in this league.

Yeas ago, Brian Shaw played with Kobe Bryant’s dad professionally in Italy (I think the name of the team was Kinder Bologna). Brian told me once that he remembered playing HORSE with a young Kobe Bryant in Italy and being impressed with his skills. After a few years in Italy Brian Shaw came back to the NBA and played alongside Shaq in Orlando during the heyday of Orlando Magic basketball. Finally, he was reunited in LA with Shaq and the next generation of the Bryant basketball legacy–Kobe–from 2000 until 2003.

Needless to say Brian Shaw was that veteran type of player that Shaq would listen to, he had a great relationship with Kobe, and then he could go to Phil with suggestions. One time Brian thought we were practicing too much during training camp and breaking the collective bargaining agreement rules. He brought it up in a team meeting and Phil Jackson just smiled and laughed and said, “Brian you should really go to law school when you are done playing in the NBA.” Given that Shaw played for Phil Jackson and now is an assistant with Phil shows the respect that Phil has for him. There are a lot of teams in this league that would benefit from the skill set that Shaw brings to the table.

It was fun to play against my former team and to beat them tonight. I look back on the three years I played in L.A. under Phil Jackson and I have great memories. In a lot of ways, Phil was the one who really helped me to gain confidence to be able to compete at this level. Today, I saw in the media that Phil and Smush Parker were having some kind of public feud going on. It happened a few times when Phil would go at it with Shaq and Kobe or someone else on the team while I was there–either right there in practice or through the newspapers. The interesting thing is that once Phil got his point across to the player and the player responded, the relationship with that player would quietly simmer down and sometimes even seemed stronger in the days that followed.

I had a few friends at the game tonight. Some of them thought they saw Jack Nicholson at the Target Center. I guess my other buddy Enrique told them that they were mistaken and the man was really just impersonating Nicholson. Can anyone out there confirm or refute this? I guess that is just a random point of interest.

Well, I’m going to enjoy this victory tonight and the great performances of KG, Ricky Davis and Mark Blount especially. We have the Lakers again in Los Angeles in a few weeks and I know they’ll be trying to make a statement so we have to be ready.

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Dwayne Casey, Got Fired, Coach Wittman, NBA
Last Tuesday our coach Dwayne Casey got fired. Photo: shutterstock.com
When I was a rookie with the L.A. Lakers, I remember my teammate Tyrone Lue telling me that in his first year he had been through a lot. I can’t even remember all of the stuff he told me, but it was something like he had been traded, he saw a coach get fired, and in one fell swoop he had an entire new group of teammates through another trade.

Last Tuesday our coach Dwayne Casey got fired. I was sitting in my hotel room in Portland and first a local writer called me on my cell phone to see if I had heard the news that Coach Casey was fired. I told him, “I think it’s a rumor that’s not true.” Then I got two more calls from national writers in the space of about two minutes and I reminded myself that it’s almost never that the journalists get something this big wrong.

Management decided it was time for a new voice to lead our team and so they made the decision to let Dwayne go. It’s always hard when something like that happens for a lot of reasons. First, Dwayne is a great coach and one of the most even keeled leaders I have ever been around. I think that’s one of the reasons why we had so much success in late December and early January. Dwayne led us through the good and the bad times. Coach Casey knew how to draw up great X and O plays especially late in ballgames when the game was on the line. (San Antonio recent win). I think it was tough for management to release Dwayne also, but ultimately, we as players shoulder a lot of the responsibility for the move. If we had gotten the job done better on the court and won more games the firing would not have happened.

At any rate, I know that Dwayne Casey is going to be involved in the game of basketball for a long time because he is a class act in every way and he knows the game of basketball backwards and forwards. Dwayne communicated with every member of our team from Kevin Garnett to the last man on the team and he was always fair.

On another note, we beat the Clippers tonight in a close game. It was a big game for us because we are fighting with L.A. for a playoff birth right now and the race is close. We had so many big contributions from the team. Mike James and KG played very well and Mark Blount hit a huge jumper late in the game. But my personal MVP goes to Ricky Davis tonight who reminded me of Ron Artest in regards to his defense on the Clipper’s perimeter players. After the game, Kevin Garnett grabbed the game ball and brought it into the locker room to give to Coach Wittman. It’s tough to win games in the NBA and now we’ve finally got one under our belt after the turmoil.

