Chris Young: From Princeton and the Padres to M.L.B. Headquarters

May/19/2018

Chris Young could have been a Chihuahua in the Pacific Coast League. Instead, he became a vice president for Major League Baseball.

When the San Diego Padres told Young in March that he would not make their opening day roster, they offered him a chance to pitch for the El Paso Chihuahuas, their Class AAA affiliate. Young could have tried to squeeze his way back to the majors for a 14th season. His stuff had felt crisp in spring training.

“I thought there was a little bit of juice still left in the lemon,” he said by phone on Monday. “But at what expense?”

When life gave him lemons, Young came to baseball’s aid. Unwanted by the Padres, he was eagerly welcomed by the commissioner’s office. Major League Baseball hired Young this month as vice president for on-field operations, initiatives and strategy, and he works out of the league’s Park Avenue office in Manhattan.

“We were all blown away, everybody from the commissioner on down, with his demeanor, intelligence, composure and passion for the game,” said Dan Halem, M.L.B.’s deputy commissioner for baseball administration. “We all knew we had to hire him.”

Young, who started on Monday, will assist the chief baseball officer, Joe Torre, and a senior vice president, Peter Woodfork, on issues related to discipline, rules, pace of play, umpires and special projects.

Torre is a Hall of Fame manager, but he has not played a major league game in more than 40 years. Young, who turns 39 this month and holds a degree in politics from Princeton, brings a fresh perspective to the commissioner’s office that it had lacked.

“Automatically, Chris is going to be a very influential voice,” Halem said, adding later: “We get a lot of our player input from the union, but it gives us a real benefit to have a player come right off the field to give ideas and perspectives we wouldn’t think of. When he speaks on issues, everyone’s going to be quiet and listen because he’ll be the only one in the room, at least on our side, who played the game for the last 14 years.”

Young — who pitched for five teams and won a World Series ring with the 2015 Kansas City Royals — has long been interested in a front office career. His father-in-law, Dick Patrick, is the president of the Washington Capitals, and a Princeton friend, the former N.H.L. right wing George Parros, is the head of that league’s department of player safety.

“He’s had to levy suspensions,” Young said. “He said, ‘It’s a tough job, and you’re going to make some enemies, but you’re trying to protect the integrity of the game and protect the way the game should be played.’ He said he does it with the right intent, and that’s the same plan I have.”

Young has experience on the other side of discipline. In 2007, while pitching for San Diego, he was fined and suspended five games for throwing a punch at the Chicago Cubs’ Derrek Lee, a hulking first baseman.

“That was the heavyweight division, no doubt about it,” said Young, who is 6 feet 10 inches. “In the heat of the moment, you say things, you do things, you misunderstand things — and certainly now that my kids are old enough to Google that, I regret it. But it’s part of the game and it happens.”

While discipline will make more day-to-day news, the broad strokes of Young’s job may be more important. Baseball wants to appeal to younger fans who expect action, yet fewer and fewer balls are being put into play. In his new position, which includes a spot on baseball’s competition committee, Young can influence any potential changes to the game.

“The main goal here is to make the game better than we found it,” he said. “That’s what excites me and motivates me.”

 

BY Tyler Kepner / PUBLISHED May/19/2018 / New York Times

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/sports/baseball/mlb-notes.html
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Thank You Carolina

May/02/2018

When I was a little kid, my mom turned to me one night and told me I was going to play for Carolina someday.“You know, Jay, I believe that you’re going to be a Tar Heel,” she said, as we were watching a game on TV. “You’ll be wearing that jersey and you will be playing for that man right there, Roy Williams. I can already see you out there playing in that jersey, boy.”

At the time, I was just like, “O.K., mom,” not really believing in what she was saying.

But if there’s one thing that everyone close to me knows about me, it’s that I’m a momma’s boy. (Proud of it, too!) And something I believe with all my heart is that I can always trust my mom when she tells me something, so I never really forgot that moment. I didn’t necessarily believe that what she said would come true, but I didn’t completely ignore it either. I always just kind of remembered that conversation and let it drive me toward what she already knew was in my future.

So, fast-forward a decade or so and, of course … my mom was right.

My journey at Chapel Hill turned out to be an amazing four years that included two ACC titles, two trips to the Final Four, and a national championship. In addition, I accomplished a feat not matched by many when I passed Michael Jordan (also known as the GOAT) on the all-time UNC scoring list.

Most everyone will remember me for the accomplishments I just mentioned, but they don’t know about the road I had to take to become the player who achieved those things; because despite how much my mom believed that Chapel Hill was the place for me, during my first year I struggled to share the same vision.

Early on, being in Chapel Hill without my family was really tough. At one point during my freshman year, I remember actually feeling like playing at Carolina was not for me.

We were playing an early-season game down in the Bahamas against Butler and it seemed like I couldn’t get anything right at the time. I had come into the program as a five-star recruit and, for whatever reason, I was feeling like I had never picked up a basketball before. I made a bad turnover and I immediately knew I was coming out of the game.

My head dropped. I ran over and just flopped myself on the bench.

I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself and, without intending to, I just started to cry. I put my face between my hands because I didn’t want anyone to know how overwhelmed I was, and all of a sudden I felt Coach Williams grab me by the arms and say, “Look at me, son. Look at me.”

It was hard to look at Coach because I felt like I had let him down.

I had come into the program wanting to be a big-time player for myself and for him. I didn’t want my coach, who trusted in me and believed in me, to see me crying; however, I eventually just accepted it and looked at him with tears rolling down my face.

He said to me, “Son, what can I do to help you to just go out there and be a player — to be the player that I know you can be?” At the time, I didn’t have a reasonable answer, so I just said to him, “Coach it’s not you, It’s me. I have to do better.” Once I said that, he just tapped me on my head and went back to coaching.

Shortly after, I ended up getting injured, and during that time I had a chance to actually sit back and tell myself to stop blaming the coaches for how I was playing and just do what I needed to do in order to be the player that I wanted to be for this program.

