Tags Posts tagged with "Stanford"

Stanford

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email, hijacked, Gmail, Mike Montgomery, UC Berkeley, head mens basketball coach
My Email account was hacked, I chat with him to my old account and threatened. I receive my gmail account back with new password "UCBerkeley" Photo: shutterstock
Sometimes even the unthinkable can happen. When I arrived at our NBA shoot-around today I learned that Mike Montgomery was going to be name head mens basketball coach at Stanford archrival: UC Berkeley. Of course I called him to congratulate him but it went to voicemail right away so I left him a message–I left that message grudgingly.

All I can remember about UC Berkeley is hostility. One time one of our walk on players from the East Bay almost got into an altercation with a UC Berkeley fan even before the game started! I think the fan threatened a lawsuit or someting. Then last year someone actually hijacked my Gmail email account! The sad thing was that I could see when he was online through the “Chat” functionality from another one of my gmail accounts. I “chatted” with him online to my “old” account and threatened to get the FBI, CIA and every law enforcement agency possible on his tail unless he gave me back my account. Finally he releneted and sent me a message: “You can have your email account back, the new password is “UCBerkeley.”

So maybe you can see why I’m confused about Mike going over there. It’s just a bunch of low lifes over there at Cal.

Of course I’m kidding. While I’m serious about the email hijacking, Cal is an awesome place and a world class institution. I was excited about maybe going there myself, but then they kind of stopped recruiting me. One of my best high school teammates went there an loved it. Actually one of my first text messages was to my brother in law who is doing a UC Berkely PHD. I told him I was mad that his school was stealing our old coach!

In fairness I think it’s great for everyone, and I think that the San Francisco Bay Area is going to have some great basketball in the coming years. Trent Johnson is one of the real rising stars in the college game and one of the best minds I’ve ever had the privilege of playing for (he was assistant coach at Stanford while I played there.). Now you’ve got Trent at Stanford, Mike over at Cal and a lot of great recruits comign out of Northern California. UC Berkeley just took a major step in the right direction in getting back to the levels of Pete Newell and Jason Kidd.

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Mike Montgomery, Coach, Indiana basketball job, Minnesota, Stanford
Mike Montgomery is excellent candidate for the Indiana basketball job. Photo: Gajus

If there is a coach out there who would be an excellent candidate for the Indiana basketball job, it would be Mike Montgomery. Having played for “Monty” as everyone calls him, I can tell you that his knowledge of the game is vast and he knows how to run a team. When I was at Stanford, he kind of just put everyone in a position where they were going to be able to be as successful as possible. I haven’t talked to him yet about this vacancy and maybe he’ll get mad at me for putting his name out there like this, but even Dick Vitale was talking about it tonight on TV too. Monty’s wife actually has family ties in the Midwest (Minnesota) and with both of his kids grown and out of college, it might be a good fit for everyone.

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Trenton Hassell, NBA General Manager, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, NBA draft, Mitch Kupchak, Jaron Rush
Trenton Hassell told me that if he was an NBA General Manager he would rather have the 2nd pick in this year’s NBA draft instead of the first pick. Photo: shutterstock.com
Trenton Hassell told me that if he was an NBA General Manager he would rather have the 2nd pick in this year’s NBA draft instead of the first pick. When I asked him why, he said, “Because you can’t go wrong with the 2nd pick….I’d hate to be the GM that had to choose between Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.”

When NBA teams are getting ready to make a draft selection, nothing is left to chance. Teams will fly groups of players in to work them out and match them up against each other to see who is toughest and who competes hardest. A lot of teams administer the same written, multiple-choice psychological survey. I must have seen the same survey four times from four different teams. One team (Chicago Bulls) actually brought in a psychologist to administer a whole set of unique tests. One of the sit down interviews in Chicago may have been a type of IQ test. I’m still not sure.

They test your strength in the weight room, your body fat, watch how you interact with the equipment manager and trainers, and seem analyze everything you do and say. Then, a lot of teams will have you sit down with the General Manager for an interview. I still remember my interview for the LA Lakers. “Do you drink?” They asked. “No,” I said. “That’s the first time in years we’ve interviewed two players in a row who both don’t drink,” they replied. The player before me was a UCLA player who has ended up having a very nice professional basketball career.

Mitch Kupchak (Current LA Lakers GM) asked me an interesting question during the interview process. “Who is the best [current] college player you have played against?” I knew right away. “Jaron Rush,” I said. I still think he was the best I played against in college. I ended up playing with his brother Kareem Rush for the Lakers for a year.

Mitch probably got some good information from all the people he interviewed. What better way to try to assess the draft class and future drafts than asking the people who have grown up playing against each other in high school, AAU, pickup games and college games.

