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Charles Rhodes Cut by Dallas Mavericks

Posted by Kyle Weidie on October 20, 2008

Judging by his meager playing time with the Mavs in the preseason, the writing was already on the wall for former Mississippi State Bulldog, Charles Rhodes.

On Tuesday evening, the Dallas Morning News reported that Rhodes was the first player to be waived by the Mavericks before the upcoming 08-09 NBA season.

In late September, Rhodes was being considered by a top professional team in Spain. However, as previously reported blogged, most European leagues are already entrenched in season play. The Spanish league started in the first week of October, and Jamont Gordon obviously already has several games for his Italian team under his belt.

Rhodes’ best bet might be trying to make a name for himself in the NBDL. The 2008 D-League draft will take place on Friday November 7th and will be broadcast live on NBA TV.  Should Rhodes hold the NBDL as an option, keep an eye on the blog Ridiculous Upside, which provides excellent coverage of the NBA’s Developmental League.

Stay tuned…..

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Posted in Bulldog Basketball, bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, mississippi state bulldogs, nba | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Should Charles Rhodes Start Packing His Bags?

Posted by Kyle Weidie on October 16, 2008

As previously reported, Charles Rhodes is not getting a lot of time on the court in Dallas Maverick preseason games. In his first three outings, he saw around 20 total minutes of action and missed all five shots he took.

Last night, the Mavs went up against the Indiana Pacers in their fourth preseason game. Knowing that Jason Kidd, Erick Dampier, Devin George and Jerry Stackhouse would be sitting out beforehand, I’d hoped that Rhodes would see more time on the court (even though three of those veterans are guards/wings).

Well, Rhodes only got off the bench for six minutes, just long enough to snag two rebounds, block a shot, and make a single free-throw. Normally, this would not necessarily indicate that Rhodes’ days with the Mavs are numbered. However, the player believed to be competing with Rhodes for a roster spot at power forward, John Singleton, played 27 minutes, scored 11 points, got nine rebounds, and blocked four shots. Singleton is also signed to a guaranteed contract with Dallas, Rhodes is not.

Rhodes has no doubt made a good impression on the Mavs brass, especially with his summer league play. Now, will that impression, also noticed by scouts league-wide, be enough to keep Rhodes stateside, perhaps playing in the NBDL and hoping to get noticed for a 10-day contract down the road? Or would Rhodes head overseas for a more lucrative opportunity? The main problem with foreign play at this point is that most leagues have already started.

Rhodes making the final cut in Dallas is not a complete improbability, but the signs are pointing in a ‘less than likely’ direction.

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Charles Rhodes Not Getting Much of A Chance With Mavs

Posted by Kyle Weidie on October 12, 2008

I’ve only been able to watch one of Charles Rhodes’ preseason outings with the Dallas Mavericks, his first against the Washington Wizards. He didn’t show much. On one possession, he got fouled on a post up, but missed both free throws. On another, Rhodes dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds. On another, he threw up a lazy jumper that was blocked and recovered for a fast break by Wizards rookie, JaVale McGee. Charles did play some hustling defense on a couple chances.

One problem, as evidenced by Rhodes’ game-by-game stat lines below, is that he’s not getting a ton of minutes. However, in the early going, new Mavericks coach, Rick Carlisle, might desire to play his starters, more than would be the norm for the preseason, so that he can put his system in place.

Carlisle has been complimentary of Rhodes’ effort, “Rhodes is a real tenacious guy thats got some skill and he puts the ball in the basket from mid-range and he’s really, he’s real tenacious the way he goes after the ball at both ends…”

Dallas still has five preseason games left on their slate. Hopefully in the coming games, Rhodes will see more action on the court to increase his already slim chances of making an NBA roster.