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Kevin Garnett, Antonio McDyess, Detroit Pistons, Discipline, Mark, Blaount, NBA
Kevin Garnett is an American professional basketball of the National Basketball Association (NBA). I am in pain because Kevin Garnett got ejected. Photo: s_bukley
Sometimes emotions can flare in close games and that’s what happened in tonights game against the Detroit Pistons at home. Right now I am in pain because Kevin Garnett got ejected and there is some speculation that the league might come forward with a disciplinary action for those of us involved. I still have not seen a replay of the incident and I didn’t see the first part of the tussle because I had my back turned while I was getting up.

When you get a group of 6’10” 260 pound grown men competing hard in games emotions and testosterone can run high with all of us. We were all out there competing and it got a little bit physical and then it was over. It doesn’t make any of it right, but that is the reality of the situation. I am hoping that the NBA chooses to issue fines as a form of discipline for those of us involved instead of any sort of suspensions for the players. KG is the spoon that stirs the pot for our team and Antonio McDyess is an important piece for the Pistons and has been ever since he arrived. I don’t think tonight’s incident was a fight and in my mind, being ejected is punishment enough in terms of lost minutes. Both KG and Antonio McDyess are class guys and in my mind this incident is over.

All of that is out of our control though now, and I think we are all moving on and using the “water under the bridge” expression. I did want to convey to all of you the feeling in our huddle when we knew that we had lost our leader KG for the rest of the game after he got ejected. Everyone that stepped onto the court knew that each had to raise the level of their play to an even higher level. We wanted to win that game badly for Kevin. Mike James and Randy Foye carried us and then we jumped on Mark Blount’s back who had a monster night on the boards and in terms of his offense.

Lastly, after the game the media was asking us all about Ricky Davis. Let me put this issue to rest. There are no issues with Ricky Davis or any sort of incident that is being speculated upon. Rick is a great teammate and a great player and even though he didn’t have his best shooting night, he did a lot of the little things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. He was out there cheering everyone on and giving us feedback when the game was on the line.

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Los Angeles Clippers, KG , Kevin Garnett, Philadelphia, NBA, training room, Trenton Hassell, Sam Cassell, Randy Foye
Sam Cassell is a American professional basketball player. The 6 ft 3 in, 185 lb point guard was selected out of Florida State University by the Houston Rockets with the 24th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Tonight we lost a very close game to the Los Angeles Clippers. We were down by one point with 4.3 seconds left and we needed one basket to win the game. During our timeout, Coach Casey drew up a play that got KG open for a pass with time expiring. From my angle, Kevin’s shot looked like it was going in. I thought I was seeing the Philadelphia game all over again with Kevin nailing the last second shot and our team running off the court victorious. Well, Kev’s jumper barely missed and we lost the game. Such is life in the NBA. Kevin wants the ball in those situations. He knows he’s either going to be the hero or the goat and he’s got the courage and the skill for those moments.

I had to ride the bike for 15 minutes in the training room after the game because I need to stay in shape. Kevin and Trenton Hassell were in there too and we kind of talked about what happened throughout the game. Kevin was in his normal spot–on the first training table cooling down and unwinding after the game. Trenton always comes in the training room to change clothes too and to have some privacy from the media. A few minutes later our old buddy Sam Cassell came down to talk. It’s always great to see Sam. He told us about the refs called a foul on him while he was guarding Randy Foye. He said something like this:

“Randy Foye is athletic! Randy Foye jumped over me and almost dunked it! Then the ref called a foul on me! I said, ‘How can it be a foul on me, when he jumped over me!”

Allright well, it’s 1am and I am tired. I can’t think about the game anymore so I’m going to call it a night!

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Coach Casey, Locker Room, Day off, mentally refreshed, Mark Blount, KG, Houston, Charlie Ward, Houston Rockets
Coach Casey came into the locker room and said something like, "OK guys we're going to practice tommorrow.". He was joking but made a good point because we've been together so much as a team lately I think he wanted all of us to rejuvenate a little bit and come back on Tuesday mentally refreshed. Photo: shutterstock.com

Sunday, Coach Casey came into the locker room and said something like, “OK guys we’re going to practice tommorrow.” The locker room went silent….most of the guys were hoping for a day off given how well we’ve been playing as well as how busy our schedule has been. Then he smiled and said “Just kidding….take tommorrow off and stay away from each other!” He was joking but made a good point because we’ve been together so much as a team lately I think he wanted all of us to rejuvenate a little bit and come back on Tuesday mentally refreshed.