Over the course of years, I’ve probably spoken to well over 10 different NBA general managers. I asked one with a pretty nice draft history “How do you know who to draft each year?” His exact words to me were: “It’s a crapshoot.”

Then it clicked. There are just too many unknown variables that are impossible for GM’s to predict. If every GM was perfect, then there’s no way that Kevin Garnett and Kobe would have been selected as low as they were in the draft. There would never be any draft “busts.”

But someone has to make the decision and that’s why the GM’s go to great lengths to get as much information as possible. When Brevin Knight was a senior at Stanford, the rumor circulation around campus was that there was a private investigator going around campus asking questions to verify Brevin’s very high personal character. We were told that for the top 10 projected picks, private investigators came around asking questions.

When they make a great pick, they are hailed as “great talent evaluators.” When they mess up with a pick they are labeled by the media as “out of touch” or “can’t see the obvious.” To the GM who ends up with the 1st pick in this years NBA draft I say “good luck.”

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UCLA Bruins, Ben Howland, NCAA, Stanford, Florida
Ben Howland is an American college basketball coach and former player. He served as the head men's basketball coach at Northern Arizona University from 1994 to 1999, the University of Pittsburgh from 1999 to 2003, and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from 2003 to till date. Photo: shutterstock.com

UCLA made a great decision when the hired Ben Howland to become the new coach of the UCLA Bruins. As a “Pac-10” guy I watch UCLA very closely as well as the rest of the Conference and in two years Howland has been in the NCAA Finals and in the semi-finals. As one who played on a Final Four team myself at STanford, I can attest that it is not easy to advance in the NCAA tournament. To get the the Final Four two years in a row is incredible. But the thing that impresses me most about Howland is his graciousness in defeat. I just finished watching the interview with him and all I can say is that Ben Howland is a complete class act. He was the same way last year also. He complimented Florida and gave them all of the credit even though inside we all know he was really hurting.

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakes, Phoenix Suns, NBA
Kobe Bryant is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com
I watched the Lakers vs. Suns first round playoff series faithfully and thought it was one of the best first round matchups in recent history. I was extra interested given that I used to play for the Lakers and since two of my high school teammates played college basketball with Steve Nash at Santa Clara University. Kevin Dunne and Randy Winn were seniors when I was a sophomore at San Ramon Valley High School. The next year I watched them a lot at Santa Clara where along with Steve Nash they all helped Santa Clara’s team to several years of greatness and some amazing upsets. I would have never thought at that time that I was watching one of the greatest point guards who would ever play in the NBA. It is amazing what hard work and perserverance can do and how Steve Nash’s passing and shooting ability has changed the fortunes of an entire NBA franchise.

It was also great to see a couple of old friends play for the Lakers. Notably, it was a lot of fun to watch Kobe Bryant, Devean George, and Luke Walton make big plays for the Lakers and almost pull off a huge first round upset. Kobe Bryant never ceases to amaze me. Amost everywhere I go, people ask me what it was like to play with Kobe Bryant. Random people I have never met ask me the question. I thought that now would be a good time to talk about my interactions with Kobe on and off the court. When I first got to LA, I remember meeting Kobe in the training room. Kobe was there with his personal trainer and the first thing I thought in my mind is “Wow, Kobe must really be 6’7″!” You never really know how tall people are until you’re next to them. Shaq is definitely 7’1″ and Kevin Garnett is definitely taller than 6’11”. Kobe is easily 6’7″ and it’s crazy because I play center in the NBA sometimes and I’m about 6’8″ and Kobe can play point guard and he’s basically the same height. The first year I was there, I can’t tell you how many times I came into the game and Kobe tried to get me a dunk or a wide open layup to help me build some confidence. One time after a tough game at Memphis he invited me to meet up with him and his high school buddy for a steak dinner. Another time he stayed around after a game to meet up with the ten year old daughter of a buddy of mine for an autograph and a photo. Still another time when I was upset about a certain on-court team issue, Kobe took the time to listen to everything I was going through and tried to help the situation. Kobe Bryant went out of his way a lot when I was just figuring out what it was like to play in the NBA.

I felt badly after the game 7 loss that some members of the media tried to criticize Kobe for not shooting enough in the loss to the Suns. It’s extra interesting to me, because I watched that game very closely and analyzed the Suns’ defensive schemes against Kobe. In the first half it seemed like Suns threw a “soft double team” at Kobe whereas in the second half they trapped Kobe aggresively with two men and forced him to throw the ball out of the double team. I actually thought that Kobe was doing a good job of trying to hit his open teammates but their shots weren’t falling. I guess if you are Kobe Bryant and you get 81 points you get criticized for shooting too much and if you only score 20-25 points then people say you are not shooting enough. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and watching my old teammate Kobe play so well. I think that the Lakers are back on the map. I hope I get to see Deaven George this summer in Minnesota and maybe I’ll see Luke Walton at some Pac-10 reunion. (We never really had the Answer for Arizona basketball when I was at Stanford). At any rate, I still hope we go 4-0 against the Lakers next season and 4-0 against the Suns.