Charles Rhodes Preseason Stats (so far):

Game 1 Washington Wizards:
4:34 minutes, 0-1 FG, 0-2 FT, 2 rebounds, 2 fouls, a steal, and a turnover

Game 2 Chicago Bulls:
10:18 minutes, 0-4 FG, 4-4 FT, 6 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 fouls, 3 blocks

Game 3 Milwaukee Bucks:
5:32 minutes, no shots attempted, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 foul

Suggested Reading:
“Rhodes bids to earn spot in the NBA,” The Commercial Dispatch by Adam Minichino

Posted in Bulldog Basketball, bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, mississippi state bulldogs, nba | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Charles Rhodes Signed To Dallas Mavericks Training Camp Roster

Posted by Kyle Weidie on October 1, 2008

Former Mississippi State Bulldog Charles Rhodes was one of four additions the Dallas Mavericks made to their training camp roster on Tuesday. The Mavericks also signed Reyshawn Terry, Cheyne Gadson, and former Tennessee Vol, JuJuan Smith. Dallas’ training camp roster now stands at 19. NBA teams are allowed to keep 15 players, 12 max can dress for games, during the regular season.

It was last reported that Rhodes was being courted by one of Spain’s top professional teams, Regal FC Barcelona, after being drafted by the Continental Basketball Association. However, having suited up for the Mavericks in both the Las Vegas and Rocky Mountain Revue NBA Summer Leagues, Rhodes has opted to take his chances with a try-out for an NBA team.

By most accounts, Rhodes impressed the Dallas brass enough with his summer league play to earn a spot at camp. Most likely, he will be competing with other big forwards, Terry and James Singleton, who is currently signed to a guaranteed contract, for the last roster spot.

Rhodes will join former Bulldog Erick Dampier in training camp, which will held at Southern Methodist University. Good luck to Chuck and check back with Bulldog Maroon & White for updates on his progression with the Mavs.

Continued Reading: MSU Bulldogs & Mavericks: an interview with Dallas Dedicated – August 7, 2008 [Dallas Dedicated is a blog dedicated to, obviously, the Dallas sports scene.]

[Update] Marcus Campbell, who didn’t really play for the Miami Heat during the summer, is evidently in training camp with the Houston Rockets.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, mississippi state bulldogs, nba | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Charles Rhodes Drafted!

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 24, 2008

Still wondering about the professional basketball prospects of Mississippi State’s Charles Rhodes? Yea, me too.

Last I heard about Rhodes, he went from showing he belonged in the NBA, to mulling over European offers (vs. training camp with the Dallas Mavericks), to possibly joining forces with Jamont Gordon in Italy.

Well, last night, Charles Rhodes finally got drafted….by someone. The Continental Basketball Association held their draft on Tuesday evening and Rhodes was selected in the 3rd round (12th overall) by the East Kentucky Miners.

The CBA….it’s not doing so well. Dubbed as the “World’s Oldest League,” the CBA stuck around for several decades…until Isiah Thomas came along in 1999. Under the watch of Thomas, the CBA went bankrupt and ceased operations by 2001. That fall, some remaining CBA teams merged with teams from the International Basketball League (IBL), but continued to be called the CBA.

Since, the league has struggled, mostly due to the National Basketball Development League (NBDL) and its official association with the NBA.  The CBA website currently lists 11 teams, however, Wikipedia lists only six teams, and only five participated in the draft.

So, while the CBA would be considered the last of the last options for Charles Rhodes, at least someone is showing him some love.

[UPDATE: The CBA Draft Party for the East Kentucky Miners was held at Applebee’s — Go America!]

Posted in Bulldog Basketball, bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Jarvis Varnado Ranked 5th Best SEC NBA Prospect By Draft Express

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 16, 2008

The popular NBA draft website, Draft Express, has been ranking the top NBA prospects from various NCAA conferences. The top five basketball players the Southeastern Conference has to offer was released on September 15th.

Mississippi State center, junior-to-be Jarvis Varnado, was ranked 5th behind Vanderbilt center, Andrew Ogilvy, Kentucky Forward, Patrick Patterson, Tennessee forward, Tyler Smith, and Florida guard, Nick Calathes.

