Tag: Nick Van Exel


How Antonio McDyess, Nick Van Exel showed real leadership


If you get the chance ESPN Films’ Unguarded, the story of Chris Herren and how he battled drug use throughout his college and brief NBA career. It’s compelling.

But among the stories lost in the waves drugs can be how, during Herren’s time with the Nuggets veterans Antonio McDyess and Nick Van Exel went farther to stop his use and turn him around than any coach or family member had before.

Tom Ziller describes it well at SBN:

Other than those who ran the treatment center that helped Herren turn his life around, the only people mentioned in Unguarded who actually kept Herren from destroying himself were Antonio McDyess and Nick Van Exel, veterans on the Nuggets team that drafted the guard. During training camp, McDyess and Van Exel pulled Herren aside and told him that they knew all about his struggles with addiction, and that he wouldn’t be partying at all that season. Every night, he would be checking in with them, and when the Nuggets were on the road, he would be joining them for dinner instead of going out drinking.

And it apparently worked. McDyess and Van Exel did what no coach, no family member, no friend, no mentor had been able to do for Herren: they held him accountable. When the Nuggets sent Herren to the Celtics, that support system was gone and Herren reverted.

That is veteran leadership. We often oversell what that leadership can mean on the court, especially because it’s not something you can easily quantify. But it does matter. On the court, and sometimes more importantly off. And if Herren had run into guys like McDyess and Van Exel earlier or more often, this might have been a very different story.

More details in investigation of Nickey Van Exel for murder

Nick Van Exel looks on
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Nickey Van Exel — the son of long-time veteran NBA point guard and current Hawks staff member Nick Van Exel — is currently out on bail, but more details on what happened the night he shot someone have been released and the story just continues to get more sad.

Nickey Van Exel and Bradley Bassey Eyo had been friends for about a dozen years, having played basketball together and lived basically across the street from one another. The Dallas Morning News picks up the details from there.

At about 1 a.m. Sunday, Eyo went across the street to visit Van Exel at his home in the 6900 block of George Brown Drive in Garland. Documents say that Van Exel aimed his parents’ shotgun at his friend’s chest and fired.

Van Exel wrapped Eyo’s body, dragged it downstairs into the garage and loaded it in the back of a 2001 Chevy SUV, detectives wrote in an arrest affidavit.

About 8:30 that same morning, a man called police to report a body near the park on Barnes Bridge Road in Dallas. The affidavit stated that Eyo’s body was missing a pair of Nike Air Jordan shoes, two cellphones and jewelry.

After dumping Eyo’s body, Van Exel went back to his home and cleaned the blood from the bedroom and the SUV, detectives wrote in the affidavit. He then drove to the 9600 block of Forest Lane in northwest Dallas and threw the shotgun in a creek, police said. Dallas police are still trying to find the weapon.

Three days later Nickey Van Exel, accompanied by his attorney, turned himself in to Dallas police. He made $25,000 bail the next day. Van Exel has been charged with murder, although that could be dropped to manslaughter.

Paul Johnson, Van Exel’s attorney, told The Associated Press that his client told police he shot Eyo while the two were engaged in horseplay.

After the shooting, Van Exel panicked and moved the body, Johnson said.
“It’s a real sad situation,” Johnson said. “Emotions are running high, and, obviously, we recognize that some very bad decisions were made on how he responded.”

As you might imagine, the father of the deceased is not thrilled about the idea of a reduced charge.

“If it was accidental, he wouldn’t have gone to dump his body at the lake. He could’ve called 911,” Oyo Eyo said. “I don’t know what transpired in the house. Maybe it was premeditated, I don’t know, but how can he point a shotgun at his friend?”

It’s all just sad.

Nick Van Exel’s son confesses to murder

Nick Van Exel looks on

Some stories are just sad. On every possible level.

The son of former NBA fan favorite Nick Van Exel has confessed to murder.

Nickey Maxwell Van Exel was arrested Wednesday night and jailed on $1 million bond in the death of Bradley Bassey Eyo, 23. Police said Eyo was found on Sunday with a gunshot wound to his upper body near Lake Ray Hubbard, on the outskirts of Dallas.

Authorities later determined that Eyo was killed at a home in the Dallas suburb of Garland and that his body was dumped near the lake, police said.

Paul Johnson the younger Van Exel’s attorney, told The Associated Press that his client told police he shot Eyo, a longtime friend and neighbor, while the two were engaged in “horseplay” with a shotgun. He said Van Exel didn’t know the gun, which belonged to his stepfather, was loaded.

After the shooting, Van Exel “panicked” and moved the body, Johnson said. Van Exel also tossed the gun in a creek, and it has yet to be found, he said.

The elder Van Exel, 39, played a season and a half for the Mavericks during his 13-year NBA career where his explosive and aggressive style of play made him a favorite of fans. Van Exel started as a player development instructor with the Atlanta Hawks this season (trying to impart a little of his game on Jeff Teague).

Trying to find “the dog” in Atlanta’s Jeff Teague


Thumbnail image for jteague.jpgNick Van Exel always played with a chip on his shoulder.

Atlanta wants the same thing out of Jeff Teague, the backup point guard they hope will supplant Mike Bibby. From Summer League through camp, everyone has been in Teague’s ear about being more aggressive.

Now it’s Van Exel’s turn, as he told the Journal-Constitution.

“We call it ‘the dog’ in the NBA,” Van Exel said. “We are trying to bring that dog out of him.”

“He’s kind of a quiet kid,” Van Exel said. “He likes to joke around and have fun. But there are times when somebody makes him mad, and he is just blowing by guys. And we are like, ‘Man, you’ve got to do that all the time.’ He can do it. He has those skills. We are thinking about maybe going up to him and making him mad before every game, making up stuff just to get him going.”

Van Exel was hired this summer as the Hawks Player Development Director. But what Van Exel is telling Teague isn’t something Joe Johnson already hasn’t. Everyone has been telling Teague that.

Teague is an X factor for the Hawks this season — the team brought back almost an identical roster from last season. If they are going to get better players already on the roster need to step forward. Al Horford could do that. But Teague is the guy who could make the biggest leap, and at a position the Hawks need it most.

Hawks hire Nick Van Exel as Player Development Instructor


vanexel_player.jpgNick the Quick is a coach.

The Atlanta Hawks tweeted out the information Wednesday, that Nick Van Exel was being brought in as a Player Development Instructor.

He’s got cred — no other Hawk had his name dropped in a Jay-Z song. He left an impression because he played with style and swagger. He had the smooth lefty shot and sweet handles.

Probably don’t want to teach that 18-foot free throw, though. (Van Exel stood a couple feet behind the line on free throws, and as he was a career 79.4 percent free throw shooter nobody stopped him.)

I like the idea of injecting a little Nick Van Exel in Jeff Teague’s game. That would be huge for the Hawks. Bottom line, just good to see him back in the league.