Tags Posts tagged with "Rashad McCants"

Rashad McCants

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Twitter, NBA Players, Expression, It's Public, Communicate with people
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read short 140-character text messages, called "tweets". Photo: shutterstock
Last weekend I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal talking all about the new website: Twitter.com. NBA players are constantly in hotel rooms resting and sometimes watching CNN, Foxnews, or NBC. As a group, I must say that NBA players are *extremely up on current events and what’s going on in the world. Even in the training room, it seems like CNN is always on! So recently, on a lot of these news shows, there’s been mentions about Twitter.com. For example, after a feature about foreclosures or something there might be three websites listed on TV, including a Facebook page, a MySpace page and now a Twitter.com page!

 

I had no idea what Twitter was and so I decided to do some research and really figure it out. As I was checking on it I found someone’s blog who pointed out that a bunch of NBA players have Twitter accounts. Then on my own I found some other NBA players with accounts. Some of the players are listed below.

Rashad McCants
Fabricio Oberto
Brian Cardinal
Chris Bosh
Andrew Bogut
Danny Granger
Steve Nash
Shaq
Charlie Villanueva
Tyson Chandler
Jalen Rose @jalen rose
Dwight Howard @dwight_howard
Baron Davis @baron_davis
Alvin Gentry @alvingentry
Jason Richardson
Troy Murphy
Mark Cuban

So I signed up for Twitter myself to try to figure it out. After about three weeks of trial and error I feel that I finally understand what Twitter is all about. Here are some of the things Twitter is good for:

1) Expression: Twitter is a way for people to express themselves in 140 characters or less. For those of us that use Facebook, it’s almost like a Facebook ‘status update.’ For example, I just looked at Tyson Chandler’s Twitter account: Click Here, and it says: “Time 2 run off another 7.8.9.10.11 in a row.” This message is broadcast to anyone who is “following” Tyson Chandler on Twitter.

2) It’s Public: You can request that your Twitter updates are only shared with people approved by you. But most athletes have their Twitter accounts open to the public so that anyone can see what is going on with them. Not only are these Twitter.com pages public, but they also are indexed by the Google bots, which effectively open up their posts to the Google search engine as well.

3) Communicate with People: Through Twitter, if I am “following” someone, then that someone is able to send me a direct “private message” or basically an email that is 140 characters or less. If they are “following” me, then I can also send that person a private message.

4) You know what people are seeing and thinking around the world: This is probably the coolest thing that I like about Twitter. As the Wall Street journal article points out,

“During the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November, people scoured Twitter for postings from eye witnesses. When US Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River, one of the first pictures was posted as a link on Twitter.”

So basically Twitter is a great way to get up to the minute info on events and ideas that are out there.

So basically you can search all of these public 140 character mini blogs to see what is going on in the world. I tried to figure out how to do this, but I couldn’t figure out how to search Twitter.com. Then on an obscure blog, someone indicated that there appears to be a “beta” search page that is not very well known to the general public. It is www.search.twitter.com.
For example, try going to the search.twitter.com page and typing in “stimulus package.” You can then see what other twitter users around the country are thinking, wondering, and talking about as it relates to the stimulus package.

As far as the NBA players listed above, it’s unclear to me if the athletes themselves are updating their status or if they have a friend doing it for them. I update my own twitter page: www.twitter.com/madsen_mark, but I also know of another player who has an account, but his agent or someone else updates his status for him.

I think Shaq writes his own Tweets personally, but I haven’t asked him about it yet. Twitter allows you to write a brief bio about yourself on your Twitter page as well so that people can figure out a little bit about who you are. Andrew Bogut’s Bio reads: Pro Athlete Living in Milwauke,WI. Grew up in Melbourne,Australia!

Here is what Shaq’s Bio read: VERY QUOTATIOUS, I PERFORM RANDOM ACTS OF SHAQNESS.

I’d be interested to know if MLB or if the NHL or even the NFL players are out there on Twitter the same way some of the NBA players are! We’ve got Steve Nash and Shaq on Twitter. Between the two of them, that’s several MVP awards and four championship rings, and these guys are out there sharing their NBA experiences with fans and supporters on Twitter.com. How many other professional athlete blogs can rival the creativity and fearlessness of the Gilbert Arenas blog?