After taking that advice from myself, it was like I all of a sudden remembered how to play at the high level that I was capable of.

While I was hurt, I worked hard with our strength and conditioning coach, Jonas Sahratian, and spent a lot of time watching and learning and studying the game.

I had hit a low point, yes, but I knew that I was going to bounce back. When I returned from that injury, everything was different for me.

Guillermo Hernandez Martinez/The Players’ TribuneCoach Williams has definitely been one of the biggest influences and best mentors I have ever known, but he was certainly not the only person who helped me to get through the tough times early on and develop as a player and as a person during my time at UNC.

Carolina has seen so many great leaders during my time there, but the one who had the most influence during my earlier years was Marcus Paige. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever been around, and from the moment I set foot in Chapel Hill, he went out of his way to help me learn, adapt and improve.

Marcus always kept a positive vibe no matter the circumstance. He never got on me or made me feel bad when I made a mistake; instead, he always just tried to help me recognize the mistakes I had made and what I could do the next time to avoid them.

Marcus showed me what it truly means to be a leader on and off the court, and for that I can’t thank him enough. My appreciation is unending for all he has done to help me become not only the player that I wanted to be, but also the leader that I needed to be.

I know that when people ask about the most memorable moment from your college career, you’re supposed to say that there are too many great ones to choose from, and that to pick just one would be nearly impossible.

But in my case there is actually one that I can say I will remember the most.

April 3, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona. We were playing a one-loss Gonzaga team that a lot of people (other than us) had thought was destined for the national title. It was a hard-fought game all the way through, but with 7.2 seconds left, something happened that I will never forget.

I was standing on the foul line getting ready to shoot some free throws, tears rolling down face.

We were up by five points, and I knew in my heart that we were about to win the national championship. It was definitely one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.

So, as I stepped up to shoot, all teary-eyed, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that one of the refs was approaching me. I had no clue what he was about to say, so I made sure that I kept my mind on preparing to make the free throws and finishing out the game.

When he got to me, the ref said, “Your coach wanted me to ask you if you needed a timeout.” And as I was standing there, a part of me wanted to just tough it out and shoot the free throws right there, but I was losing it on national television. I was having a tough time keeping my composure.

Coach was just being who he is; always putting others before himself. In that crazy moment when everyone was so emotional, he was just thinking about me, and what he knew was best for me in that moment.

I thought for a second and then turned to the ref and said, “Yes, sir. I need a timeout.”

Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesWhat’s funny is that the timeout didn’t help me get myself together one bit. I went back to shoot the free throws and my eyes were still full of tears. It was so bad that I couldn’t even see the rim. I mean, if you haven’t had that happen to you, I’m going to tell you right now: It’s pretty tough.

Somehow I managed to get it together and make the second shot. A few moments later, I was covered in confetti and celebrating a national title.

While crying on national TV isn’t always the best look, thinking back, I wouldn’t change a single thing about that moment, because in a lot of ways, I feel like it sums up what is so special about UNC basketball — the immeasurable love that the players and coaches have for Carolina and for each other.

The other biggest support system that I had during my time in Chapel Hill was, of course, Tar Heel Nation.

I couldn’t forget you all.

I never knew why my mom loved Carolina basketball so much when I was a little kid. I mean, we lived in Apopka, Florida, not too far from Orlando, so she could have rooted for any school in my home state.

Instead, it was all Carolina.

Whether it was the colors or something else, her loyalty was with Carolina. From even before middle school, she and I would sit on the couch together in our living room and watch Carolina play. We never missed a game, unless I had a game of my own. And as we watched those games, my mom would never miss an opportunity to yell at the TV.

My dad couldn’t tolerate watching the games with my mom and I. He would say to my mom, “Kat, why are you screaming at the TV like that? You’re not playing in the game.”

But that didn’t stop my momma at all. She kept right on.

My mom’s favorite player was Sean May — also known as Big Baby May — and she loved Big May to death. What she admired most about him was not his athleticism, but instead how he used his body while he played. To this day, I can still hear her in my head saying, “Uh-huh, that’s how you use your body to get them up off of you. Keep doing it to ’em.”

I’m telling you, she would yell at him like he was one of her own kids.

As for me, I loved every bit of what my mom would do during games, and I would be right there beside her getting all fired up. I truly believe that’s where I get my competitive nature from — my fire and my drive.

So as my Carolina-obsessed mom in small-town Florida showed me back in the day, it’s so much more than just the players who put on that uniform and the coaches who stand on the sidelines — Carolina fans are a Carolina family.

David J. Phillip/AP Photo

There are thousands and thousands of Tar Heel fans all over the country, and as a player, no matter where I go, I am very aware of that love.

There is not a day that goes by where I take for granted the love and loyalty that the fans have for us.

And to me, what really shows the depth of our fans’ support is how everyone acts when things don’t go our way. Anyone can support a team when everything is going well, but you find out who the true fans are during the times when things aren’t so great.

I have come to see how blessed we really are that our fans truly love Carolina basketball day in and day out. They’re there to share in the good times, but they’re there just as quick to pick us up when things don’t go how we had hoped.

I remember my sophomore year after that brutal last-second loss to Villanova in the national title game, that was one of the hardest times for me and my teammates. I can still recall how tough it was having to feel that confetti fall over me as I made my way into the locker room, and how heartbroken all of my teammates were, especially the seniors who had just played their last game.

There was also the feeling of being shocked by how the game had ended. We were so miserable that when Michael Jordan walked into the locker room to talk to us, not one person in there moved a muscle to look up.

Even saying that sounds crazy, but that’s how terrible we felt — not even Michael Jordan could take that pain away from us.

When we got back to Chapel Hill that next day, though, you wouldn’t have been able to tell that we had just lost a title game. Our fans welcomed us back with open arms. And fans from all over the country were sending their thoughts and congratulating us and making sure that we knew that, even though we hadn’t won it all, they still appreciated the incredible season we’d had.

