Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Bennett’

The Timberwolves go to the State Fair

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — It’s been a big week for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who officially completed the Kevin Love trade and have effectively re-made their roster, adding a few new players. To celebrate the new additions, the Wolves had Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young and Zach LaVine in Minnesota to meet the fans at a big rally downtown.

And then? The guys went to the Minnesota State Fair, because why not? The State Fair apparently has a lot of fun stuff to do, particularly if you’re a member of the T-Wolves.

What to do at the State Fair? Well, you pose with your head behind the board at the cheese on a stick sign…

You eat some donuts and rate them as “fire”…

You throw water balloons into a bucket on a dude’s head…

You go head-first down a gigantic slide…

You eat a corn dog…

Bennett definitely enjoyed himself…

After all that? You take your prizes and go home…

Timberwolves offer fans excuse to skip work

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — With the trades finally complete to bring Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young to Minnesota, the Timberwolves will welcome their newest additions (along with first round pick Zach LaVine) to town this afternoon with a rally in downtown Minneapolis. The one issue here is that this could be problematic with people who have, you know, jobs, where they’re required to be in an office during this rally. So how to make sure people are able to make it? Offer them an excuse! Today on Timberwolves.com, the Wolves posted a note from Coach/GM Flip Saunders to people’s bosses, asking for some time off (and even making an Office Space reference).

Now if you guys will excuse me I’ve gotta go print this out…

2014-wolves-excuse-note

Summer MUSCLEWATCH Round-up


VIDEO: Jrue MUSCLEWATCH

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — There are still a few months until NBA training camps begin, so NBA players still have time to get in the weight room and add 15 pounds of muscle, the amount they always seem to add, and make an appearance on MUSCLEWATCH. Once camps start up we’ll launch our official MUSCLEWATCH 2014, but right now with plenty of guys playing in summer league, we can make an initial check-in and see how MUSCLEWATCH is shaping up.

What, you may be asking, is MUSCLEWATCH? It stems from my friend Matt and I noticing years ago that out local paper used to always say that players had gained 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason. No matter the sport, it was never 12, never 16, never 9, never 18, always 15 pounds of muscle. So we began keeping an eye on the papers looking for references to the magic 15 pounds of muscle. I started chronicling this each season in my blog over at SLAM, and eventually MUSCLEWATCH became about more than just the 15 pounds of muscle and more about guys who had either gained or lost a lot of weight. Previous winners include Thad Young and Rudy Gay. If you see MUSCLEWATCH info, tweet it and use the hashtag #MUSCLEWATCH to help us keep all this info straight.

On to the MUSCLEWATCH…

Anthony Davis is already making a case to be a MUSCLEWATCH winner this season.

• In the video above, AD’s teammate Jrue Holiday talks about adding muscle and strengthening the leg he had surgery on. We don’t get any concrete numbers, but he still has months to go.

• One of the big stories from summer league has been the newly-slimmed Anthony Bennett, who looks much different. According to our man Steve Aschburner, Bennett has lost 15 pounds from his playing weight last season. I also love this quote from Bennett so much: “It wasn’t really that tough. My body is kind of weird. I can gain weight fast, I can lose weight fast. So it was just me maintaining it. Watching what I eat at night.”

• Bulls forward Tony Snell arrived for summer league not only with his braids gone, but with 10 pounds of muscle added. “I’ve been in the weight room a lot and I’m eating right,” Snell said. That’ll do it, Tony.

Victor Oladipo is dropping weight this summer. Might want to slow the pace a bit, Vic, considering we have a few months to go…

• Battling with Anthony Davis for MUSCLEWATCH honors may be Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng, who has added 17 pounds(!) since the season ended and has plans to keep going. Do it, Gorgui!

• Finally, Brandon Jennings has some vague weight goals on his mind…

Roy Hibbert Sticks Up for Anthony Bennett

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Cleveland Cavaliers used the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft to select Anthony Bennett out of UNLV. This was considered something of a surprise — even though there was no real consensus number one overall prospect, Bennett was not being projected by many experts as the top pick.

