Tags Posts tagged with "Minneapolis"

Minneapolis

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Coach, Kurt Rambis, Timberwolves
Kurt Rambis to Coach Timberwolves? Photo: shutterstock
There are reports coming out of Minneapolis that Kurt Rambis is getting strong consideration as the possible new head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves. I’m an LA Clipper now, but given that I’ve known Kurt Rambis for over 9 years and given that I played for the Timberwolves, I can say that Rambis would be an unbelievable fit in Minnesota. Obviously there are other candidates as well, including Mark Jackson who would be a phenomenal selection too.

Rambis bring with him the coaching pedigree which includes playing for Pat Riley and coaching alongside Phil Jackson. I think that he would be able to meld the Pat Riley “culture” of strict discipline and crisp execution with the “read and react” philosophy of Phil Jackson who drills the Triangle every day in practice and then let’s the players govern themselves in some degree once the game starts.


The other intangible that Rambis would bring to the table is a scrappy style of play that would reflect his own playing days. I remember Kurt told me that one year when he was playing for the Lakers, some so-called experts were saying that the Lakers “could not win a championship with Kurt Rambis at the power forward.” He ended up proving them wrong and even scored close to 20 points in one of the championship games under the pressure of such a large stage. He has a great knowledge of playing the post position and would be that much more attuned to giving feedback to key players like Kevin Love and Al Jefferson.

I do think that Kurt would coach an up-tempo and hard-nosed style of play which would be well appreciated by the Minnesota Fans. I saw reports months ago that Rambis turned down the Sacramento King head coaching job due to a variety of factors. Kurt Rambis is a complete family man, and a man whose knowledge of the game is huge. If David Kahn names Kurt Rambis as the head coach, I think both the players and the fans are going to like the decision.

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Minnesota Timberwolves, Thank you
The fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves a heart felt thank you for all of the support and enthusiasm for the team over the past few years. Photo: shutterstock
I wanted to take a minute to tell the fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves a heart felt thank you for all of the support and enthusiasm for the team over the past few years. Even though the past couple of years had been tough from a wins and losses perspective, when I will think of my time in Minneapolis, I will always think about that 2004 team that almost made it to the NBA Finals. At that time, Kevin Garnett was the MVP of the entire league, Sam Cassell was an All-Star and Latrell Sprewell was one of our emotional leaders. I remember during the playoff run that year how driving to and from games was absolutely crazy with part of downtown shut down so that cars could get through. This was all possible because of you, the fans and your amazing support.

From a different standpoint, Minneapolis has come to feel like an absolute second home for me personally. Having grown up in Northern California, I never really knew much about Minnesota until Kevin McHale and Glen Taylor signed me to play for the Timberwolves. Needless to say, the past several years have been some of the best years of my life and I am grateful for the opportunity, the support from the community and the fact that you truly made me feel at home in new place. Thank you for your friendship and for the giving me the chance to play for the team. When friends from out of town came to visit Minnesota I would always take them to the stone arch bridge downtown, the state Capital, or the Mill City Museum. Exploring new parts of the Twin Cities became one of my passions while I was there.

After I learned of my trade to the LA Clippers, David Kahn left me a voicemail and it was great. To you, the fans, David Kahn is going to do a great job as the General Manager. He is going to tirelessly do everything in his power to return the team to the same form of that special 2004 season. And to Glen Taylor, I express my thanks for allowing me to contribute to a great team. I’m sure that you will get the team back to the high expectations that you and the community have for the team. It has been an honor to play for the team over the past number of years and to be part of your organization.

But above all, I want to thank you the fans. I wish all of you the best and I hope that I will see you down the road and perhaps at a Timberwolves vs. LA Clippers game in the future!

Sincerely,
Mark Madsen

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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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Timberwolves, Kevin Love, UCLA, stitches , tooth popped, Shaq, Shaq
The man who used to terrorize my Stanford Cardinal basketball team in his one year at UCLA. Photo: Werner Muenzker/shutterstock
This past monday we had a bunch of the Timberwolves players in town all together to finally play some pickup ball together with a lot of the new guys. Yes, this was the first time that I got to meet Kevin Love. The man who used to terrorize my Stanford Cardinal basketball team in his one year at UCLA. Well, on the last play of the day, Kevin Love went up for a dunk. I tried to block it and the next thing I knew I was making two unexpected trips after practice.