I suggest you go read the well-researched full profile on Varnado, but a couple excerpts which stood out to me are below.

At 6’9” he [Jarvis Varnado] is maybe a tad undersized for a post player, but what really hinders him is his tremendously narrow frame. The reports last season were that Varnado has bulked up to 210 pounds, but from what we were able to see from him at the Adidas Nations event in Dallas last month, he still needs to put on a good 20 pounds before he can consistently hold his ground on the block. His narrow shoulders don’t appear as though they support the type of natural filling out that he needs to go through.

At this point, unless he makes huge strides this season, Varnado is likely going to need to be a four-year prospect. This season will be a good test for him, as he now must become more of a factor in the Bulldog’s offense. While there have been hints of a developing mid-range jumper, he must first become a more effective low post scorer, and adding weight would be a step in the right direction for him. Showing more hustle as a perimeter defender too would only add to his growing reputation as a stopper on the other end of the floor.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, mississippi state bulldogs, nba draft, ncaa basketball, sec basketball, SEC Sports | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Travis Outlaw, the almost Mississippi State Bulldog

Posted by Kyle Weidie on September 2, 2008

Bulldog fans can salivate forever about what would have been had Travis Outlaw suited up in Maroon and White…..or Jonathan Bender, or Monta Ellis.

However, he opted for the NBA, before the current one-year rule, and was taken 23rd overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the 2003 NBA Draft. Heading into the 2008-2009 NBA season, this makes Outlaw the longest tenured Blazer.

Travis had his best season in ’07-08, averaging career highs in multiple categories including points (13.3), rebounds (4.6), and minutes (26.7), while getting some recognition for the NBA’s 6th Man Award (Manu Ginobili ended up with the honors).

This year, Outlaw desires to come into his own even more. Jason Quick, of The Oregonian, recently traveled back to Starkville, Mississippi to do an extensive piece on Outlaw. The article discusses Outlaw’s roots, the house he recently built in Starkvegas, and his basketball aspirations. The reading is highly suggested.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, mississippi state bulldogs, nba, nba draft, starkville, travis outlaw | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bulldog Basketballers, Ravern Johnson and Elgin Bailey, Kick It In The Dominican Republic

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 12, 2008

Mississippi State Bulldog basketball fans may remember that last summer Jarvis Varnado and Phil Turner took a week long tour playing basketball in Argentina with Score International. Well, this summer, Ravern Johnson and Elgin Bailey made a similar trip with Score to the Dominican Republic.

Hopefully, Johnson and Bailey will follow in the footsteps of Varnado, who led the nation in blocked shots this past season and upped his summer competition to the likes of Chris Paul and LeBron James, but hopefully not in the footsteps of Phil Turner, who was recently arrested for disorderly conduct.

According to the Score International site, the American team faced off against the Dominican national squad, featuring Al Horford (former Florida Gator and current Atlanta Hawk),  Francisco Garcia (former Louisville Cardinal and current Sacramento King), and Larry Turner (former Tennessee State Tiger and current Los Angeles Laker). The game was broadcast on Dominican national television, and even though the Score team lost 77-49, MSU’s Ravern Johnson led his team with 17 points.

In game two, the Score team won in the capital city of San Domingo 67-65. Johnson scored 13 points, while Bailey put in some work in the paint with eight rebounds.

Game three brought another match-up against tough competition as Score faced the Dominican National “B” team. They were once again defeated, but put up a better fight, losing 73-68. You could actually say that the Score team got gypped. Evidently down three points with 12 seconds left, and the ball, a whistle blew from the stands, causing confusion, and thus a turnover. Guess you really can’t play until you hear the whistle.

In the end, great experience on the court and off for these two young Bulldogs which will hopefully carry over into the upcoming season and further down the road in their lives.

Speaking of Varnado…..

