Posts Tagged ‘NBA Development League’

Humbled Muhammad Wants 2nd Chance

VIDEO: Muhammad’s sterling D-League debut

RENO, Nev. — He’s not the first lottery pick to feel the slap of being told he was getting shipped to the NBA D-League.

But after a few days of self pity, Shabazz Muhammad came to the conclusion that it might be just what he needed.

“It’s giving me a chance to maybe reset and restart where I should have been coming into the NBA,” said the Timberwolves’ rookie after he scored 24 points for the Iowa Energy at the D-League Showcase. “I don’t think I was aggressive enough when I played in summer league. I don’t think I showed enough to the coaches and to the team that I was ready.”

The MVP of the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game and regarded by many as the top player in his college class, Muhammad was drafted by Minnesota with the 14th pick last June. Following his underwhelming performance in the summer, he was sent home from the league’s rookie orientation. Reports said he had a female guest in his room.

“It was all humbling and it’s not the way I envisioned starting out my NBA career,” Muhammad said. “I know a lot of people have been looking at me because of the high profile that I had in high school.”

He’s managed to get onto the floor in only 11 games for the Wolves, playing an average of just 3.8 minutes.

“On the one hand, you want to stay at the NBA level and hope that things can improve,” Muhammad said. “But after I got the news that they wanted me to come here to the Showcase, and spending some time with the Energy, it set in that getting a chance to run for some real minutes and play in game conditions was the best way for me to get better and to show the coaching staff that I’m committed to improving.”

Muhammad said he tries to ignore the hurtful and sometimes personal criticism that comes from social media.

“It’s easy to take shots at people and I guess it’s easier when it’s a guy like me that has a name that’s been out there for a while,” he said. “I can’t worry about that stuff or let it get to me.

“I believe I can be a productive NBA player. I know I wasn’t fully prepared and didn’t show all of the necessary things coming into this season. But that’s why I’m here now. I’m not gonna pout about being here. The goal is to prove that I can do all of the things the Wolves want and this is all part of that.”

Stern Praises NBA D-League Graduates

MANILA, Philippines — The continued worldwide outreach of the NBA with its expanding menu of Global Games was the main topic of conversation, but outgoing commissioner David Stern traveled halfway around the globe to put in a plug for the NBA Development League while taking a shot at his league’s critics from with the ranks of the NCAA.

“The system really works,” Stern said. “Jeremy Lin was overlooked. Some people think it was because he was Asian and others think it was because he went to Harvard. Take your choice.

“But one of the things we’ve done, which I’m equally proud of, and it’s importance will emerge in future years as the discussions about the NCAA and its relation to the NBA heat up, is that we have a full-fledged development league. NBA Development League has 17 teams now and my guess is by 2015 it’ll be 20 teams.

“So I’m very proud of the development league. It truly did develop, in some way, in a little different way, Jeremy Lin. And I think that’s working … So that march is continuing … and as the drum beats that I hear about our colleges not liking what they refer to as ‘one-and-done,’ we have a league in the NBA Development League that will accept players when they are 18 and will do, I might say, a better job of educating than the college programs in which they are.”

Stern paused dramatically, then added, “Take that.

“And you know what’s interesting? That remark is going to be headlines in the U.S., or at least an interesting point, because the world is a very small place. It doesn’t matter where I say anything. I can get in trouble in any country in the world.”

* Stern said that he is less inclined to consider expansion of the NBA in the near future. “I’m fairly sanguine about 30 teams being a good numbers,” he said. “There are some owners who might tell you that 28 is a better number. But I’ve always been in favor of maintaining.

“Maybe there is a time in the not too distant future where the next commissioner (Adam Silver) can consider that subject and won’t consider maybe mentioning Las Vegas and Seattle.”

* Stern gave what has become his standard response about adding teams based in Europe. “Our answer has always been 10 years,” he said. “I said that 10 years ago. It would probably be right to say it again now. I would say an NBA division in Europe is a distant possibility. But maybe I could see it happening.”

* Stern seemed less inclined to embrace the notion of holding the All-Star Game overseas. “We have so many cities in the U.S. that want to host the All-Star Game. Right now, we’re committed to Brooklyn and New York in 2015 and Toronto in 2016 and we have many more candidates.

“To have the All-Star Game in Europe would require rethinking the structure of All-Star Weekend due to travel considerations. But maybe it’s time to think about something like that. Maybe that’s why I should move aside and let a new commissioner have his ideas.”