That is real love.

Having that feeling and knowing that everyone had our backs during a time like that was incredible. I can only hope that we were able to make up for it by going back out there the year after and getting redemption.

Mark Humphrey/AP Photo

Our fans continue to amaze me, and they did it again in Charlotte this year during my final game against Texas A&M.

That game didn’t turn out like anything we had hoped for, and to end our season in that fashion was tough on all of us. For me, knowing that performance would be the way my Tar Heel career would end was devastating.

The whole second half, we couldn’t buy a shot. And by the time we got to about the seven-minute mark, it was obvious that we just couldn’t get anything going at all. It became a little hard to maintain focus and keep my head in the game, as I knew that it was going to be the last time I would play in that Carolina jersey.

When Coach took me out of the game with about a minute and a half left, I found myself really struggling to keep my composure. I never want to show anyone that I’m down, that’s just who I am. But all of a sudden, I heard this loud noise, and it just kept getting louder and louder and when I happened to catch a glimpse of the stands, everybody in the crowd started standing up and clapping.

It was truly special to see, because the fans understood how much I cared about not just the basketball program, but for Carolina as a whole.

And our fans did the same for my boy, Theo Pinson, which was just as special because he, too, feels the same as I do about Carolina.

That last game will be something I’ll always remember. Just seeing and hearing that ovation and feeling that love and knowing that maybe I left a legacy here at Carolina that people were thankful for and will remember … it was just beyond special.

So with that being said, I applaud you all right back. We’re all in this together, and I am so proud to have played for you during my time at Carolina. I could not be more appreciative and thankful.

Like my mom said, I was truly meant to be a Tar Heel, and it really has been a dream come true for me.

Guillermo Hernandez Martinez/The Players’ Tribune

One last thing, though: This is not goodbye.

Not even close!

Some of you may have seen that I recently proposed to my fiancée, Kelsey Porter, right at center court in the Dean Dome. She’s another proud Tar Heel. She loves this place — our school, the tradition — and the people here just as I do.

We might take a look at some places here in Chapel Hill as potential wedding locations, and we are always talking about the things that we might do when we come back to visit in the coming years. Because….

We will be back.

I can promise you right now that I’m always going to be a part of this program and do all that I can to help us continue our tradition of excellence and to show my appreciation for all that UNC has meant to me.

I mean, what can I say? Mom was so right.

Thank you all for being so great to me over the past four years.

See you soon, and … Go Heels!

Joel Berry II

UNC TAR HEELS

BY Joel Berry II / PUBLISHED May/2/2018 / The Players' Tribune

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/joel-berry-ii-thank-you-carolina
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Gerald Henderson: “I’m willing to fill any role, always been a team guy”

April/12/2018

Former No. 12 overall pick Gerald Henderson spoke with HoopsHype about his recovery from his hip surgery that sidelined him all season.

Henderson, 30, has played eight years in the NBA — most recently for the Philadelphia 76ers. He elected to surgically repair his hip and sit out this year rather after getting waived by Philadelphia.

The league veteran told us about how he has spent his time off and what he will be able to provide to his new team next season.

How are you keeping busy today?

Gerald Henderson: I stopped by the Sixers facility today and poked my head in there. They had an off-day today and I saw some of my old teammates and old coaches and stuff. I worked out a little bit on my own. Everyone is good, man. They’re having one hell of a year. They’re trying to get everybody back healthy and stay healthy before the playoffs. It’s been cool, it’s taken a while and they’ve had to change some things around and have some good luck. But things are shaping up for them.

How does the energy feel there compared to the energy last season? 

GH: They have a lot of the same faces over there, I’d say it’s a little bit more upbeat just from winning. It does a lot. I think it’s definitely upbeat. I’ve known a lot of those guys over there for a long time because though they have some new faces, they have a lot of people that are still there from when I was a kid growing up in the Philadelphia area. I got to see them today, too. Didn’t say JJ Redicktoday but he’s my guy. He’s one of the reasons I went to Duke. I got to see him his whole career as I was being recruited there. I’ve always looked up to him. Without the hip injury, I’d probably still be with them in the second year of my contract. It was tough but health comes first with everything and in the long run, it was the best decision I’ve made.

Where are you with your recovery from the hip surgery that has kept you sidelined?

GH: I’m over seven months post operation and I feel great. I’m cleared to do all basketball activities. My hip is strong and I’ve got my bounce back. I’m slowly getting myself into shape. I’ve just been training and though I wanted to play this year, this has been a great time to get my body back in order. When you get a hip injury, it’s not just the hip that gets out of sorts. It’s all a chain, man. Something gets out of wack and you’re going to overuse other parts of your body. I was able to get back to work in the right way. It’s been a long recovery but I feel fresh and ready to ball. I’ve really tightened up my diet and I haven’t had to lose any weight because I kept that down eating more vegetables. I throw tons of veggies into my diet every day. That’s been a huge thing for me. I’ve had a really great support base helping me, I’ve been in Charlotte working at Architect Sports and they pushed me every day. The Duke training staff helped me this year and I’ve been keeping in touch with the Sixers about my recovery and they’ve been very helpful, too. My family has been a great resource top to bottom, too.

Were there thoughts of you trying to come back towards the end of this season on a shorter contract?

GH: I thought about it and some teams came calling. I can’t give you the names but my agent, Jim Tanner, has been talking to teams throughout the season. Some teams were talking about my availability for the rest of the year but I just wouldn’t be ready. I could throw myself out there and see what happens and my hip would be physically healthy. But I don’t know if my entire thing would have held up. I need reps and conditioning and taking a year off, you don’t just jump into shape. It’s a process. I gave myself time for next season instead.

What can you clarify about a hip injury and how it impacts you as a basketball player?