Lately, our team has been playing very well. Mark Blount is having an all-star like season this year and has been shooting incredible percentages from the field. Now our opposing teams have to decide how to cope with our frontcourt of KG and Mark Blount along with trying to slow down our perimeter players who are also playing great.

After the Houston game I saw Charlie Ward in the “family and friends” section of the Target Center. Charlie Ward is now Coach Charlie Ward as he is one of Jeff Van Gundy’s top assistant coaches for the . I keep telling charlie that he should still be playing in the NBA as good as a player as he was.

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Melo would be suspended for 15 games, are you surprised? Photo: shutterstock.com
Here’s a question I wanted to address from the “comments” section found below. This question is from Rachel. Mark,

With the word that just came down from Stern that Melo would be suspended for 15 games, are you surprised? Do you think that the punishment fits the “crime”? Do you think that he (and/or the others) should have gotten harsher suspensions and/or fines? And, lastly, do you think that the Nuggets and the Knicks should also fine their players that were involved?

Thanks and Happy Holidays.
Let me begin by saying that when we first heard about the brawl, we were at the Milwaukee Bucks game in Wisconsin. We weren’t able to see it because there was no TV in the Buck’s visitor’s locker room, so when we got to our charter that night we tried to download it using a Verizon Wireless internet card. We only got bits and pieces but the entire team was huddled around KG’s plane seat trying to see a little bit of what happened. I think universally, all of us felt bad about the incident and the players, fans and coaches that were involved.

What happened out there was wrong and I think that every player involved would tell you that. Carmello got the most of the punishment. Carmello also came out immediately and issued a public apology. (see below).

I think the NBA is basically saying, hey, if you are going to throw a punch, there is going to be a big consequence. After the Detroit incident, there was talk of doing away with courtside seating. Personally, I think that the courtside seating is one of the biggest differentiators between NBA games and most other major sports leagues.

As far as each team fining their own players, that could get awkward for a few reasons. First the player is already getting fined a huge sum because they go on “unpaid” leave from all games. Secondly, their punishment in the media is incalculable. It would be tough for a GM to come into the locker room and give the player a third tier of punishment. That’s just my opinion though.
Here is Carmello’s public apology:

“Last night’s altercation with the Knicks escalated further than it should have. I take full responsibility for my actions in the matter. In the heat of the moment I let my emotions get the best of me. I apologize to the fans, the Denver Nuggets, the NBA, my mother, and my family for the embarrassment I have caused them. I ask you all for your forgiveness.

I also want to make a personal apology to Mardy Collins and his family. My actions were inexcusable, and I am sorry for making this an even more embarrassing situation.

What makes this all the more painful is that this was one of the most important weeks of my life. I just realized one of my biggest dreams when we opened the Youth Center in Baltimore that bares (sic) my name. To see the community excited and hundreds of kids smiling was an incredible feeling. Now the thought of thousands of kids seeing this incident on TV pains me. This is not the example I want to set.

It’s my hope that we work to move forward from this event, and never let something like this happen again.”

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Russian spy, Dallas, Mark Cuban, Ivanka, Donald Trump,
Mark Cuban is an American businessman, investor, and owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks,Landmark Theatres, and Magnolia Pictures. Photo: shutterstock.com
Some of the conversations on the team bus are pretty interesting. On our recent trip to Dallas, while we pulled into the American Airlines arena, I was pretty interested by the topics. The first topic was the former Russian spy who died from plutonium 200 poisoning in London. The next topic was a bit more out of People magazine.

You see, when you get 15 athletes on the road physically exerting ourselves at away games and away practices we get really tired. So when we get to the hotel we flop down on the bed and watch a little TV to unwind. So we all become current event junkies.

So after the Russian spy situation was analyzed, the conversation turned to a recent interview by Donald Trump. I must say that I have come to LOVE the interviews that Donald Trump gives. In the last two years, I’ve seen two different interviews with Trump on Larry King live–Trump is a great personality and a brilliant business person. Forget the Real Estate business Donald, you should be an entertainer! I used to be totally indifferent to Donald Trump but now I love listening to him because everything he says is so full of conviction and so opinionated.