1) To team physician Sheldon Burns (he is also the USA Basketball head physician) to get 12 stitches in my chin,

2) To visit Matthew Alm of Brookside Dental (Minneapolis), to get my front tooth popped back into place.

Thanks Kev. 🙂

I’ve played with two big men in my career whose passing skill is off the charts: Shaq, and Shaq. People don’t realize it, but Shaq has a lot of games where he gets five or six assists. And I personally used to watch Oliver Miller whip behind the back passes FROM THE POST to our shooter on the three point line. I predict Kevin Love to be in this group in terms of making other people around him better. Despite being very close to giving me a new gold tooth in my smile, I saw some impressive things from K. Love in just our first day. He shoots, he’s very athletic, and he rebounds….and he’s unselfish. That’s a very nice combo for a big man in today’s game. He’s going to make a serious run at rookie of the year in my opinion. Kevin also gets something that he didn’t get in college playing here in MN. He gets to play alongside a budding all star in Al Jefferson who along wth Tim Duncan and Shaq are probably the 3 best pure post players in the league.

Just over one week until training camp, and I’m excited. My stitches are almost out, my tooth is almost in place, and I’m ready to get some wins this year. Maybe I will see some of you guys out around Lake Calhoun or something.

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First Win, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, Jason Terry, Arizona Wildcats Men's Basketball Team, TNT
Watching the Phoenix Suns game vs. the Dallas Mavericks Photo: shutterstock.com
I just finished watching the Phoenix Suns game vs. the Dallas Mavericks. They interviewed Jason Terry at the end of the game on TNT and he talked about how he was literally “on his knees praying” for Dallas to get their first win of the season which they finally got tonight. At the end of the interview Jason talked about how the Arizona Wildcats Men’s basketball team (his alma mater) would be #1 in the country by the end of the year! It was fun to hear that. Jason and I competed together against each other in college. One time, in a game at U. of Arizona, (Back when I played college for Stanford) both Jason and I got hurt and needed stitches after the game. We were both sitting in the training room for about two hours after the game and we really got to know each other. I remember that my parents were at that game and a lot of Jason’s family was there too. So there were basically two families in the training room at 11pm at night and we’ve been friends ever since. Jason is a class act who is really leading the Dallas Mavericks this season and last season.

We practiced today here at the Target Center in MN, and we are all upset with our slow start. Today’s workout session was very heated which is great because it shows how much all of the guys care about winning. I think we are beginning to see the emergence of Randy Foye. Randy Foye is one of the few players in the NBA who seems to be able to get to the Free throw line at will. It helps because he is a 90% free throw shooter also. Looking forward to seeing you guys at the Target Center soon!

Lastly, a few of the guys on our team have been frustrated with the fact that the NBA has given the refs a mandate to call technical fouls on a “zero tolerance” pollicy. Because of this, great players are getting thrown out of games all around the league. From Carmello, to Rasheed, to Mike Bibby, players in the NBA are getting tossed from arenas really fast. I’m not in favor of berating officials under any circumstances, but players must be allowed to speak to refs in heated moments without fear of getting tossed. I think in the end, the fans are getting the short end of the stick. Fans come to games to be able to see passionate basketball played very hard. Kevin Garnett is an emotional player; Rasheed Wallace is emotional; Sam Cassell is the most emotional player I’ve ever played with. I really believe that fans enjoy the passion and emotion that these players have. I know that when I’m around town here in Minneapolis, fans always talk about how much they love the emotion and passion of KG…..I think that the old system was pretty good. When a player got out of hand he was ejected. The new system is that if a player shows any sort of abrupt emotional/angry body language at a call he could be at risk to himself and his team. But I’m not a fan paying for the seats……..if any of you could give me feedback to pass on to the Union and eventually the NBA, please post in the comments section below what your honest thoughts are. Do you want to see NBA players not to be able to react much after a bad call? Or do you like it when the emotion is shown? I do think that the NBA officials are the best in the world, but it would be nice if they had a little bit more leeway from their own set of rules so less technicals are called.