GH: You never realize how much you rely on both of them. Obviously, you need all parts, but your hips (and I’d include your glutes and all that stuff) are what drives you when you’re running and jumping. You don’t think about it when you’re healthy. But those are the things that move you. So when you have an injury, that’s all you think about. When I wake up in the morning, I’m foam rolling and stretching and doing strengthening stuff. If you have deficiencies in your hips, it may not show in your hips. It might show in your knee or your foot or your back. This ain’t my first hip surgery. I’ve been in tune with that stuff over my entire career. I had my first operation after my second operation.

I know that Isaiah Thomas struggled to finish at the rim. It seemed like that was a huge indicator of where he was at with his recovery.

GH: I watched him a lot when he came back and I know he’s in pain because if he wanted to stop and have surgery to be ready for next season. He relies a ton on his athleticism, his change of pace, his acceleration and he’s a little dude but he gets up near the rim. He probably could still do it but when makes you stop is the pain. I’ve been there. At one point in my career, I was relentless at attacking the basket. I always drove the ball pretty well. But it takes a lot to put your head down and blow by guys and continuously drive and get to the rim and receive contact and have to jump. When you are in pain from doing it, you’re going to shy away from it and that’s natural. It didn’t seem like he shied away from it. The pain can make you not focus on making the basket. I can’t say that’s what he experienced but I know from myself, it’s not the same as when you’re healthy.

I’m sure things have changed quite a bit from a recovery process since your dad played in a neck brace during a game. 

GH: That picture is so funny, he told me the story. He broke his jaw the night before and it must have been his first or second year in the league. He was drafted by San Antonio and he got cut. He played in the Western League that they had back done. He won the championship and MVP and the Celtics picked him up. But they could cut you any day and he wasn’t a star player. So he knew he had to play because the mindset was if you can walk, you can play. So he went out there and played with it. It’s funny what would have happened if that was today. He’d be in concussion protocol and he would be sitting out for a month. That’s a cool picture, too, because with the neck brace he’s also got his gold chain, too.

What was the biggest difference in your life this year compared to last year?

GH: I’ve spent so long being on a team and being around that kind of basketball locker room and traveling schedule. You’re used to that kind of lifestyle and this year, for the first time, I didn’t have that. It was a different year for me. I’ve got kids now, I’m getting married in June. I got a little flash of what my life will be like after my career is over. I learned a lot of things about myself and it was really good to be able to spend time with the family, though, that’s for sure. When you’re playing, you miss out on a lot of things. That’s the job. You sacrifice a lot of time that would be spent with them. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina so I went down to Duke every few weeks and worked with their trainers and assistant coaches and they were working me out. Being in there with Coach K was very therapeutic for me. They opened their doors for me and I got that kind of team feel from them.

You also have the podcast with Tyler Hansborough. How did that end up happening?

GH: That was a lot of fun! I think we’ll only have one more episode but that was out of nowhere. We had a mutual friend that put us together and it’s been great. Tyler is an amazing co-host and really good guy. I would have never expected to do a show with him but he was a great college player and he’s got a great knowledge of the game. He loved his school so we were able to go back and forth and talk some junk to each other and just talk basketball and the two schools we both love.

What did you learn from being the other side of a media conversation? 

GH: I also did some other stuff ACC Network on television for a couple Duke games. I covered some radio stuff, I did about four or five games sideline reporting. I wanted to keep myself busy but also that’s a potential career down the line. I wanted to give myself some reps in that. You learn quickly that on the other side when you’re analyzing the game or hosting a show, it’s a lot different. You have to really prepare yourself. You have to really know what you’re talking about and talk in a way that your listeners will understand you. You can’t just talk ball. The podcast is loose, you have to talk in a way that has visuals for your storytelling. You have to amplify yourself and really be detailed in a way you speak. I gained some real respect for people who did that every day and definitely know it’s something that’ll be challenging for me but I’d like to do it.

What else did you pick up during your recovery process from a basketball perspective?

GH: I’ve focused on my jump shot and tried to be a more consistent three-point shooter. It’s gotten better over the last three years but I can improve even more. I’ve done ballhandling since I got out of surgery while sitting down on a chair. That’s been really good. I’ve realized how much I love to play, man. I watched the game every night and I just look in the mirror and do moves like a little kid again.

What is the most appealing thing you can provide to your upcoming team in free agency?

GH: First, I’m willing to fill any role. I’ve always been a team guy. I think that I can help in a lot of different ways. But ideally, I’d be in a situation where they need a veteran presence and I can come in with the right attitude every day and set an example for the squad and the younger guys. I’m going to play hard every single night and I’m going to be able to shoot the basketball. I can defend, too. Overall, I can do the right things on the court and be a leader out there. I’ve scored the basketball my entire career. I think I can be better than I have over the past few years.

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Warriors Sign Guard Quinn Cook to Multiyear Contract

April/10/2018

The 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors have signed guard Quinn Cook to a multiyear contract, the team announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released. Cook originally signed a Two-Way contract with the team on October 17, 2017.

Cook, 25, has appeared in 32 games (17 starts) with Golden State this season, averaging 9.5 points on 49.2 percent shooting from the field (120-of-244 FG), 44.6 percent from beyond the arc (45-of-101 3FG) and 90.5 percent from the free throw line (19-of-21 FT) to go along 2.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 22.1 minutes per contest. The guard has scored in double-figures in each of the last 14 games, including a career-high 30 points versus Milwaukee on March 29, the most points scored in a game by a Two-Way player this season.

Cook played in 29 games (all starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA G League this year, averaging a team-high 25.3 points, 8.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds in 35.9 minutes per game. He shot 52.7 percent from the field, 43.9 percent from three-point range (6th in G League) and 94.9 percent from the free-throw line (1st in G League), becoming the first player in G League history to post a 50/40/90 season. Cook scored 20-or-more points 23 times, including 30-or-more points nine times and 40-plus points three times. He was named to the Midseason All-NBA G League Western Conference Team.