Storming the Court recently wondered who would play if the US Men’s Basketball Olympic Committee reverted to sending college players to compete instead of NBA players. Jarvis Varnado was dubbed among those who would be apart of the front court.

In my opinion, this sounds great and all…..but let’s never send college players to the Olympics again. With the days of one-and-done and early entries, how on earth would you be able to truly get the best college age players?  Other countries will continue to send their best, let’s continue to send our best.

Charles Rhodes

Nothing much happening since the interview with Dallas Dedicated. But, I wanted to recap what some outlets (and Mavericks personnel) have said about Rhodes:

Mavs Courtside View

Charles Rhodes isn’t a training camp lock. The rugged forward is mulling over various European offers and hasn’t committed to a tryout with the Mavs yet.

But the Mississippi State product has impressed everyone so far.

“We see Rhodes as an athletic, tenacious 4-5 type that can shoot the mid-range shot and is a very good rebounder,” Rick Carlisle said.

Rhodes (6-8, 245) averaged nearly 10 points and 5 boards during summer league, and shot 62 percent. Rhodes has been compared favorably to Brandon Bass, last year’s summer league find.

Ft. Worth Star-Telegram – “Mavericks have two roster spots available”

Nelson said Charles Rhodes, a bruising 6-8, 245-pound forward from Mississippi State, and JaJuan Smith, a 6-2 guard from Tennessee, will likely be invited to fall training camp.

“Rhodes is real athletic and showed really good promise,” Nelson said. “Smith is a guy we have our eye on. The rest are open for discussion.”

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, elgin bailey, jarvis varnado, mississippi state bulldogs, olympic basketball, ravern johnson, sec basketball | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

MSU Bulldogs & Mavericks: an interview with Dallas Dedicated

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 7, 2008

Dallas Dedicated is a blog which is, well, dedicated to Dallas sports. We’ve been following some of their excellent coverage of Charles Rhodes, who, as you should be well aware, was apart of the Mavs summer league squad, and by most accounts, impressed the Dallas brass with his ability. It remains to be seen if Rhodes will make the Mavericks squad, much less get a training camp invite. In any case, the guys at Dallas Dedicated agreed to be the latter part of a Q&A session about Rhodes, and another former Bulldog, and current Mav, Erick Dampier.

Erick Dampier

——————–

I’ve read where Charles Rhodes is likely to be invited to training camp, but is not a lock. What do you think?
I think that as long as he does not decide to go to Europe, he is a lock for camp. Hopefully he doesn’t chase that very enticing Euro. He has gone from being a forgotten and un-drafted rookie to a guy with a legitimate shot at being in the rotation on a title contending Dallas Mavericks team.

Does the presence of Brandon Bass (an SEC product out of LSU) hurt Rhodes’ chances? The Mavericks offered Bass and Jerry Stackhouse to Sacramento for Ron Artest, but the Kings chose to send Ronnie to another team in Texas, which will lead to my next question……
Bass and Rhodes are very similar, which in the long run could end up hurting one or the other–obviously at this point most likely Rhodes. But last season, the front line was very thin and another Bass-like player could do nothing but help. One thing that critics say hurts the Mavs team is that they do not have enough tough inside presence, which Charles Rhodes can definitely help provide.

What’s Bass’ trade value and are you willing to give him up? If it’s your opinion that the Mavs must make a move to get back to the NBA Finals, what would be a reasonably hypothetical dream trade scenario?
Obviously, if the right deal came about, we would have to part ways with Bass. He still has a lot of potential and could develop into a very good player, but he still will play behind Dirk. A strong two-guard with nice range would be about the only offer for Bass that could improve the team…especially if Rhodes proved he could take Bass’ spot.