There’s been a lot of talk about the new collective bargaining agreement coming up for negotiation in two years time in the NBA. When I see players like Charlie Villanueva and retired players like Jalen Rose reaching out to the fans via Twitter.com, it tells me that guys in the NBA are out there wanting to connect with fans. These players love the game of basketball and want to continue to make our league one of the most fan friendly leagues in the world. Remember Chris Bosh posting his video on Youtube campaigning for him to be sent to the All-Star game? That was a classic! As the playoff inch closer, I’m amazed by how great and passionate NBA fans are. And at the same time, you gotta love they way great players like Shaq, Steve Nash and others are out there sharing their personality and their thoughts about this game we all love.

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Minnesota, Win, Rashad McCants, Al Jefferson, Turkey , training camp
We win our first game in front of our home fans in Minnesota. Photo: Brocreative
We finally won our first game and it happened to come in front of our home fans in Minnesota. We had a lot of guys step up in the win. Rashad McCants had 30 points, Al Jefferson had his normal dominant performance and Antoine Walker had a huge game in crunch time to put us over the top. Marko Jaric made a ton of hussle plays. I wanted to talk a little bit about the game.

We were in Turkey for training camp which was going long and hard. Late in one practice session, Rashad McCants stole the ball and then took off down court for a dunk. All of a sudden, he stopped dribbling and staggered off the court in obvious pain. He strained his hamstring and then was on the injured list for a few days. Even earlier this season, he tweaked his ankle and had to sit out. I watched Rashad work tirelessly in the training room to get healthy to come back ASAP to help the team. Rashad is mentally tough and has a huge heart and he showed that once again tonight. Rashad is a team player first whose intelligence about the game reminds me of my old Lakers teammate Robert Horry.

In all my years of playing basketball you’re always taught not to go for pump fakes of opposing players. Especially when an opponent is trying to post you up, you never want to jump in the air to block the shot. It just puts you too much at risk for a foul. I’ve only been on the same team with Al Jefferson for two months, but I have never seen a post player get so many of his defenders up in the air and then just drive past them. Each game, I know it’s going to happen that he gets his post defender jumping in the air like a pogo-stick. The other day in practice I told Al, that I’ve never seen a player get so many defenders to go for his fake as does. Al told me that he learned his fake from Paul Pierce and their years together in Boston. Tonight was no different as Al got people in the air and utilized his signature, go-to move of the soft jump hook that seemed to be unstoppable.

Another old Celtic really stole the show in tonight’s game. We got Antoine Walker in a trade from the Heat and he was huge for us. I’ve enjoyed practicing with and against Antoine in practice every day. Antoine Walker is a three time all-star in the NBA and he gives so much energy and attention in practice every day that it’s kind of revitalizing to everyone on the team. I knew Antoine Walker the three point shooter, rebounder, great post up player and ball-handler, but the Antoine Walker I didn’t know is the player who knows every defensive rotation like the back of his hand. In the fourth quarter tonight Antoine floated a difficult 10 foot floater over the Sacramento defense that brought the crowd to their feet in the Target Center. When he came to the bench a fan yelled out, “Antoine, let’s see the shimmie!” I looked over and I saw Antoine smile and then just chill. I think he’s saving the shimmie for bigger and better things for the Timberwolves this season. Having a true veteran like Antoine on our team helps everyone from 1 to 15.

For a little more background on Antoine, (and the origin of the shimmie), you can go to his official website at

Well, that’s all here. I should receive the medical clearance soon to play. When I get it, I hope to earn my way back onto the court to help my team in any way possible.

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Goodbye, Kevin Garnett, Traded to the Boston Celtics, Minnesota
Kevin Maurice Garnett is an American professional basketball power forward and center with the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Photo: shutterstock.com
Today I got the unimaginable news that Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics. Being out here in Minnesota and hearing this news was interesting because it is the most talked about thing in almost every circle in which I move. Friends from out of state are emailing me about it. A non-sports radio station “wished Kevin safe travels to Boston” tonight at 10pm while I was driving home.

Here are a few memories of the Kevin Garnett that I know. This is the side that the public doesn’t see every day.

One Cardinal rule in our locker room is this: Never wear gear from another NBA team. So when our new assistant trainer from Oklahoma had a Dallas Mavericks screensaver on his cellphone, Kevin Garnett found it and enforced the penalty. When I say penalty, Kevin made him sprint two hundred yards from our team bus to a pickup truck parked in the distance and then yell out “I love the Timberwolves!” three times.

When Craig Smith came into practice wearing some Golden State Warriors practice shorts, Kevin brought out the entire team and had Craig go to center court and hold up the shorts and say “I will never wear these shorts again,” while he held the shorts up and walked around three times. Everyone was laughing. Craig was laughing too. KG loves Craig on and off the court. I’ve never seen a rookie big man like Craig come in and win over the trust and confidence of Kevin so quickly.