During the 2016-17 NBA season, he played in five games with Dallas and nine games with New Orleans, averaging 5.6 points and 1.9 assists in 13.4 minutes per contest. After a four-year career at Duke, the undrafted guard spent the 2015-16 season and a majority of the 2016-17 campaign with the Canton Charge of the G League, averaging 22.6 points, 6.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.16 steals and 36.0 minutes in 82 games (75 starts). He was twice named to the G League All-Star Team, and earned 2017 G League All-Star Game MVP honors after recording 18 points, a game-high 12 assists and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. He was also named the 2016 G League Rookie of the Year.

The Washington, D.C. native concluded his collegiate career 28th on Duke’s all-time scorers list with 1,571 points. He was one of just seven players in school history to record 1,000 points and 500 assists and set a Duke record with a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.52:1. He was a member of the 2014-15 National Championship team and ranks fourth all-time at Duke in career free throw percentage (.853) and his 143 games played are tied for the seventh most in school history.

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Ray Allen, Grant Hill Named to 2018 Basketball HOF

March/31/2018

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Former NBA stars Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Ray Allen and Grant Hill headline the 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class announced Saturday.

Other inductees include longtime college basketball coach Lefty Driesell, women’s basketball standouts Katie Smith and Tina Thompson, and four-time NBA All-Star Maurice Cheeks.

Kidd, a 10-time NBA All-Star and six-time All-NBA selection, is considered one of the best passers in NBA history. He finished his career second all-time in assists and steals and third all-time in triple-doubles. The 6-foot-4 point guard played for five different franchises and won a title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. He led the league in assists five times in his 19-year career and won two gold medals with the United States.

“It’s just very humbling, surreal, to have this opportunity to play a game that you love and to be honored with this class,” Kidd said. “I would like to thank the Hall of Fame for doing this. And again, this being a team sport, it’s about my teammates and coaches, so hopefully I’m representing them well here today.”

Nash, a native of South Africa who grew up in Canada, is third among the NBA’s all-time assist leaders. He won the MVP award back-to-back years in 2005 and 2006, one of just 12 players to win multiple MVP awards. He made eight All-Star Games and was a seven-time All-NBA selection, including a first-team selection three times, while leading the league in assists on five occasions.

“This is an incredible feeling, obviously,” Nash said. “To cap a career in this way. This is an individual recognition, but truly what makes this special is to share in my journey with so many people that go in with me. But most importantly, to share this recognition with this class and all the Hall of Famers that come before us is incredibly special and is what makes this honor such a prideful thing for me and my family.”

Nash has been serving as a player development consultant for the Golden State Warriors and as general manager of the Canadian national team.

Allen is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. He is the league’s all-time leader in career 3-point field goals made, in both the regular season and postseason. Allen won two NBA championships with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, and made 10 All-Star Games. He was also a two-time All-NBA selection and won a gold medal in 2000. During his time at UConn, Allen won National Player of the Year honors in 1996.

“It’s a long journey” Allen said. “I think about everybody who has had a hand in my growth. Not only as an athlete, but as a person. I think about being a young kid when I first started this game. Not only the people who inspired me to be better, but the people who challenged me by being negative in my direction, also allowed me to be better.

“I think about all the teammates I’ve ever played with. I think about every moment I had to question who I was. In those moments, I didn’t give up on myself. I think about my children, as I go into the Hall, their names will always be in the Hall of Fame. It’s an example for them as they move forward in their lives. To be able to set this example and to be able to go in with this class of individuals, people who I’ve admired and respected, and used their example to grow who I am. The honor is certainly all mine.”

Hill, who shared Rookie of the Year honors with Kidd in the 1994-95 season, made seven All-Star appearances in his 19-year NBA career. Hill, a five-time All-NBA selection, is the first former Duke player to be selected to the Hall of Fame. One of the greatest players in Duke history, Hill was a two-time All-American and won two national championships with the Blue Devils.

Driesell, 86, is 11th all-time among the winningest men’s Division-I coaches in college basketball history. Driesell went to 13 NCAA tournaments, eight of them coming during his time at Maryland from 1969 to 1986. He won the NIT with the Terrapins in 1972. Driesell also was the head coach at Davidson, James Madison and Georgia State.

He’s also credited with creating Midnight Madness in 1971 at Maryland, allowing 3,000 fans to attend a public run three minutes after the official start of practice at midnight.

“I feel humble and grateful for all the players that played for me,” Driesell said. “I think this is more for my players and my coaching staff and my trainers and athletic directors that hired me than it is for me. I’m 86 years old, so I want them to enjoy it. I probably won’t be around too long to enjoy it. I’m proud of my players, the teams that I coached, the institutions I represented. It’s just a big, big honor. It’s the capstone to my professional career.”

Smith and Thompson are two of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time. Smith is the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball, playing in both the ABL and WNBA. She won three Olympic gold medals in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Thompson won four WNBA titles with the Houston Comets and was selected to the All-Star Game nine times. She won two Olympic gold medals.

Cheeks won an NBA championship with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983 and helped lead them to two other NBA Finals trips. He earned four straight All-Defensive First Team selections and retired as the NBA’s all-time steals leader. Cheeks is currently fifth all-time in steals and 13th all-time in assists. He’s spent nine seasons as a head coach for three different franchises, reaching the playoffs three times.

The 2018 Hall of Fame class is rounded out by Rod Thorn, a longtime NBA executive and the general manager of the Chicago Bulls when they drafted Michael Jordan; Charlie Scott, a five-time All-Star who scored nearly 15,000 combined points in the ABA and NBA; Rick Welts, president of the Warriors; Dino Radja, one of FIBA’s 50 greatest players and a two-time EuroLeague champion who played for the Celtics; and Ora Mae Washington, a dominant basketball and tennis player whom Arthur Ashe once said “may have been the best female athlete ever.”