It was thought that the Cavs drafted Bennett hoping for an immediate contributions, yet as of today he was averaging just 2.8 points per game, to go along with 2.5 rebounds per game. So last week when Bennett had a 15-point, 8-rebound game against the New Orleans Pelicans, many wondered if Bennett was finally breaking out and showing why the Cavs drafted him first overall. Was this just an aberration? Was Bennett just having one good game? (In the two games after his big night, he scored a combined 6 points.)

Someone out there took to Photoshop to poke fun at Bennett’s big game by crossing it with the iconic image of Wilt Chamberlain after he scored 100. And that’s when Pacers big man Roy Hibbert got involved. Hibbert himself had something of a slow rise to prominence in the NBA, averaging 7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game as a rookie, but through hard work and dedication has been able to turn himself into an All-Star center and dominant defender.

And as Hibbert explained, it’s still way too early to judge Bennett…

(via B/R)

Draft Diaries: Anthony Bennett

stern-bennett

By Anthony Bennett, for NBA.com

A Draft Dream

I was extremely excited – and a little bit shocked – when I heard my name called as the first pick in the 2013 NBA Draft! Before the Draft, a lot of people were saying there wasn’t a clear choice for the first pick. I heard I could have been drafted third, fourth, maybe sixth, seventh or eighth. So when I heard my name called as the number one pick, it was crazy!

I was sitting at the table with my mom, brother, nephew, agent and best friend, and everybody was so excited and happy…especially my mom. She was in shock and couldn’t even speak; she was just smiling and screaming! There also was a big group of my friends and family who drove in from my hometown of Toronto (about a 10-hour drive) watching from the stands. When I was on the stage, I could see and hear all of them standing up and cheering! I’ll tell you, there was a decent sized section of Canadians out there in the crowd! It was a huge moment for me to shake David Stern’s hand, especially since it was the last time he would be announcing the Draft picks.

My phone started blowing up right away, but I didn’t get a chance to look at it until after I spoke with the media. By that time, my mom came out of her shock and told me she was really proud of me and to keep working hard. As for the rest of the night, we just chilled because I had to catch a flight to Cleveland the next morning.

The whole experience of the Draft was truly unbelievable!

Hello, Cleveland and Toronto
cavs-bennett

The day after the draft I flew on the Cavaliers’ private jet to Cleveland for the team’s press conference. While there, I had a chance to talk to Mike Brown. He was really cool. I actually met him when I was in Cleveland for a few days, right before the Draft. He expressed how excited he was and said he can’t wait for the season to get going. I also saw my new teammate Tristan Thompson; he came by the gym to say congratulations. The rest of the team was either back home or working out elsewhere. People told me that a couple of my teammates tried to hit me up on Twitter, but it was such a crazy day for me, I didn’t get a chance to see it for myself.

After being in Cleveland for the day I had a chance to go home to Toronto for a little bit. I had a huge barbecue with all my friends and family there. It was actually on July 1, which is Canada Day. Since we had a feeling a lot of people would come, we decided to host it at a local school.  It was a great event and I was really happy people came by to hang out and celebrate.

 

Back In Business

I’m in Cleveland now, and I have started my rehab again at the practice facility here. My rehab regimen is not just focusing on my shoulder, but it is also centered on my legs, cardio, and putting up shots. I’m starting to shoot during workouts – but not too much – just to get the motion back. I’m shooting pretty well, and my arm isn’t getting tired. The trainers say my shoulder is looking good and I’ve heard multiple times that I should be playing by the first week in August. I am anxiously awaiting the day when I can get back on that court!

I’ve only been back in Cleveland for a few days, but everywhere I go, fans are showing me a lot of love and asking for my autograph. It’s cool, there’s a lot of fan support here. I went downtown a couple times to walk around and explore a little bit, and I got a chance to catch that Kevin Hart movie “Let Me Explain.”

Next up, I leave for Las Vegas on the 17th for the NBA Summer League. I’m going to watch the games, and afterward I plan on staying out there for a few days to chill out and see some of my friends from UNLV.

I’m also really excited to get a new house! Right now, I’m living in a hotel until I find a place, but I’m going house hunting this week. I don’t really know what I’m looking for, but I’m open to the experience. I’m definitely trying to find a house with enough space so that my mom can come down whenever she wants to visit. I think by the time I get back from Vegas, I should be settled and living in my new house!

