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Old 07-20-2010, 06:08 PM   #3
NBA sixth man of the year
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Default Re: Rashad McCants Article


Carlisle's interest in McCants didn't last long enough for the Mavs to make him an offer, and by New Year's 2010 he'd begun to realize that the best he could do was a 10-day contract. "The fact that nobody wanted me was so frustrating," he says.
So now he's left to try to get back into the game any way he can. "Do I have to change who I am to fit into an organization?" he wonders aloud. "That's what I'm asking myself."
He also has to ask how it all went wrong.
McCants was drafted by Minnesota with the 14th pick in 2005, and his baggage seemed to arrive before he did. McCants had long been perceived as sullen, moody and aloof, and he did nothing to change perceptions in his new town. He barely smiled when introduced to season ticket-holders, while an admonishment from coaches to be on time elicited an exaggerated eye roll. He wanted you to hear that sigh from across the locker room, a reminder that he didn't think he was getting the touches he deserved.
Funny thing is, off the court he presents like any pro his age. There's the Cheshire Cat smile when he puts the smackdown on an opponent in DJ Hero, the boisterous laugh when friends hit his BlackBerry. Some nights, all the bottles go on his tab. "He's just a fun, solid dude," says Jefferson.
In his first two seasons McCants earned an on-court rep that didn't exactly sync up to the profile either: a quick-trigger shooting guard physical enough to defend small forwards. He bonded with the team's superstar, Kevin Garnett, the two frequently working out together after practice. When McCants awoke from knee surgery in 2006, KG was sitting at the foot of the bed. In 2007-08, under first-year coach Randy Wittman, McCants began to blossom, selected by his peers as a team captain. As Minnesota's second option, he routinely made highlight reels. Future All-Star was what they said. At his season-ending interview, Wittman praised his effort. Brimming with optimism, McCants spent the summer in the area, organizing workouts and early-morning sprints for his teammates.
Thinking he was in Minny for life, he bought a four-bedroom house with a big yard 20 minutes from downtown and lined the basement theater with signed jerseys from guys like Kobe and LeBron. Life was good. In New York he was often a guest of Jay-Z's at 40/40. He stood onstage with Lil Wayne, texted with Chris Paul, partied in Miami with Shaq and D-Wade. His exterior, once Velcro, was suddenly Teflon, all the negatives no longer sticking. Or so he thought.
By training camp in September 2008, the mood had shifted. McCants and Wittman were now on very different pages, and with the coach looking to put his stamp on the team, McCants' star quickly faded. He couldn't move without Wittman getting annoyed. It didn't help that McCants dribbled through his legs excessively during shootarounds. And it was hard to miss Wittman peering over his glasses with disapproval at the card games McCants organized on team flights.

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