The full class will be inducted on Sept. 7 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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JARRETT ALLEN AND LOCAL 4-H KIDS FIND INNOVATIVE WAY TO TRACK FITNESS

February/28/2018

BROOKLYN – Jarrett Allen is a self-professed tech lover and plays basketball for a living, so anytime he can combine his two passions, he’s all in. Especially when it’s for local children.

The Nets rookie center partnered with 4-H, a organization that focuses on mentoring kids, to build fitness monitors last Friday at the HSS Training Center. This is the second time that the player and organization worked together, as they initially collaborated for a Thanksgiving event a few months ago. Allen, whose father works at Dell as an operations manager, was excited to take part.

“It’s almost like building a computer basically, I have a passion for that so doing this small thing was pretty fun,” Allen told BrooklynNets.com.

Allen and the kids spent 20 minutes building the devices, called “Incredible Wearables” from scratch. After the units were built, Allen and the 4-H’ers took the court to try it out.

To watch how Allen and the kids were able to build the “Incredible Wearables,” check out the video below: http://www.nba.com/nets/news/2018/02/28/allen-4h-build-fitness-monitors

 

BY Alex Labidou / PUBLISHED February/28/2018 / NBA.com

http://www.nba.com/nets/news/2018/02/28/allen-4h-build-fitness-monitors
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1 thing Jeremy Lin misses while rehabbing from season-ending injury? His team

February/07/2018

Jeremy Lin was back on the basketball court this weekend, but unfortunately for Nets fans, not quite for an NBA practice.

Instead, it was for a clinic with PGC Basketball — the company’s president, Mano Watsa, started his career running basketball camps as a teen in high school (his parents, he said, were very cool about it considering they were suddenly hosting dozens of kids in their backyard).

“The most interesting (times were) when we had a rain day. So when it rained we had to take 80 kids into my parents living room for an hour or two. So the good thing was my parents were good sports.”

Decades after starting his camps in his parents’ backyard, Watsa met Lin at a clinic in Charlotte and the two decided to team up for the event in New York at the NBPA headquarters. A group of high school students came for a day of basketball and learning about teamwork.

“We’re teaching them the game of basketball, but things beyond just the game,” Lin said. “They’re things that can be applied to the game but definitely go beyond like teamwork, communication, leadership, life skills, those kinds of things.

“We’re just looking to give these kids opportunities to be able to have experiences they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else and we’ve had the NBPA open up their offices and home facilities with the floor and classroom film area. I think it’s pretty cool because the kids get to come out here and work out on the floor that the NBA players work out on in the summer and that’s been pretty cool to see.”

We spoke to Lin about the clinic and how rehab is going.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE CLINIC?

My favorite moment is just — because we spent an hour and a half in the classroom before we even got on the basketball floor to start — and I wasn’t sure how that was going to work because there was so much information being thrown at them. Just to see them pick up everything and apply it to the game. They were playing 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 and going through drills and we emphasize a lot being positive and high fiving teammates, calling them by name and the tone in which you communicate. To see them do that and bring so much energy to each other, I almost forgot about the basketball. The energy in there and the way in which they treated each other, I was just excited about that.

IS THAT SOMETHING YOU’RE REALLY MISSING?

I miss that and just being a part of some team that’s chasing a greater purpose. Rehab is very individualized and focused on the individual injury. The reason why I love basketball is because I wanted to be on a team and this was a great opportunity to do that. But yeah, I definitely miss it.

I READ THAT YOU TEXT (NETS COACH) KENNY ATKINSON ALL THE TIME WITH TIPS. DO YOU TEXT A LOT OF YOUR TEAMMATES? WHO ARE YOU TEXTING WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING GAMES?

I text a lot of my teammates. They actually check up on me a lot. Also, just we’re all friends on Instagram and Snapchat. A lot of times the person I text is the person I feel like I need to pick up and encourage or someone who I think has done something really great and I just want to let them know their hard work is paying off and I want to encourage them in that area. The reverse is a lot of my teammates just checking in, always asking how I’m doing, when I’ll be back. It’s been really cool and I feel far distance-wise but I feel very close to what’s going on because there’s been so much communication.

HOW’S REHAB GOING?

Everything’s going smooth and exactly to the game plan and the timeline so it’s been very very smooth and I’ve just been really thankful for all the work that other people have put into my rehab as well.

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR SPARE TIME OUTSIDE OF REHAB?

Rehab is probably more time-consuming than if I [was playing] because it’s really an all-day thing so I really don’t have that much time. But I try to spend my free time working on my off-the-court stuff as well, try to get that going and headed in the right direction but yeah not that much spare time.

I have an e-sports team, I have a basketball school that I’ve opened up in China and we’ll expand to five locations soon and then there’s a lot of the social media stuff, other things, endorsements and all of that and maybe figuring out where we want to go next.

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Tandem Signs 76ers Forward Trevor Booker for Full-Service Representation

February/06/2018

NEWS RELEASE

 

Tandem Signs Philadelphia 76ers Forward Trevor Booker for Full-Service Representation

 

Arlington, VA, February 6, 2018 – Tandem Sports + Entertainment has signed NBA forward Trevor Booker for full service representation, Tandem president Jim Tanner announced. Tandem will oversee contractual agreements, personal appearances, public relations services, corporate partnerships and community relations initiatives for Booker.

“Trevor brings incredible energy to his team,” Tanner said. “He’s a team-first player and is known throughout the league as being a good guy on and off the court. We’re especially impressed with Trevor’s businesses outside of basketball. He’s a highly successful entrepreneur and has tremendous business acumen.”

Booker was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in December. He spent the 2016-17 season and the beginning of the 2017-18 season with the Brooklyn Nets and has also played for the Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards. Booker was the 23rd overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He is averaging 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds this season. Prior to the NBA, Booker played four years at Clemson University and was an All-ACC First Team selection as a senior (2009-10).

Outside of his basketball career, Booker is known as a savvy and successful entrepreneur. He and his business partner own several businesses in areas including training academies, real estate and recovery supplements.