Our offense calls for two “big men” to be on the court at the same time and it takes quite a while to learn all of the defensive rotations. Kevin Garnett expects nothing short of perfection on defense. Mark Blount is one of the smartest veteran centers in the NBA and he and Kevin read each other all the time. Where I have been impressed with Craig is that he’s beyond his years on defense. On offense, he’s been tearing up the other team’s interior and scoring in bunches. But in some ways he’s been even better on defense.

But getting back to the theme of this blog. I never thought Kevin Garnett would be apprehended by our own locker room fashion police. But it did happen a few months ago. It all started after practice one day when a few of us got into the locker room to shower and get ready to go home. KG was still down in the weight room lifting weights. Rashad McCants went over to Kevin’s locker and pulled out his shoes and put them out for everyone to see. “What the heck are these?” Rashad said as he pointed to Kevin’s shoes. As everyone looked down to Kevin’s locker we were shocked to see that his shoes had the words “Portland Trailblazers” alongside the Trailblazers logo! All of this was of course in Trailblazer red and black colors!

I’ve never seen so many guys so excited to bust Kevin’s chops. When Kevin finally got up to the locker room he walked in and saw his shoes out for everyone to see. Kevin busted out smiling and yelled out, “Who was in my locker! I don’t know who was in my locker!” Rashad stood up and called out, “I peeped it out when you walked in here this morning!” Trenton Hassell was having a field day. “Throw those shoes in the trash” he yelled out. It was my job to take the shoes and stomp on them and then take them to the garbage can. Kevin was laughing so hard. I guess Adidas had sent out a bunch of walking shoes to Kevin and the shoes all had logos of different NBA teams.

Kevin told us how he had gotten up that morning and tried on the Portland shoes and that they had looked good. So he asked his wife “What do you think? Can I wear these in to practice?”

“Well Kevin, I don’t think so. I mean, the Trailblazers are in your conference and you play against them, right?….” she said.

Kevin decided to wear the shoes in anyway and explained how he “had pushed his jeans down over the Trailblazers logo and walked into the locker room really quickly.” He even showed us how he had pushed his shoes way to the back of his locker area under his chair so that none of us would see the shoes. Well, nothing gets past Rashad fashion wise. We had a good laugh that day. But the story didn’t end there. Trenton Hassell called out:

“Man I’m going to use those shoes…..I’m getting them out of the garbage can. I’ve got my guy in Chattangooga Tennesse and he’s 6’10” and wears size fourteen too!”

————–

Back to a serious note. Kevin Garnett is one of the mot loyal individuals I have ever met in my life. We’re all gong to miss him and we all wish him well.

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Troy Hudson, New York City, Knicks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nate Robinson, Kevin Garnett, NBA, Basketball
Our preparation for such an early game was a little bit unique. Whereas normally we go to the arena in the morning, have shoot around and then have a few hours to think about the game, this morning was different. Photo: shutterstock.com

We just beat the Knicks here in New York City and now I’m back in the hotel room unwinding from the emotional contest. I really thought that Troy Hudson played a great game this afternoon. His three-pointer from deep behind the arc with just a few seconds left was an unbelievable make! It was a shot that shows just how much confidence Troy has in his game and his courage to take such a big shot. New York’s Nate Robinson, who is about 5’7” and one of my favorite players to watch, played a great game today as well.

It was a little bit strange to play at 1:00 in the afternoon. However, it was an honor to play on a holiday set aside for reflection on the life and example set by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sometimes I wish I had been around when he was alive, so that I could have met the man who brought about so much good in this country and in the world.

Our preparation for such an early game was a little bit unique. Whereas normally we go to the arena in the morning, have shoot around and then have a few hours to think about the game, this morning was different. We woke up and went straight to a breakfast meeting, where we watched some film and ate. Then we went over to a ballroom in our hotel where our staff had taken white athletic tape and created a simulated three point arc, free throw line and painted area/key. We did a walk through in our street clothes on an imaginary court in the hotel ballroom.

The points that Dwane Casey emphasized were to limit their offensive rebounding and to get back on defense. I am very proud of Rashad McCants these days. Not only is Rashad playing at a high level offensively, but also he has really picked up his defense. He hit two huge threes today in the first half. Earlier this week I told Rashad that I write a weekly diary and he let me interview him. Here are just a few things that he said.