ON Wednesday we are meeting with Billy Hunter (He’s with the Players Union) and I’m sure we will be talking about the issue of technical fouls. We’ll also be discussing the new nba ball and the slippery surface when wet. One reader of this blog sent a link to a published physicist who did a study on the new NBA ball—A PHYSICST

Even LeBron James (early in the season he said he could play with any ball) came out publicly AGAINST the ball recently. I mean when Shaq, Allen Iverson, Kevin Garnett, Steve Nash, leBron etc. voice concerns over the ball, there might be something to it. We don’t care if it’s synthetic. Just make it so that it’s not so slippery when it gets wet. I’m sure with today’s technology this is possible.

Ultimately, I think some sort of compromise will take place with both issues so that all sides involved will be happy. If we do get to go back to leather as the NBA has indicated publicly is a possibility, we must ensure that the leather used is only from trusted sources that do not employ harsh or cruel treatment to the animals providing the leather. In my opinion the only leather that should be used is leather from an approved list of ethical beef producing companies/entities. Most of those would probably be domestic where stricter policies are in place. It think this was one of PETA.org’s concerns with the old ball and the use of international leather sources where bad treatment of animals is prevalent. I think we should open a dialogue with PETA also to ensure that we get this right.

Stay tuned for the article from the Physicist about the NBA ball. I am going to contact him personally and hopefully link him up with the Player’s Union so that we can get his feedback and article dissmenated throughout the NBA players so they can say “Yea, or Nay”. If we’re lucky, I might be able to interview him in addition to publishing his scholarly piece here on this blog. It would be interesting to hear what a real Physicist says about the new NBA ball who has already written a paper on it after exhaustive testing comparisions to the older ball.

I feel like this has become part of my role as the player rep for my team. Fans ask me about the new ball in differnet places. One bagger in a grocery store was asking me all about it. My neigbor and former President of my homeowner’s association in Eden Prairie was asking me why the ball was changed in the first place at a Halloween Party. ON a flight after a game last month, Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis basically came up with the idea to contact all of the other player reps directly around the league to band together to get some momentum going to give the NBA feedback on the new synthetic ball. Ricky kind of asked me to spearhead this. Unfortunately with my knee injury I haven’t gotten as much done as I should. Hopefully we can begin this in the next few days after talking it over with Billy.

I may get in touch with my alma Mater and see if the Stanford Econ Department has any undergrad or grad students willing to do a statistical analysis on turnovers, shooting percentages this season as compared to last season. It would be a nice senior project for a thesis that would be passed on to other players. Shaq felt that turnovers would go up and shooting percentages would go down. Hey he might be right, he might be wrong……It would be interesting to quantify this mathematically and see if there is any sort of correlation or not. Maybe Mark CUban has already done it…..have you done it yet Cube? I actually suspect that shooting percentages might go up b/c the ball has a softer bounce. BUt unfortunately I predict turnovers to go up due to the slick nature of the ball. Steve Nash one of the best ballhandlers in the world had 10 turnovers tonight in the game. I think fans like more scoring but I think they hate turnovers as much as my coach does! The NBA always does things for a good reason and I do agree the new synthetic balls are more consistent across the entire league when they are new so that is a positive.

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Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, Shaquille O'Neal, Bill, Tani Austin, Starkey Foundation
Dwyane Wade is an American professional basketball player who played for the Miami Heat of the NBA. Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
Tonight’s game showed the wisdom of how Pat Riley has built the roster of the Miami Heat. Dwayne Wade was the man tonight, but without Gary Payton on the Miami Heat, it’s possible Dallas might already have won the series. Pat Riley built the Heat with veteran players and they have been coming through in this series.

We all remember Gary Payton’s big shot in game three along with the steal by Udonis Haslem which basically brought the Heat back into striking range. But tonight, it was Gary Payton’s left handed shot that went high off the glass late in the game to keep the Heat around.

During the season I am a basketball player so I basically feel like Dallas and Miami are the enemy. But now, because we didn’t make the playoffs, I have reverted back into “fan mode” and I am definitely a Miami Heat fan. First off, I would love to see Shaquille O’Neal get his fourth ring. When someone like Shaq gives so much in the community (with the cameras turned off) and when he cares so much about his teammates of course you want to see him do well. The funny thing is that people tell me all the time right now during this series, “I want the Heat to do well b/c I’m a Shaq fan.”