ABOUT TANDEM SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Tandem’s roster of clients includes Tim Duncan, Jeremy Lin, Grant Hill, Ray Allen, Justin Jackson, Jarrett Allen, Michael Beasley, John Henson, Brandan Wright, Thaddeus Young, Marvin Williams, Gerald Henderson, Raymond Felton, Wayne Ellington, C. J. Watson, Dominique Wilkins, Alana Beard and Tamika Catchings. Marketing and public relations clients include World Series champion pitcher Chris Young, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Danny Barnes, three-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt and authors Jon Pessah (“THE GAME: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers”) and Adam Lazarus (“Hail to the Redskins”).

Contact:

Meredith Geisler

Tandem Sports & Entertainment, LLC

(703) 740-5015

mgeisler@tandemse.com

###

 

BY Tandem Sports + Entertainment / PUBLISHED February/6/2018 / Tandem Sports + Entertainment

tandemse.com/news
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Derrick Williams: “People count me out. That’s why I got to the NBA”

February/05/2018

Derrick Williams was a rotation player for the Miami Heat and then the Cleveland Cavaliers last year. He averaged just over 17.0 minutes per game for the Cavs and won the Eastern Conference title with the squad during his first career postseason appearance. While he has not yet received a contract offer from an NBA team this season, he has played well since signing a contract to play in the Chinese Basketball Association. The former No. 2 pick recently spoke with HoopsHype about his experience.

How much time had you spent abroad before you took the move overseas?

Derrick Williams: I’d been to China before with the Kings. We were here for a week. But in general, I’ve been all over the place. I went to the Philippines during the lockout year for about five days and played a few games for a couple showcases with Kobe BryantDerrick RoseJames HardenKevin Durant and a few other guys. I’ve also been to Europe plenty of times. I’ve been everywhere. Travelling is one of my favorite things.

The other American on your roster is Pooh Jeter. How are you two as teammates?

DW: He’s been an excellent help. He’s from Los Angeles as well and he’s been on a couple other teams with Mike BeasleyJeremy Tylerand a couple other American guys that I actually know. He’s that old-school, veteran guy that you need off the court and on the court. But you can’t play Americans together in the first or fourth quarter. I didn’t know about that.

Did you speak with others who have played in China before you made your decision?

DW: I actually didn’t. I was looking into different options in Europe, where I had a few offers as well. I just wanted to play basketball. I wasn’t basing my decision on money or anything like that. I was honestly tired of sitting at home. This was my first time without training camp, not playing, waiting. It was awkward for me. I was watching preseason games and then the NBA season started and I just wanted to play! One of the Americans got hurt in China, they called me, I was on the flight the next day. I was so excited to showcase my talent and get out of my comfort zone. I got here January 1.

What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed in your life since moving?

DW: Everything is different. The food and the lifestyle – everything closes around 10 pm. A lot of stuff is banned online; you can’t go to Google or Instagram or Twitter. Some people here have never even heard of it. You can see what’s important in your own life. It’s a good place to get your priorities right. That’s something Pooh Jeter told me he noticed about playing with Michael Beasley and I think that’s one of the reasons why Mike is playing so well for the Knicks right now. He’s doing the things we all know he is capable of doing.

Everything has been on the up for me since I got here. I really came here to open people’s eyes again and really bring back to life what I bring to the table not just my game but my personality, character and different things to different teams. Every stop in my career, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about what I can bring to the team.

How big of a deal are Americans (like former teammate Jimmer Fredette) out there?

DW: He’s super big out here. He’s very successful and there are guys that are superstars out here. He might not be an NBA All-Star or anything like that but it’s a great opportunity to get your confidence up, too. They love Americans out here. They love basketball in general. We bring the NBA identity and they feed off it. I know he’s had different people call him from NBA teams but he’s been excellent.

I mean, I get recognized here every single day. People bring me cards from my rookie season or cards from the Cavs, the Knicks. People don’t forget. They aren’t so much the “what have you done for me lately?” type. They remember college and high school stats and have magazines from ten years ago. They love when Americans come here and really enjoy the culture of what we bring. It’s not just us trying to go there and enjoy what they bring. They try to embrace the exchange.

You were a spot-up shooter for the Cavs but played in transition for the Knicks. Where do you feel most comfortable?

DW: When I played for the Knicks, it was the first time in the NBA that someone tried to use my athleticism to the advantage of the team. It’s often about the opportunity. Which coach is going to give you a chance to display what you can bring best? New York let me showcase my ability and the Cavs let me run with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. Those guys encouraged me to get the rebound and just go.

Whether I’m getting a rebound and starting a fast break or one of those guys does and I got out in the open court, it was awesome. I was able to knock down spot-up shots or corner threes in the half-court offense in Cleveland, too, because I’m a slasher. I’m able to get to the lane and use my hybrid to my advantage. It’s so crazy because when I was drafted as a hybrid 3-4, that’s not something front offices were looking for. But now all of a sudden that’s exactly what they’re looking for in a player. That’s what I do. That’s how I got into the league. I’m a mismatch nightmare and play both positions.

Let’s play rapid-fire reactions to some NBA storylines this season. Lauri Markkanen?

DW: He’s an excellent player. I watched the tournament and in the game that they were eliminated, the other team went zone and he didn’t touch the ball in the second half. I’m not really sure why not, it was obvious that dude could hoop, and I was asking everyone I was with why he didn’t get all the shots because he was their main guy. It’s awesome to see a guy coming from overseas go to Arizona and then have the impact right away. It’s great to see players from your alma mater do well. I’m very excited and I’m not surprised. With his size and athleticism, there aren’t too many players in the league who can shoot like him.

The next guy I’m going to mention will likely be the highest draft pick from Arizona since you: DeAndre Ayton.

DW: I’ve watched a few games from him and, dang, that’s a big boy right there. I can’t exactly pinpoint a comparison other than like Dwight Howard who dominates in the post. He’s going to be a very good big man, very unique, potential franchise player. You can’t teach size and strength like that. You really can’t stop him.