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Kevin Garnett, Coach Casey, MySpace.com, Big Men
Kevin Garnett is an American professional basketball Player of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Since anyone reading this blog is somewhat computer savy I have to tell you about the good laugh that KG and I shared today in practice. We’re sitting there shooting free-throws like we always do after an intense practice session where Eddie, KG, Blount, Reed and I really go at each other in drills.

The “big men” are at one end of the court and the guards are at the other for about a third of practice. Whenever we shoot in separate groups like that Kevin loves to yell down at the guards and say things “How’s Club-Med down there at that end……we’re down here working….killing each other, and ya’all are down there chillin’!” Then when it’s just us “bigs” shooting we all talk trash to each other for fun with someone yelling out “Get out your hard hat!” or “Watch out below…” when one of us shoots. It’s pretty funny. So today after we had done all of this intense stuff, it got quiet while we were shooting free throws. Then Kevin looks straight at me and says, “Dog, you on MySpace.com?” I paused for a second and didn’t say anything while I thought back……..I remembered I had just signed up about five days ago…….me and Kevin both started laughing hard and I said, “KG…it seems like whatever I do, you know about it.” He laughed and told me that he has a lot of friends who are always telling him what’s going on.

On a basketball note, today coach Casey told the team that it was time to limit some of Kevin’s and Ricky’s minutes. We’re not going to make the playoffs so he wants to rest the big guns and be sure not to risk injury while allowing some of our budding young stars to have the chance to develop.

On a political note….

<<<I don’t view this blog as a political forum at this point, but this is one issue I feel VERY strongly about >>>
I lived in the Chicano/Latino theme dorm for my frosh year at Stanford. I liked it so much I stayed there for the next TWO years as well! When I heard about the protesting in the streets of LA on the immigration issue I wish I could have been down there in the downtown in support of all of the Latinos and immigrants that have come to CA ( my home state ) and other parts of North America. When I read today that lawmakers are going to do something so that illegal immigrants can take one of three paths to become legal here in the US I was very happy. Of course there has to be order to the immigration (which everone agrees on) and there must be excellent border control to reign in terrorists threats and to keep the unsavory out. However, when they were talking about making illegal immigration a felony I was in shock. Then when I read some of the quotes from some of the political leaders I went even deeper into shock. Here are some of the quotes I found short-sighted.

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Referring to a wave of demonstrations in recent weeks, Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia said, “I say if you are here illegally and want to fly the Mexican flag, go to Mexico and wave the American flag.”

“Anybody that votes for an amnesty bill deserves to be branded with a scarlet letter A,” said Rep. Steve King of Iowa, referring to a guest worker provision in the Senate measure.

“I say let the prisoners pick the fruits,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, one of more than a dozen Republicans who took turns condemning a Senate bill that offers an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants an opportunity for citizenship.

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I am an independent and not currently affiliated with any party. I grew up in Northern California spent years in Southern California and have gone on family trips over what seems to me like every square inch of the state. I’ve met Latinos in almost every line of work from field worker to, college admissions director to Executive at major corporations and I can say that the Latino community–including both legal immigrants and illegal immigrants–has played a VITAL role in the robust development and the strong character of my home state and we should be thanking them for their contribution instead of having to read comments like the short-sighted comments above by certain elected governmental officials. I just read an online article that says that the US used to be a nation of immigrants, but it’s not anymore. To that author I would give the reminder to read Emma Lazaras’ words affixed to the pedestal of the stature of liberty:

From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Based on scientific theory and cultural/literay works even some of the native americans (which is the one group with the longest heritage here) likely came to this land via the Bering Straight or by some other sea-faring route(s). In the end aren’t we all immigrants?

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Valentine's day, Surprise, Campus, Freindship, NBA All star, Timberwolves, Stanford, Weekend
Valentine's memory from my freshman year of college, when I got a surprise gift from a friend. Photo: Jim Larkin/shutterstock.com

This week there are two major events that aren’t totally related to our team. First is Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and the other one is the NBA All-Star Weekend (Feb. 17-19). I’m kind of shy when it comes to talking about the former in this diary, but the media people upstairs tell me that fans like to read this kind of stuff, so I’ve given in.

Let me share one Valentine’s memory from my freshman year of college, when I got a surprise gift from a friend. I was in the middle of practices, conditioning, weightlifting and just generally trying to stay afloat at Stanford. I came back to the dorm room and I found a Valentine taped to my door with Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare included. I saw that it was from this girl named Kate, who my best friend on the team liked a little bit too. I know that he thought she was cool. I had just met her the week before.