So going over on the bus to the Dallas game, it was KG, Ricky Davis, Trenton, Troy Hudson and me in the back. The guys were re-hashing the Trump interview. Here’s what they were saying on the bus. Apparently Trump said a few things of interest including the following:

1) Mark Cuban (Dallas mavericks owner and founder of many companies) is not a “real billionaire.” But somehow I guess Trump later recanted this statement or said he was mis-quoted. [After all, it is tough to argue with Forbes magazine]

2) His daughter Ivanka (Currently single) who is a model turned Wharton School of Finance graduate (top MBA school in the world) “should date a winner” according to her father. Maybe someone who is a professional athlete like Tom Brady. (New England Patriots quarterback). [I have to admit, I feel like I know the entire Trump family from the various interviews that I’ve seen on late night TV over the years!]

It’s cool to sit there are hear KG talking about what Donald Trump said on TV or what Trenton has learned about the British-Soviet connection in the Spy’s death. Of course within the world of the NBA when someone from the outside world goes at one of our own, (We consider Mark Cuban one of our own), we always stick with our guy and even though I love Donald Trump, Mark Cuban is well-loved in the NBA fraternity and he’s our guy. Once Trump buys the New York Knicks he’ll be on par with Cuban within the circles of NBA players.

We almost won the Dallas game that night. Once again, we saw Randy Foye come inches away from leading us to the promised land in the 4th quarter. After the we lost the game by a few points and we were crossing the court to go to the tunnel Mark Cuban came up to me and said “Hey, come to my blog anytime and post another comment!” www.blogmaverick.com

I had posted a comment on one of his posts about the new NBA ball a few weeks ago.

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Kevin Garnett, Coach Casey,Justin Reed, NBA, Timberwolves
I’ve been on the Timberwolves, I have seen KG make a lot of game-winning shots. Photo: shuterstock.com
In the three years I’ve been on the Timberwolves, I have seen KG make a lot of game-winning shots, but tonight was extra special because he added a game saving block! I wish I had footage of our locker room after the game that I could post here too! KG was chest bumping teammates and everyone in the locker room was screaming. KG was so physically and emotionally spent that he could hardly walk and so he’d muster enough energy to chest bump people hard, then he’d go back to recovering energy. In the locker room Coach Casey basically said that we needed to take this win and build on it and gain some momentum. Then he went up to the dry-erase board and wrote the names of the guys of the board who had to come in tomorrow at 3pm to “get some extra conditioning and to run through plays.” (We are scheduled to touch down tonight in Minneapolis at about 2am so it will be a rest day for the guys who played heavy minutes)

As KG passed my locker to go to the shower he laughed and said something like, “Man, I’m so wound up right now, I forgot to drink my protein shakes.” Then he went back a few feet and threw down a couple of protein/carb shakes that our strength trainer Thomas McKinney makes after every game for the guys who expend a lot of energy. I’m amazed that KG can play so hard night after night. He has amazing stamina.

It’s no secret that we had struggled mightily in the last few games, but once again there were a lot of positives tonight. Struggling in the NBA happens for every team. Even on a few of the Laker championship teams we had times where we got blown out and lost big.

Marcus Banks came through in a huge way. Steve Nash was going under our screen and roll and Marcus just kept on rising up and hitting his smooth jump shot. Justin Reed played really well too. When you watch games at home, I want you to notice Justin Reed. Justin is so quick it’s incredible and he ALWAYS plays hard and scraps. Again, Justin Reed is one of the strongest basketball players in the NBA. The other day in the weight room, he threw 225 up on the bench press easily for a lot of repetitions. Rashad had a huge game and I can never adequately express how much Anothony Carter means to this team on and off the court.

Our coaches changed things up a little bit today by keeping our shoot-around extremely short. Sometimes change is just good. We went over to the Suns’ arena and coach Casey called out “Bigs at one end, littles at the other.” We all got some shots up, ran a few plays then went through the scouting report and then got on the bus back to the hotel for some rest.

Right now we’re on the plane (it seems like I end up writing a lot from here). Most of us have already reviewed the game on DVD to see where we could have done better and where we could have made different offensive and defensive reads. In our back section of the plane there are two players still going over film on the DVD, there are three players in a friendly card game, three guys are asleep and three or four are on the portable playstation playing golf or soccer. As for me, I’ve got my headphones plugged in to my computer and I’m about ready to settle into a little itunes.com relaxation with a few old favorites.

“Time after Time” – Cyndi Lauper (This reminds me of the Napolean Dynamite scene at the high school dance…

“We Built This City” – Starship

“Dream Big” – Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband (a great song from an up-and-coming group)

“More Than a Feeling” – Boston

“These Days” — Rascal Flatts.

I hope everyone has a great day. MM