Jason Kidd should be much better under Rick Carlisle–freedom to do what he does best: run the break. That should cover the one, three (Howard) and four (Dirk) spots. A move like Terry/Stackhouse and a reserve for someone like Corey Maggette or Monta Ellis would be solid. Ideally, an upcoming free agent after this season (LeBron, Wade, etc.) would be a finals-clinching pick up. Then the only weakness would be at the five. Good centers are a rare commodity, and if Diop and Damp can play strong together, then that would be an ideal squad. But, the fact alone that we offered Bass in a trade for Artest shows that the Mavericks organization thinks of him as expendable.

From watching Rhodes, what’s your opinion of his NBA-level strengths and weaknesses?
He shoots a very high percentage, and even has a pretty decent mid range jumper. Though he is relatively short for a power forward, he rebounds adequately, similar to Bass. His post defense has been impressive, but he is not a big shot blocker and can get in foul trouble quickly. His biggest improvement will need to be overall basketball IQ, which many rookies need work with. He is a very raw scorer, and can easily be molded into a power force. He has nothing but potential, which I know Rick Carlisle and the Mavs assistants could turn into more strengths.

James Singleton or Charles Rhodes: who do you pick? (factoring in Singleton’s guaranteed contract)
Charles Rhodes and James Singleton are too much alike to give both contracts too, especially when factoring in that Brandon Bass will already consume most of the backup power forward minutes. While Singleton’s contract is guaranteed, GM Donnie Nelson has already made it clear that buying out a player’s contract that is guaranteed is not out of the question. Also, Singleton is coming off major knee surgery and has had multiple shots at the NBA-level. Rhodes over Singleton easily.

The Mavs have another Mississippi State product in Erick Dampier, who led the Bulldogs to the Final Four in 1996. What do you like, and dislike about his game? Was signing him to a 7-year, $63 million contract in ’04 a mistake? Is Erick Dampier a center the Mavs can win a championship with? And, are we looking at a time-share at center between Big Damp and the returned DeSagana Diop?
Dampier is an up and down player. He doesn’t have to score a lot of points, and gets a lot of buckets from working the offensive glass. When he wants to be, Damp is one of the best rebounders in the league, especially on the offensive end. Also, his scoring has improved since Jason Kidd’s arrival. However, he tends to get into early foul trouble too often and sometimes plays soft. While Dallas let Steve Nash go and used the money saved to sign Erick Dampier, his contract in ’04 was not a mistake. He was coming off of a career year of (12 points and 12 rebounds per game in ’03) and the Mavs had been lacking a good center for many years (see Shawn Bradley).

The way Dallas is most effective is a split between Damp and Diop. This eliminates the worry of foul trouble and they are able to play tougher defense. Together, when on their games, they can rival many centers in the league, and proved it in the ’06 Finals run. Damp did not have any competition for minutes after Diop was traded, and having Diop back will motivate Damp to play and practice hard or else Diop becomes the starter. Not many teams have two legitimate centers, and I believe the Mavericks have that again with the signing of Diop.

——————–

And there it is….many thanks to the guys at Dallas Dedicated.

Posted in bulldogs in nba, charles rhodes, erick dampier, mississippi state bulldogs, nba, nba draft | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Remembering Jeff Malone’s Basketball Career, a Mississippi State Bulldog Great

Posted by Kyle Weidie on August 2, 2008

Jeff Malone 76ers

After a very distinguished career at Mississippi State, Jeff Malone went on to have a 13-year NBA career with four different teams: the Washington Bullets, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Known to be deadly from mid-range, Malone was running around the court and off screens before Reggie Miller spawned it into an art form, and much before Richard Hamilton made a living at it. He also had a knack for off-balanced shots, making him even tougher to defend.

Back in March, Gregg Ellis of the NE Mississippi Daily Journal (and his Inside Mississippi State Sports blog) briefly caught up with Malone who is now living in Chandler, Arizona (a suburb of Phoenix) and owning his own fuel distribution company. Here’s to remembering the accolades and basketball career of Jeff Malone.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

In his four years as a Bulldog in Starkville, Malone amassed over 2,100 points to go along with his 19.5 career scoring average over 110 games. I never had the privilege of seeing him play at “The Hump” in person, but the accounts of others, his career 51.2% from the field, and career 80.9% from the free-throw line, indicate that Malone was quite the pure shooter.