What was your immediate reaction to the recent Blake Griffin trade?

DW: That was crazy! I was there with Carmelo Anthony when he was on the Knicks and I knew he had a no-trade clause in his deal. I think people were hating on him for that but I don’t know why you’d hate on that. I believe if Blake Griffin would have been able to do that, he wouldn’t have ended up in Detroit. That caught me by surprise. He signed for a ton of money this summer and he is a franchise player. There were still a few days before the trade deadline. But even though it’s a game we love to play and watch, it’s also a multi-billion dollar business. I don’t even think that Blake would have expected to wear a Pistons jersey after this offseason but front offices are going to play chess sometimes. No one is safe in their positions. I’m excited about what he’s going to do in Detroit, though. He’s already off to the right start.

What are your observations about the development of Kristaps Porzingis?

DW: It’s great that he’s getting the opportunity to be the face of the franchise. When you have someone as big as Porzingis who can shoot the three-pointer from NBA range with that kind of basketball IQ and athleticism, you have to take full advantage of that. He’s a one-of-a-kind player and I can’t even imagine what he’s going to be like in four of five years when he has his legs under him and that strength we want to see him develop. He already has that touch and he is going to evolve over time. He can add like three different moves that you can’t guard. I was there for his rookie season and it got me so excited.

What are you seeing from the struggling Cavaliers after being on the team last year?

DW: I was there for that run last season and I was around those guys, multiple All-Stars. I was finally around NBA winners. That’s what I lacked my first few years in the league. I was never with a winning organization. I needed to be around people who wanted to win, who hated losing. I got that chance and I wish it was the whole season. They’ve had a few injuries this year and they have so many new players. It’s hard to adjust when you have that many new players on your team. There are teams like the Spurs who have had the same core for so long. I didn’t think they would be in this position but you still see flashes of potential from them. There are bumps in the road, too.

They’re just missing the toughness. They’re missing energy and excitement. LeBron will bring that but he can’t do it all himself. There will always be five men on the court. That was a little bit of what I brought to the team last season. I brought energy, effort, efficiency. Right now it feels like there is a little bit of coasting, to be honest. It’s a long season but you can’t get bored of winning. LeBron will never get that way but you never know with other players.

What are some of your biggest motivations and inspirations both on and off the court?

DW: I’m 26 years old. People love to count me out. That’s the reason why I got to the NBA, though. The position that I’m in now is the reason why I made it. It’s like adding fuel to the fire. When I see people like Beasley coming back from where they are, people bring them down and they bring it right back. That’s what I live for. I just can’t wait until that happens again. It’s all about the daily grind and getting back to the basics. If people stopped hating so much, the world would be so much better. But someone will always talk bad about you. It’s how you get back, people are going to knock you down.

What is something you would tell a front office looking to sign you?

DW: I’ve always been a team player. I’m young in the basketball world. I have a lot of time to really get better, too. I’m going to focus, that’s why I’m here in China. Sometimes, people just get too comfortable in the NBA. I wouldn’t say I went that route. But the reason I got to the league was that I was comfortable with being uncomfortable. I was the No. 2 overall pick but it was wild considering I wasn’t ranked in the ESPN Top 100 coming out of high school. But two years later, I was right there.

The things you dream can come to fruition. I’m a prime example of working to your goals. I’m not in the spot I want to be in but sometimes you do things you don’t want to do. I want to be in the NBA. I’m an NBA player with NBA talent. Things happen for a reason and when I get a call back to the NBA, I won’t take it for granted. I will live like this until the day I can’t play basketball any longer.

BY Bryan Kalbrosky / PUBLISHED February/5/2018 / HoopsHype

http://hoopshype.com/2018/02/05/derrick-williams-china-cavs-michael-beasley-nba-return/
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Tandem Signs Derrick Williams for Full-Service Representation

January/30/2018

NEWS RELEASE

 

Tandem Signs Derrick Williams for Full-Service Representation

 

Arlington, VA, January 30, 2018 – Tandem Sports + Entertainment has signed Derrick Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, for full service representation, Tandem president Jim Tanner and basketball operations coordinator Max Wiepking announced. Tandem will oversee contractual agreements, personal appearances, public relations services, corporate partnerships, community relations initiatives and business opportunities for Williams

“Derrick is an extremely talented player and is looking for the right NBA opportunity,” Tanner said. “He’s playing well in China right now and he’s more motivated than ever to get back into the league. We’re really looking forward to working with Derrick and helping him in the next stage of his career.”

Williams was drafted to the Minnesota Timberwolves after two years at the University of Arizona where he earned Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors (2010) and Pac-10 Player of the Year honors (2011). After his rookie season with the Timberwolves, Williams was an All-Rookie Second Team selection (2011-12). He also participated in the 2012 NBA Dunk Contest.

Throughout six NBA seasons, Williams has played for the Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and most recently with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he won an Eastern Conference Championship (2017). Williams currently plays for Tianjin in China.

ABOUT TANDEM SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Tandem’s roster of clients includes Tim Duncan, Jeremy Lin, Grant Hill, Ray Allen, Justin Jackson, Jarrett Allen, Michael Beasley, John Henson, Brandan Wright, Thaddeus Young, Marvin Williams, Gerald Henderson, Raymond Felton, Wayne Ellington, C. J. Watson, Dominique Wilkins, Alana Beard and Tamika Catchings. Marketing and public relations clients include World Series champion pitcher Chris Young, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Danny Barnes, three-time Olympic gold medalist LaShawn Merritt and authors Jon Pessah (“THE GAME: Inside the Secret World of Major League Baseball’s Power Brokers”) and Adam Lazarus (“Hail to the Redskins”).

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BY Tandem Sports + Entertainment / PUBLISHED January/30/2018 / Tandem Sports + Entertainment

tandemse.com/news
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