Fri Jan 18 07:20pm EST
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: Pacers.com. We've spent a decade getting to know David West's game — the bruising post play, the high-low acumen, the soft touch on that 16-footer, the fact that no person in their right mind wants any quarrel with this grown-ass man — but, if you're like me, you don't know a whole lot about how the Indiana Pacers' probably-should-be-All-Star power forward got to where he is today. For tramps like us, Mark Montieth's got a damn fine two-part profile of Indy's steady-as-she-goes leader.
PF: CSNNE.com. Another outstanding profile, this one from Boston Celtics beat writer Jessica Camerato, of West's former Pacers teammate, guard Leandro Barbosa. When you think of the Brazilian shooting guard, you probably think of speed, high-octane offense, those "Seven Seconds or Less" Phoenix Suns teams and generally happy, positive things ... but as Barbosa tells Camerato, that's not how his story started, and, unfortunately, not necessarily where he finds himself now. There are some gut punches here.
SF: TrueHoop and TrueHoop again. There is a RIDICULOUS amount to learn in these two posts about the coaching histories, philosophies and pedagogies of Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau (by Beckley Mason) and Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle (by Kevin Arnovitz). A RIDICULOUS amount.
Mon Jan 04 10:30am EST
It's New Years Eve and I'm sitting here cooking Hamburger Helper, watching "The Hangover" on my computer. [Ed. note: Benson filed this post on Thursday evening.] Chances are good I won't even make it to midnight, because I'm tired and we have a game tomorrow. In the next week we play five times, including two games in Idaho at the D-League Showcase. It's kind of a big week. What a way to start 2010.
It's funny, because 2010 has a special significance for me. I was on the phone with my boy earlier and we were talking about how much faster time seems to go now and how it seems crazy that the Y2K scare happened 10 years ago. As we reminisced, I remembered an essay I had to write right after Christmas break when I was a sophomore in high school in 2000. My history teacher, Mr. Greenstein, had us write about where we thought we would be in the year 2010.
At the time, 10 years seemed to be an eternity and it was difficult to picture a 25-year-old version of myself. Still, I sat down and wrote an essay that I still clearly remember. I wrote that I was going to be in the NBA in 2010 and that I would be in commercials and television and have a college degree. Looking back, it's especially funny because I was the last man on the J.V. hoops team (I didn't even play varsity until I was a senior), I was an average student, and I had never even been on camera. Looking 10 years into the future, I fantasized about a life that I was not at all headed towards.
My boy interrupted my story to say, "That's crazy."
I told him, "I know. Now I'm just a guy cooking Hamburger Helper in Reno."
All jokes aside, 2010 is here and two of my three goals have come to fruition. There's just one more left to handle and that's associating myself with those three letters. N-B-A. I've been working on it for a couple of years now and I've been close, but never crossed the line.
Slowly, I've been trying to eliminate the reasons why. I put on weight this offseason. I've refined my offensive game. I've refined my defensive game. I've done the training camps and competed with and against the best. When I was in camp with the Pacers, they asked me to stop blogging while I was there and I did that, too.
There's really only one more thing I can do and that's to take it a step further. I'm taking a step back and quitting the Yahoo! blog game. I would consider it more of a Brett Favre retirement, but still, I'll be away from the blog as long as I'm in the NBA realm. It just seems that I'm closer than ever and I'm no longer going to give anyone a reason to scratch me off their list.
As far as this season goes, I'm averaging about 15 and 9, 2.5 steals (top 5 in the NBA D-League), 2 blocks per game and a Synergy Sports stat breakdown that was emailed to me by Blazersedge says that I'm in the 100th percentile for post defense. I'll carry these numbers into the showcase, and do my best to show how they can translate to the next level. For the first time, however, I'll be doing it blog-free. Maybe that will be the stat that people want to see.
You can still catch me on Twitter (@boomtho), and I very sparingly update toomuchrodbenson.com, but that has become more video oriented because I still have a need to be creative and stimulate my mind in that way. I recently dropped my newest video "R-O-D B-E-N Son!" last week and, of course, I think it's gold. It's named after me, so, of course.
You can also still get tickets to see any game that I'm playing in by sending an email to me via my site. If you can't make it out to see a game, you can see EVERY D-League game on nba.com/futurecast. Lastly, if you like what you see (you should) you can vote for me to go to the D-League All Star game in Dallas. Players who are called up can still play in this game, so hopefully I can have it all come Valentine's weekend.
Thanks for reading my stuff over the past couple of seasons. It's definitely cool to be blogging on this level, but if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because good things are happening.
It's 2010 and I have to prove the 15-year-old Benson correct. I have to get in the league.
Tue Nov 10 04:10pm EST
Back in late September, I signed with the Indiana Pacers on a non-guaranteed contract. Seconds after placing my John Hancock on the final piece of paper, I was politely asked to shut down my blog and Twitter account while the team and league worked on new guidelines for social media. Given the questions that have been raised in the past about blogging and its ramifications on my potential signing, I had no reservations about shutting it down.
Quietly, I had a very successful training camp. It was hardly an open tryout, because their contract situation was already solidified, but I know I impressed nearly everyone. Truly, it was a far cry from my last camp experience with the Nets. I was prepared, I improved and I played hard everyday. There's nothing like hearing Larry Bird tell you that he thinks you're a hell of a player. In fact, in the midst of my best preseason game, I stole the ball from Johan Petro(notes) and I could hear Mr. Bird yell from his courtside seat: "Yeah, Rod!"
While in camp with the Pacers, I still kept a journal of my experience, took pictures during our trips and used my personal gift from David Stern (a Flip camera that everyone got) to record plenty of video. The recorded footage ranges from meeting Jackie Chan on my birthday, to watching the team give T.J. Ford(notes) fashion advice, to snapping pictures of LeBron ads in Beijing.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll drop some of this stuff on you.
Today, I'll start with a video compilation from Taipei and The Great Wall of China.
Rod Benson is a Cal grad who last played for the D-League's Reno Bighorns. When he's not busy ballin', he blogs once occasionally at Ball Don't Lie. Read his archive, pay a visit to TooMuchRodBenson.com and always support the Boom Tho movement.
Thu Sep 03 03:10pm EDT
A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: Dodgers.com, via BF. Congrats to Blake Griffin(notes) for "slam dunking first-pitch duties" at Dodger Stadium.
PF: Celtics Town. Seven pressing questions for the Boston Celtics heading into 2009-2010.
SF: The Baseline. The Bryant "Big Country" Reeves Memorial Overpaid List.
SG: Indy Cornrows. Pacers guard T.J. Ford(notes) is for the people.
PG: Deep Purple. The Suns want to give you a unique experience while surfin' the web.
6th: Dime. Watch as Tracy McGrady(notes) puts in work to recover from micro-fracture knee surgery.
7th: Detroit Free Press. No more No. 3 for Ben Wallace(notes). He will wear No. 6 for the Pistons this season.
8th: HP. Jon Nichols explores how James changes his style of attack as the game progresses
9th: The Blowtorch. A couple of hipsters play basketball ...
10th: Ridiculous Upside. What's the worst motivational speech or ploy you've ever heard, Rod Benson(notes)? "We had just won and were playing the same team the next night. My coach, who will remain nameless, said this: 'That game was like sleeping with your sister. Yeah, it was good, but not as good as it should have been.' True story. I've never seen more confused faces."
Got a tip/link/recipe for Ball Don't Lie? Hit me up at jeskeets [at] yahoo.ca or follow me on Twitter.