Unfortunately, his Bulldog teams did not fare so well. During Malone’s four year span from ’79-’83, which included the last two seasons of the Jim Hatfield era and the first two seasons of the Bob Boyd era, the Bulldogs had a cumulative record of 46-64 (23-49 in the SEC). The best year by far for both the Bulldogs and Malone was the ’82-’83 season, Malone’s senior campaign, where he led the team to a 17-12 record (9-9 SEC) with a 26.8 ppg average (2nd in the nation). However, this did not result in post-season play for Mississippi State.

Just imagine the numbers Jeff Malone might have put up had he not been in Bob Boyd’s slowed down offense. In ’81-’82, the Bulldogs averaged 49.5 points per game. With Malone’s 18.6 ppg that season, he was responsible for 37.6% of the Bulldogs scoring load. Team scoring improved in ’82-’83 to the tune of 69 points per game. With his 26.8 ppg that season, Jeff Malone was still responsible for 38.8% of Mississippi State’s scoring.

One of the few winning highlights Jeff Malone experienced prior to his senior year, was a game against the Kentucky Wildcats in Starkville on January 27th, 1982. Combined with a stifling Bulldog zone defense, Malone scored 16 points, along with his teammate, Butch Pierre, who chipped in 15, to upset Kentucky 56-51. This win broke the Bulldogs’ 17-game SEC losing streak, which spanned over two seasons.

The awards Jeff Malone accumulated while at Mississippi State included ’82-’93 All-American (Sporting News 1st team, NABC 3rd team, Basketball Times 5th team); 1st team SEC (AP) once and 2nd team twice (SEC POY in ’82-’83); ’83 SEC all-tournament team; and NABC All-District (two times 1st team, one time 2nd). Malone still holds Bulldog records for most points in a season (777), points in a career (2142), FG made in a season (323), FG in a career (906), most minutes played in a career (3851), and average minutes per game over a career (35.0).

The NBA: Washington Bullets

Jeff Malone’s collegiate credentials led him to being selected 10th overall by the Washington Bullets in the 1983 NBA Draft. According to the wonderful database at Basketball-Reference, Malone was second in his draft class in career scoring average and career minutes per game, right after Clyde Drexler, who went 14th to the Portland Trailblazers, in both categories.

Malone spent his first seven seasons with the Washington Bullets. As a rookie in ’83-’84, he averaged 12.1 points per game on his way to landing on the all-rookie team, joining Thurl Bailey, Ralph Sampson, Byron Scott, Steve Stipanovich, and Darrell Walker (curious that Clyde the Glide wasn’t on the team…playing behind Jim Paxson, who led the Blazers in scoring with 21.3 ppg that season, didn’t allow Drexler much time on the court).

Some say that Malone couldn’t do much aside from score, but one thing he did do well is take care of the ball. He led the NBA with the lowest turnover percentage (an estimate of turnovers per 100 plays) in his second year, and finished in the top 10 of that category in nine of his 13 seasons in the league. Today, Malone still has the 7th best NBA career turnover percentage.

By year three with the Bullets, Jeff Malone was 6th in the NBA in minutes played, 8th in points scored, and 10th in free-throw percentage on his way to being an All-Star in 1986 and in 1987. Malone will always be remembered most as a Washington Bullet. In fact, Wizards/Bullets blog, Bullets Forever, voted him the 7th best Wizard/Bullet of all time. For more on his career in DC, I’d highly suggest reading Bullets Forever #7: Jeff Malone.

