When we talk about draft picks we discuss athleticism, outside shot, basketball IQ, college success, vertical leap and the other things we as fans can see and measure.
But maturity and passion for the game and the craft matter more in how a player develops. Competitiveness matters a lot. We can’t measure it, and a lot of teams seems to ignore it.
To illustrate the point comes a fascinating story from The Jerry Tarkanian Show on Tuesday night, as told by Clippers’ Director of Player Development Dave Severns (via the Jack Fertig blog).
Remember that the Chicago Bulls had the first pick in the 2008 draft. Coach Vinny Del Negro and owner Jerry Reinsdorf had personal interviews with the guys they were considering to be the No. 1 pick, including Derrick Rose of Memphis and Michael Beasley of Kansas State. Serevens takes the story from there.
During the session with Beasley, there were a couple occasions in which (one of) his (two) cell phones went off. Believe it or not, he answered the calls!
New head coach Vinny Del Negro advised him that he was meeting with the owner and that, at that time, there couldn’t be too many things more important than listening to what Mr. Reinsdorf had to say and answering whatever questions the people at the meeting had of him. When Reinsdorf posed the question, “What about college basketball bothered you most?” Beasley contemplated for a moment and said, “When you go on the road and the referees make bad calls.”
When it was Rose’s turn in front of the brass, he sat up straight and was totally focused. He had a thorough grasp of the magnitude of the encounter. He put his ego aside. Consider this is a guy who won back-to-back state titles in high school and went 38-2 in his only season in college, dropping the national championship game in overtime. His answer speaks for the kind of guy Derrick Rose is and why he’s destined for (even more) greatness. What was his response to Reinsdorf’s question, “What about college basketball bothered you most?”
Just another magical day in the Valley of the Sun, where clearly Jeff Hornacek was the problem….
During an early timeout in the Suns’ game at Golden State, Markieff Morris tried to explain something to Archie Goodwin, who is seated. This conversation gets heated quickly, and teammates eventually have to step in and separate the two teammates.
The Suns have shopped Morris around as the trade deadline approaches, this isn’t going to help his value.
We should find out more about what happened after the game ends, although I’m sure both sides will play it down as “nothing.”
This is how much Gregg Popovich trusts Kawhi Leonard on offense now: Tie game with 13.3 seconds remaining, and the play design is a 1-4 flat isolation for Leonard. It’s the kind of play teams will call for LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Popovich just called it for Leonard.
And he was rewarded with a game-winning bucket.
Leonard finished with 29 points, LaMarcus Aldridge had 21, and the Spurs head into the All-Star break with a 45-8 record, on pace to win 70 games this season. And that still would only get them a two seed.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had been back just six games after suffering a torn labrum in the preseason that required surgery. The Hornets had won four of those six, were playing improved defense, and looked like a potential playoff team in the East.
He went straight to the locker room and did not return to the game (the Pacers got the win).
You can see the injury above. In a scramble for a loose ball, the Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi falls on MKG’s arm, dislocating his shoulder.
We don’t know the severity of all this and if MKG is going to miss time beyond this game. But it isn’t good.
There are no words to describe how sad this is.
Ingrid Williams, the wife of Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach and former New Orleans Pelicans head coach, Monty Williams, died Wednesday at the age of 44 from injuries suffered in a car accident the day before.
Williams’ car was hit head-on by another vehicle that had crossed over the center divider, according to the Oklahoman.
The Monty and Ingrid had been married more than 20 years and have five children, ranging in age from 17 to 5. Williams is one of the better respected and personally liked coaches around the league, and the tributes have just started to pour in.
Our thoughts are with Williams and his family.