Q. What is the biggest surprise you’ve encountered thus far in the NBA?
A. Playing games on back-to-back nights. You really have to work at preparing your body for the energy you are going to need. It’s really important to eat well and get your rest.
Q. What is your mindset when you go onto the court?
A. Win by any means necessary.
Q. Describe your relationship with Kevin Garnett.
A. I’m like his little brother and he’s my mentor. He is the vet who is passing down what he learned from others on to me. It’s kind of like passing the torch to the next generation of players. I am thankful that he has taken me under his wing like that.
Q. What was it like winning a national championship at North Carolina?
A. It was a big-time accomplishment with a lot of hard work put into it by an entire team and coaching staff. It was pretty gratifying in the end to know that you were part of something special.
Q. Do you have siblings? Are they athletes?
A. I have a younger sister (Rashanda) who is playing basketball at UNC right now.
Q. What do you do on your days off?
A. Much like I do when we’re on the road, I try to rest and eat well. I also like to play video games and shoot pool.
Q. What sort of charity or community service work interests you?
A. I enjoy talking to young kids about staying in school and doing the right thing.
Q. Where do you get your confidence in yourself?
A. I found that at a young age I wanted to make my parents proud. I knew the only way to do that was to drive myself. There were going to be roadblocks. I knew that I had to push harder and harder. I’ve lived by myself for six years now and I have had to grow up and make my own decisions. I went to prep school for two years, then Chapel Hill for three and now this year in the Twin Cities.

Have a great week.

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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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Rookies, Dwane casey, Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves's Game Film, Rashad McCants, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Locker Room
Talking About Rookies, Players, discussion with Coach Casey about last season and the Timberwolves' game film. Photo: shutterstock.com

2005-06 Mark Madsen/Timberwolves Diary Week 1 (Oct. 31)
We have a lot of rookies on the team right now. One of the their jobs is to bring Krispy Kreme doughnuts to practice every morning for the staff, coaches and the occasional player who is trying to gain weight. Recently, as a few of us changed in the locker room and speculated on how hard practice was going to be that day, one of the rookies looked at another rookie and said with a very serious tone, “Hey, we’ve got bigger problems than that, where are the Krispy Kremes?” Kevin Garnett wasn’t there yet, but if he arrived at practice and saw that the rookies had failed there would be problems. With KG, it’s not about having doughnuts at practice, it’s about respecting seniority, learning responsibility and coming through. The rookies made some hasty calls and propped open a Target Center exit door to make sure that the goods arrived. The Krispy Kremes weren’t fresh that day; they were the day-old kind you can buy at a normal supermarket. I think they’ve worked-out a whole new plan to make sure they get the fresh ones from here on out.

My first interaction with Dwane Casey was over the summer when he reached out and called me on my cell phone. We talked for 20 minutes about last season and the Timberwolves’ game film he had already broken down and analyzed. He relayed to me that he had studied each of our games from last season at that point. After one preseason game this year we were on the plane flying home and I walked by the coaches to get to the restroom. Coach Casey was there making notes as he watched that night’s game DVD on his laptop. The next day we watched the tape as a team and he pointed out our lapses or mistakes, but also made sure we knew when we had done things correctly. Coach Casey demands defensive concentration, effort and perfection. He has told us that if we miss shots it’s fine, but not playing defense is inexcusable.

I want to introduce all of you to an outstanding player and person, Rashad McCants. On our first day of training camp, we were taking our physicals and a few of us were talking about how excited we were to be back after a long summer. I looked at Rashad and told him something like, “I’ve been waiting all summer for this.” He replied back, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.”

We got Rashad with the 14th pick in the draft this summer and I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed getting to know him so far. When we played at Indiana, Rashad posted up Ron Artest, demanded the ball and then lofted a soft jump hook right over one of the NBA’s toughest defender. I think Rashad is kind of like a boxer who goes into the ring believing he will win every fight. Most days after practice Garnett works with Rashad and they do drill after drill together with KG challenging, tutoring and encouraging the rookie. To have Garnett as a mentor is something that he will surely benefit from.

Away from the court, I wish I could have taped some of the comments Rashad was making at our annual “Business of Basketball” meeting the other day. He studied business at North Carolina, but it sounded like he could have studied law with the insightful comments he was making.

I am excited to be doing the diary for a second season and look forward to giving some insight into this year’s team. If you have suggestions about what you want me to write, or to give me a grammar lesson, come let me know before a game at Target Center.

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!