The NBA: Utah Jazz

After the ’89-’90 season, Malone was traded to the Utah Jazz, becoming the “other” Malone, in a three-team deal that had Utah sending Bobby Hansen and Eric Leckner along two draft picks to Sacramento. Pervis Ellison was sent from the Kings to the Bullets, who also sent their 2nd round pick in the ’91 draft to the Kings. The Jazz, seeking more offensive firepower to take focus away from John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Thurl Bailey, found a remedy in Jeff Malone. Over the next three seasons, Malone would serve as the Jazz second leading scorer, to Karl Malone, averaging a hair under 19.0 points per game.

Malone also dropped over 20.0 ppg in the playoffs during his first two years in Utah, playing especially well in the ’92 Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Seattle Sonics with scoring and defense against Ricky Pierce. Jeff Malone averaged 22.4 ppg in the series as Utah went on to win four games to one, the first time in franchise history that the Jazz moved past the second round of the NBA playoffs. Utah would ultimately lose to Portland 4-2 in the conference finals, the Blazers in turn lost to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the ’92 NBA Finals.

In the ’94-’95 season, numbers started to fall off for a 32-year old Malone in Utah. He averaged 16.2 ppg, a career low aside from his rookie year, before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the middle of the season, along with a conditional 1st round pick, for a 30-year old Jeff Hornacek, Sean Green and a 2nd round pick.

The story goes that Jeff Malone felt under-appreciated, slipped into the doghouse of Utah coach, Jerry Sloan, and that the Jazz simply wanted a shooter with more range. Malone wasn’t exactly known for his distance shooting prowess as he made only 86 three-pointers in his career, an average of 0.1 made per game, with a career 26.8% from deep. In stepped Jeff Hornacek, who also had the ability to fill in for John Stockton at the point when necessary.

Long time Utah Jazz sports announcer, Rod Hundley, wrote about Jeff Malone in his 1998 book, “Hot Rot Hundley: You Gotta Love It Baby,” co-authored with Tom McEachin.

Jeff Malone wasn’t the answer, though. He was a great shooter from 15 feet in but if he wasn’t scoring, he wasn’t helping you. He was smart enough to put the ball in Stockton’s hands, however, because if he got open he knew the ball was coming back…….That’s why everybody likes Stockton. If you make that move, the ball is there and at the right time. So Jeff always worked hard on offense when Stockton was on the court with him.

Jeff was always fading when he shot the ball but he had great control of the shot. Great shooters can do that, shoot off-balance, going toward the hoop, falling backwards, falling left, falling right. He practiced that stuff. A 15-footer was just like a layup for him. Anything from the foul line in was a great shot, and he was great along the baseline too. He could even drift behind the plane of the backboard and make that shot. A lot of guys have to be in front of the hoop looking right down the barrel, but Jeff could shoot just as well from the baseline. He didn’t have the shooting depth, however. He couldn’t shoot the 3-pointer.

The one thing about Jeff Malone was that you could expect him to miss some games every year. It was probably in his contract. He just wasn’t going to play 82 games. He just sat out games, saying his back was hurting or something. He was that kind of a guy. He didn’t have that Stockton-Malone attitude about playing, he just floated though games. I don’t think it bothered him whether he played or not.

The NBA: Philadelphia 76ers & Miami Heat

After the mid-season trade to Philly, Malone suited up on February 26, 1994 for his first game on a 76er team with a 20-34 record. The Sixers would only win five more games that season, while Jeff averaged 16.8 points in 33.4 minutes per game. The combination of a rookie Shawn Bradley, Clarence Weatherspoon, Dana Barros, and a 38-year old Moses Malone wasn’t cutting it for Philly.

The following season (’94-’95), the Philadelphia 76ers were even worse, finishing with a 24-58 record. Malone was limited to just 19 games with a foot injury, placed on the IR by late December, and only appeared in once more game that season, scoring 28 points in a March 22nd affair against the Golden State Warriors.

