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Old 07-20-2010, 07:04 PM   #1
04mzwach
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Default Rashad McCants Article

I've always been a fan of Rashad McCants...I hope he can get back into the league.


Quote:
The Timberwolves' bus pulls up to the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey following an afternoon practice. Players still in workout togs file off. Some have draped towels around their necks, others have fixed ice packs to knees and shoulders. Everything around them seems small: the scurrying bellhop, a lone autograph seeker, an elderly couple in need of directions. It is one of the countless humdrum moments of an NBA season that blur into nothingness.


From a chair inside a dimly lit lounge just off the hotel lobby, Rashad McCants watches his former teammates walk by. He has taken the stroll hundreds of times, but this is the first time he has seen it from the angle of an ex-player. As the Wolves push through the lobby a few of them spot an old pal. "Shaddy!" shouts Corey Brewer, who once battled McCants for minutes. Some wrap him in hugs. McCants grins uncontrollably as he is peppered with questions. Where are you living? When are you coming back? Ryan Gomes offers his new cell number. Al Jefferson sits down to reminisce. He and McCants laugh about the time Kevin McHale put a garbage can by the court after learning that Jefferson had had a birthday party the night before.


Then, just as quickly as they flocked to him, the players head to their rooms. Elevator doors close. A December Santa Ana wind rushes through the now-vacant lobby. Outside, McCants hands over his claim check. "What room is it under?" the valet asks.
"Al Jefferson."
Good try. "That'll be $12," the valet says.
Every profession has its sore thumbs, employees who stick out because they can't fit in, underpaid, underappreciated or unloved. Or maybe they're just perpetually pissed off. Still, unless you happen to share a cubicle with one, they are someone else's problem. But who wants to pay to see a bristly millionaire play a game? More important, who wants to pay him? Especially in a sport like basketball, where on-court chemistry is paramount. In the confines of an NBA locker room, one sourpuss can send a season into a tailspin. The slightest frown can fray a relationship, label a guy or halt a career.


Just ask McCants. He'll tell you that gainful employment in the NBA is a delicate thing, easily thrown off kilter by meddling forces, real or imagined. A coach who wants to derail your career, too many visits to the psychiatrist, and, well, suddenly you have a tainted aura that, like an oil spill, grows out of control with no hint of containment.
The common refrain about McCants' predicament is that it has never been about his game. "He's a pure talent with a high basketball IQ," former Wolves GM McHale says of his former shooting guard. "Beautiful stroke, great body, everything. His problem was giving himself up to the team." That view is seconded by many who shared his locker room, whether McCants' under-his-breath mumbles were directed at them or not. "In any line of work you have to know how to talk to people and when to bite your tongue," says Kevin Love, who played with McCants two years ago. "Rashad has a me-against-the-world attitude. You have to get past that if you want to help yourself."
Sye Williams/ESPN The MagazineArmed with a feathery J and a quick first step, McCants says there isn't a two guard that can stop him.


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