I was pretty stoked that she had given me a Valentine, and I began to think about the possibility of dating her. As surprised as I was to get the card, I was equally stunned to find out that she had given out 20-30 of them around campus. She was just a thoughtful girl who cared about making people feel special. Man, I tried to get to know her better, but the competition was pretty stiff. With all the traveling we were doing, and the fact that she had some other guys after her, the best I could do was build a good friendship. To this day, I think she’s great just because she took the time to write me that note. I think the next year I tried to give out Christmas or Valentine’s cards to a bunch of people, remembering how nice Kate’s note had made me feel.

The other big event this week is the All-Star Game on Sunday and the break in the schedule that goes with it. The weekend off will give every player some much needed rest to regain strength and to take care of some aches and pains. Sometimes I wish that Kevin Garnett wasn’t an All-Star, so that he could have some time to rest his body. He plays so hard all the time dishing punishment on his defenders, but he also takes a lot of bumps and hacks from the opponents. I know that all of the other All-Stars will love seeing KG down for the game in Houston. He is one of those guys that everyone in the NBA respects and looks up to. I listened to him address the media the other day and you could just hear in his voice the pride he takes in being named an All-Star and the fact that he will do all he can to represent his family, teammates, organization and Minnesota.

A number of fans have been asking me about Fred Hoiberg’s status, so I thought that I would share a little bit of what’s going on with him. Fred is in great health and in phenomenal shape. He has been working out with the team and on his own to keep his jump shot and his basketball timing at a high level. As I understand Fred’s situation (we talk a lot about different things), he has had a strong recovery from his open-heart surgery. I know of several teams in the last few months that have expressed serious interest in trying to get Fred to play for them yet this season. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves cannot re-sign him this season, after waiving him last summer.

Without saying too much, I can state that Fred has spent a lot of time meeting with experts and deliberating over the pros and cons of his course of action. On the one hand, he loves to play the game and he’s one of the best outside shooters in the N. Conversely, there is the miniscule statistical risk that during a game, something might happen to dislodge or interrupt the pacemaker and the associated hardware he has in his chest. I think sometime in the near future we’ll hear his plans. One of the good things about Fred, is that in addition to what he does on the court, he has the abilities and the relationships to be a professional or collegiate head coach or a general manager. I think his decision-making process is looking at all the options and weighing each very carefully.

Have a great week

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Golden State Warriors, Loosing Streak, Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire, Minnesota
We have been struggling a little bit and really need to win this one tonight to snap a three-game losing streak. Photo: shutterstock.com

Today we are in Phoenix getting ready for what should be a very big game against the Pacific Division leading Suns this evening. They have an outstanding team this year, despite losing Amare Stoudemire to an injury early in the preseason. That just goes to show you what a great player Steve Nash has become while making his case for back-to-back MVP awards.

As you know, lately we have been struggling a little bit and really need to win this one tonight to snap a three-game losing streak and get the ship righted. If we get a win in the desert, we will have some momentum going back to Minnesota for a five-game home stand prior to the All-Star break. I can’t put a finger on it exactly, but I think we are struggling some because we just don’t know each other as players yet. We’ve added four new dynamic players to the team during the middle of the season, and I believe we’re still trying to get integrated with each other. I really think that as we get more games and practices under our belts, that eventually you are going to see a well-oiled machine emerge.

Our loss at Golden State was pretty tough on everyone, but the positive thing is what happened the next day. Everyone came to practice in Phoenix and went so hard, that it felt like a playoff game. I would be worried about us if everyone came to practice depressed and sad but it was just the opposite. Guys came in ready to play as hard as they possibly could.

On a personal note, it was interesting to be back in my homeland of the San Francisco Bay Area over the weekend. I grew up going to Golden State Warriors games and lived about 30 minutes from the Oakland Coliseum. Then I was at Stanford for four years, which is about 45 minutes from Oakland. After the game Saturday, one of the guys who did construction on my parents’ house growing up came out of the stands to say hello. His name is Rod, and it was just really great to see him. I left some tickets for a few of my college teammates who are still in the area. It was fun to hear about what they are each doing professionally. One of them is the head coach at a local private high school and another one started up his own brokerage business for Internet domain names, which is a booming industry. A third teammate started a clothing line. It was a blast to see old friends and to hear about the great things that they are doing.

Right now I’m about ready to order room service and then take my pregame nap. Did you all enjoy watching the Super Bowl? I thought the game was pretty entertaining, and turned on a few big Pittsburgh plays. I would assume that I’m like a lot of people who watch the game partly because the commercials will be entertaining, even if the game isn’t. I would say my favorite ad was the FedEx commercial with the cavemen trying to deliver the package with the pterodactyl and then getting stomped by a dinosaur outside the cave. Write me and let me know what your favorite ads were.

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.