Jerry Stackhouse’s foul on Shaq was definitely a flagrant and uncecessary foul, but to suspend a key player like Stackhouse in game 5 of the NBA finals for something like that might be a little bit excessive. I’m still trying to figure out what I think about that foul. Still and all, there may not be another player in the NBA that has the self-restraint that Shaquille O’Neal has. Having played with Shaq as a teammate and against him, I can tell you that he doesn’t care about hard fouls as long as it’s a “clean” foul. He will shrug them off, play through them and basically play as if he’s got a few mosquitos swarming around him. But anyone in the NBA who is foolish enough to try to give Shaq a cheapshot might as well check himself out of the game because Shaq will come back and punish that opponent by scoring on him every time down the court in a very physical way. Those are the rules of the game.

I’ve been away fromt the blog for a while lately, but I’m now starting to get back into it. I did want to share a brief moment from the Annual Gala event that I attended last night in St. Paul which involved www.sotheworldmayhear.org

I have two friends (Justin Osmond and Heather Sauber) who work in Minneapolis for the Starkey foundation. They invited me to attend this year’s “Gala” event and it opened my eyes to the lives of the hearing impaired. Starkey Foundation takes hearing aids all across the world to donate them to those in third world countries that are hearing impaired. This year, the Gala event honored the Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor for his involvement in community and in helping the Starkey mission. Glenn and his family have an annual mission trip to build homes in south america and this next year they committed to go to Africa to help share hearing aids with those in need.

The greatest line from the evening came from Lou Ferrigno’s speech. (Lou used to play the Incredible Hulk in the TV series years ago and is slightly hearing impaired). He thanked Bill and Tani Austin (founders of Starkey) and said that this couple has helped promote “better relationships in the world” through their hearing aids and charitable giving of hearing aids because women “like to be listened to” and now “I can listen better to my wife!” Lou has been using the Starkey, cutting edge, hearing aids for some time now and they have changed his life. I have to say that I am a big fan of Lou. I’m not sure how old he is, (maybe 55 or 60) but he looks like he is still in good enough shape to enter a boxing ring for a prize fight. (I am dead serious). When I asked him what the secret to staying in shape was, he said the biggest thing is “consistency.” He was extremely personable.

Bill and Tani Austin put on an evening for charity I will never forget. In the past I’ve always been cynical and skeptical of celebrity charity events and I have never attended a single one. Bill and Tani Austin, you guys made me a believer and it was an honor to be an attendee and to be part of such an inspiriational cause. THANK YOU!!!

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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

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Denver Nuggets, Little win streak, Minneapolis, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, Dwayne Casey
We win against the Denver Nuggets and we have a little win streak going.

We just beat the Denver Nuggets and it feels nice to have a little win streak going. (Winning two games in a row is a lot better than losing 8 out of 10!) After the game, me and my two roomates along with my other buddy and his girlfriend all went out to Champs in downtown Minneapolis to get a burger. It’s kind of fun going to Champs because half of the Minnesota timberwolves office personnel and ticket sales people usually go there after each game. It almost feels like the Timberwolves Holiday party in some ways because it seems like so many people from the organization are there. I even ran into a lot of the production/network support people who travel with us and broadcast all of the games on the local Television station here in the Twin cities. One of the directors of community relations was there with her sister and Dad. We all sat around and shot the breeze while we waited for our tables.

But most often after the games, I drive straight home and crash. It’s just too hard to be at the arena from 5:00pm till 10:00 pm and then be out till midnight eating a postgame meal. Tonight I got home a little after midnight and tommorrow my garage door repairman is coming at 8am. I need to make sure I don’t miss him because my garage door is broken! It’s a good thing that we have the day off tommorrow. Actually, the “young guys” have to come in and get a workout and get some extra shots. I’m so glad that I’m not in that “young guys” group anymore. It seemed like when I was in LA with the Lakers, Phil was always giving Shaq, Kobe, Rob, etc, the day off and me and Deaven George and the rest of the young guys had to come in and play a game of three on three where we ended up trying to absolutely destroy each other in a basketball sense. But, I’m grateful that Phil did it that way and I understood what he was trying to do–get us extra reps to improve. Coach Casey is doing the same thing. Who knows, if my garage door can get fixed quickly, then I might go in there and lift some weights or something.