It’s really crazy. Coming from a small house, basically in the hood, now I can just live life more comfortably and without any regrets. I can support my family. This all something that every kid works for…I’m so happy!

Check me out on Twitter at @anthonybennett. It’s going to be a busy summer, and I’ll be tweeting about it!
a

Draft Diaries: Anthony Bennett

Anthony Bennett (Courtesy UNLV athletics)

Anthony Bennett (Courtesy UNLV athletics)

By Anthony Bennett, for NBA.com

On the mend

I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder about a month ago, and I’ve been rehabbing for a few weeks now. Rehab is going great, and the doctors say I’m recovering faster than normal. I should be back to 100 percent by early August, which is great news.

I’m in my third week of rehab now and I’m starting to try some light shooting and weight training. For the first week in rehab, we were mostly icing my shoulder and doing some exercises to increase the range of motion in the area. Then we added conditioning, so after every rehab session, I got on an elliptical machine to get in some cardio. I’m excited that the process is going well, and that it’s almost time to start getting back on the court. I’m not trying to rush the recovery process, but I’m getting back into it and am on a great road to recovery right now. It’s a process, and I’m taking it day by day. No dunking or showing off for the camera quite yet!

I will tell you that I’m so, so glad that I had this surgery when I did because now I should be back in action in time for training camp. Looking back, it’s really crazy that I was playing at the end of my college season with this injury.

I’m feeling very confident about not only coming back 100 percent, but even better than before! I can’t wait to go out there and perform on the big stage!

Pre-Draft life

I’m living in Long Island, NY, with Ramon Galloway out of La Salle University.  It’s low key out here, which is good because it makes it that much easier to stay focused. The area is quiet, so I spend most of my time going to rehab, resting and slowly getting back into the gym.

The cool thing about living in Long Island is that I’ve been able to visit New York City a bunch of times. I’d been to New York a couple times before for basketball, but this has been the first time I’ve really been able to explore the city. I went to see the Statue of Liberty, which was real cool! I always heard about it, but I finally had the chance to see it for myself. I skipped the Empire State Building though because I’m afraid of heights! I also took a trip out to Brooklyn to watch the Jordan Brand Classic at the Barclays Center. I knew some of the guys playing in it, so I was supporting them.

Final thoughts

My prediction for the NBA Finals is that San Antonio wins it all in six games. They have a lot of veterans on that team that know what they have to do to win. It’s going to be real intense and definitely will come down to the wire. I want Tracy McGrady to get a ring. He used to be a Raptor, and since I’m from Toronto, I have to support him! I’m too young to remember and understand the game when he actually played in Toronto, but I’ve seen the highlights.

The Draft is just a couple weeks away, and I’m excited and anxious. Anybody can go #1; that spot is open and available. Even if I’m not drafted where I’m hoping to be selected, I’m happy to be part of this process and have the opportunity to play in a league full of great players.

One thing I have left to decide is what I’m wearing on Draft night. As long as I’m looking good on TV, then I’m cool!

Follow me on Twitter @anthonybennett or Instagram at ab3nnett. I make jokes, show off my outfits, a little bit of everything. And for more on my journey to the NBA Draft, visit www.draftdreams.com.

Draft Diaries: C.J. McCollum

By C.J. McCollum, for NBA.com

The Graduate

CJ McCollum and family

The proud graduate with his family.

When I saw the look on my Mom and Dad’s face as I crossed the stage at graduation, I knew all the hard work and late nights in the library were worth it! I graduated from Lehigh University a couple weeks ago, and not only did I feel a great sense of pride, but I had a lot of fun! My whole family was there to see me graduate. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Aunt, and almost all of my cousins were there. We did miss my brother, though, who is overseas playing professional basketball in Greece. I hadn’t seen my family since Easter, so it was nice to spend time with everybody and enjoy the end of a fun, exciting chapter and the start of a new one with them.

NBA TV was on-site documenting the whole thing. They started taping my family and me before we left the house in the morning and then captured more footage at graduation. They also interviewed my teammates and coaching staff at Lehigh. It’s supposed to air when it gets closer to the Draft. Oh, and I took a selfie with the school president as she handed me my diploma, which was hilarious – I hope NBA TV got that on film!