When we were losing a lot of games a few weeks ago, Dwayne Casey stayed very positive. After we lost a tough home game last week, he came into the locker room and said, “You guys are giving me the effort and the intensity…..I promise you that things are going to shift and come back around…..” He emphasized that we need to cut down on turnovers in order to put ourselves in a position to win. One of Coach Casey’s lines that I really like is this: “If you mess with the game, the game will mess with you.” What he’s really saying here is that if you disrespect the game of basketball by not playing hard or by cutting corners, you’re not going to get too many breaks. Conversely, if you play hard all the time and really try to play the right way, you’re going to get your share of breaks and good bounces.

Well life in the NBA never slows down. We fly to NYC this weekend and then on to boston. I started reading a new book for fun. I’m not even sure about the title, but it’s something like, “The Rule of Four,” written by a bunch of students at Princeton about an ancient text. It’s a very entertaining book. A friend of mine gave it to me as a gift and it’s been a nice distraction to get my mind away from the game through the ups and downs.

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Cleveland, Minneapolis, Rashad McCants, Eddie Griffin, Troy Hudson, Trenton Hassell, Wally Szczerbiak, NBA
We win against Cleveland and we're flying back to minneapolis on our charter plane.

We just beat Cleveland by a few points and it’s midnight and we’re flying back to Minneapolis on our charter plane. I normally sit a few seats behind K.G., so I can hear him laughing a little bit with Rashad McCants and Eddie Griffin about some of the things that the other team was saying during the game tonight. To my right, Troy Hudson is reading a music magazine and Trenton Hassell is playing a PS2 game of tennis. Directly behind me, Wally Szczerbiak is playing PS2 football against our video coordinator.

As for me, I’m still recovering from the nutrition pep talk that Wally just gave me. On Saturday we arrived in Cleveland at 2:00 a.m. and I was hungry, so I popped open the mini-bar and downed about 1,000 calories-worth of caramel corn. I confessed this nutrition sin to Wally (I will remind you that he was featured in Men’s Fitness magazine last season) and he chastised me and gave me a talk comparing one’s body to a bonfire. “If you throw a big log on the fire, it will almost put the fire out at first. But if you put a lot of little pieces of wood in, the fire burns constantly throughout the day. Your metabolism is the same thing” Wally wants me to eat five meals a day instead of three. Every time I eat anything that’s not oatmeal, egg whites or whole wheat bread, he sounds the alarm. Hey, I’m trying to keep some weight on to be able to bang around with the big men in this league. I need to make sure I stay right in my comfort zone of 252 pounds. If I get too light, they’ll hammer me in the paint.

As we jet back to the Twin Cities, I’m reminiscing with Troy about the first trip we were on together in June of 2003. It was on a 747 bound for Kuwait and we were on our way to visit the U.S. Military through an organization called the USO. The USO, made famous by Bob Hope, was conceived to build the morale of the U.S. Military overseas through entertainment. Through the USO, five of us from the NBA volunteered. Normally only the superstars would likely have been invited, but because there were some security concerns at the time, the opportunity trickled down to a role player like me. We were joined by a few NFL players, Kid Rock, rap groups, country music singers, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, Alyssa Milano, and a bunch of other famous people I didn’t know. Troy reminded me that “there were a lot of egos on that plane, but everyone came together like family” in an effort to show the U.S. troops how much folks at home care about them.

One of the first things we did as NBA players was go to three different bases and put on basketball clinics with the soldiers. At one of the bases in Kuwait, the soldiers beat Shawn Marion, Cherokee Parks and Troy in a three-point shootout. The gym got so loud it almost felt like a playoff game. Another day we split up and I went with a group to the former Saddam Hussein International Airport in Baghdad. Kid Rock was in the same group and he got up on the makeshift stage and sang “Sweet Home Alabama” to 5,000 troops in a hanger with tanks and helicopters in the background. Everyone there went crazy and loved it, despite the 110+ degree heat.

I think seeing the U.S. Military in action was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Words can’t describe the respect that I have for the men and women of the armed services. I know a lot of you may have loved ones in the military serving here at home or overseas. May they have a great holiday season and most importantly, may they come home quickly and safely.

Have a great week.

Thanks,

Mark

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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!