A lot of students and their families were asking for my picture and for an autograph. It took my Mom and I about an hour and a half to get from the field where we had graduation back to the car since I kept stopping to talk to people. It was definitely fun for me, especially because I can clearly remember a time when nobody wanted my autograph. In the last two years, as I’ve progressed in basketball and made more of a name for myself, I realize I get that request more and more often and I take a lot of pride in that.

The whole graduation experience was filled with mixed emotions. It was great to celebrate and get together with my friends one last time in a college setting. I felt content with my college career because I did just about everything I wanted to accomplish, except winning a National Championship of course. It was tough, but all of the hard work was definitely worth it!

Front Row At The Draft Lottery

I had a chance to go to the NBA Draft Lottery, which was awesome! I went with Anthony Bennett and Michael Carter-Williams, two fellow Draftees I’ve spent a lot of time with since I started training in Long Island. Not only were we sitting front row, but I also got the chance to meet Damian Lillard, who was the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year. We’ve been in contact over the last few years, so it was good to finally meet him in person. I had a chance to speak to him privately about his experience transitioning from a smaller school to the NBA. I also was interested in hearing how he stayed consistent and dealt with the ups and downs of his rookie season.

After I spoke to him on the side, NBA TV taped Anthony, Michael and I picking Damian’s brain a little bit, asking all kinds of questions about life in the NBA.

Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, top picks in the 2012 NBA Draft, were there too and it was real nice to meet them. They were cool and happy to share their experiences with us.

We also met and shook hands with Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner, soon to be Commissioner Adam Silver. I hope to be shaking Commissioner Stern’s hand again very soon at the Draft!

I’ve always watched the NBA Draft Lottery on TV, but to be there live and in a situation where the Lottery will dictate which team will Draft me … now that’s very interesting.

Eye On The Prize

We’ve been tapering down our training a bit so nobody gets hurt, especially since we’re traveling to a lot of team workouts. Of course we’re still getting in our reps, but it’s just not as intense.

It has been nice to see all of the positive feedback from teams and the media. Sometimes I look at the player rankings, but I don’t read into it too much or let it alter my mindset. The path to the Draft is a long process and all you can control is how hard you work and how well you prepare yourself and I feel like I’ve done a good job with both of those things.

It’s actually been easy for me to stay focused and on the right track because I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time. I’m almost there, I can taste it … the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, the NBA Draft Lottery, next thing I know it will be Draft night, so it’s all business right now. I have been able to enjoy myself a little bit though. Last week I took in a Yankee/Mets game, which was great.  Special thanks to the Lehigh Alum who took care of us at the game. We have a great alumni network and I’m proud to now be part of it! Aside from the baseball game and a barbeque on Memorial Day, it has been all about basketball!

As for my mindset now, I’m fully recovered from my injury, and my body feels strong. I have my college degree. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity and hope to reach my dream of not only getting drafted, but also becoming an NBA mainstay and building a legacy in the league. I’ve worked extremely hard, and I’m ready for the next step!

I’m not sure if I’ll be blogging again before the Draft, so make sure to follow me on Twitter @CJMcCollum and on instagram and vine @3JMCCOLLUM to catch the latest on my journey. Wish me luck!

A Night At The NBA Draft Lottery

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in New York City, a handful of NBA franchises looking for a little luck gathered in Times Square to try and beat the odds. That’s right, it’s the annual NBA Draft lottery, where the best of the worst vie for the first pick in the NBA Draft. I showed up and brought my cell phone camera along with me to see what went down behind the scenes.

Let’s get to the pictures …

photo 1

I arrived in Times Square right around 6:30 p.m. and fought my way over to the ABC Studios, where they shoot “Good Day America” or “Today This Morning” or whatever they call it — one of those morning shows that airs when I’m still asleep. There’s never really a good time to be in Times Square, because it is consistently crowded and busy and bustling, but 6:30 p.m. must be just about the worst time. Add in that it was humid and in the mid-80s today, and Times Square felt a bit like being stuck in a mosh pit. Or at the bottom of a mosh pit. (more…)