Malone’s final season in the NBA would come in 95-96 as injuries had taken their toll. His minutes with the Sixers dwindled to 16.3, field goals made below 40%, and points per game to 6.2. Malone played five minutes in his last game in Philly in December of 2006. He was acquired by the Miami Heat in February of ’96, and scored 10 points in 26 minutes off the bench in a six point Miami win over the Denver Nuggets. However, Malone would only play six more games for the Heat, and played his final NBA game on February 25, 1996.

Jeff Malone retired from the NBA tallying over 17,000 points (his total currently puts him at 68th most in NBA history), playing in 905 games, while shooting a career 48.4% from the field, and 87.1% from the free-throw line, which is good enough to rank him 18th best over an NBA career.

Post NBA Play

In January of 1997, Malone signed with VAO Thessaloniki of the Greek League for 180 million lire for the rest of the season. This Geocities site had a nice write-up on Jeff Malone’s Greek experience:

When he arrived, VAO was the worse team in the Greek Championship and needed a few wins in order not to fall in the 2nd division. Malone helped more with his presence than with his game. His teammates seemed inspired and the team made more victories on the 2nd half of the season, including a great victory over Olympiakos (who won the European, the Greek Championship and the Greek Cup that year). Malone was not in shape though. At age 36 he was slow and except 1-2 good games, he was shooting a lot but not scoring much. He averaged 14.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1 assist shooting 39% from the field, 29% from the 3-point line and 76% in the free throws, in 12 games played. VAO, who desperately needed a super-scorer, left the division in the end of the year.

Coaching Career

Jeff Malone’s coaching career began in 1998 as an assistant with the Yakima Sun Kings of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). The next season, he went on to be an assistant for the San Diego Stingrays of the International Basketball League (IBL), and was promoted to head coach during the season. In the following year, Malone went on to become head coach of the Trenton Stars, also of the IBL.

In 2001, Malone was afforded an opportunity with the newly created National Basketball Development League (NBDL) as head coach of the Columbus Riverdragons. During four seasons at the helm, Malone amassed a record of 102-98, winning the D-League regular season crown in ’04-’05, but losing to the Asheville Altitude in the finals.

After that season, the Riverdragons moved to Austin, Texas and became the Toros. Malone headed to Fort Myers to become head coach of the NBDL’s Florida Flame. Unfortunately, during the ’06-’07 season, the team had to suspend operations due to issues with their home arena and has not been an active member of the NBDL since. I assume this is about the time that Malone and his family packed up and moved to Arizona.

Jeff Malone Tid-Bits

  • At the 2002 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament, Jeff Malone represented Mississippi State as an SEC Legend.
  • Jeff Malone was named to the 1981-1990 all-decade SEC basketball first team, along with Chris Jackson, Charles Barkley, Sam Bowie, and Dominique Wilkins.
  • A 1984 buzzer-beater that Malone hit against the Pistons when he was a rookie with the Bullets made it onto a NBA.com/History Channel list of the 10 greatest shots in NBA history. You can see the shot here on YouTube, it’s part of a longer clip and comes in about the 3:04 mark.
  • A 1999 Sports Illustrated series on the top 50 greatest sports figures from each state lists Jeff Malone as #43 from the state of Georgia.
  • A 1998 Sports Illustrated article, Paternity Ward, about athletes and out-of-wedlock kids cited Jeff Malone as being falsely accused of having a child with a former college lover. An excerpt from the article:
    • Certainly there have been false charges made against athletes. Former NBA All-Star Jeff Malone was the victim of a baseless paternity suit filed by a former college lover. Although genetic tests had proved he was not the father of the child, Malone says that on four or five occasions he saw the woman at his games, telling the child to wave at him. Eventually he submitted to a second round of tests to further disprove paternity and says he enlisted NBA security to prevent the woman from harassing him. “When she came up with the story, there was a big article, but when word got back that it wasn’t my child, there was a tiny article,” says Malone. “Mostly I felt bad for the kid.”
  • World B. Free once praised Malone by saying, “He reminds me of a young me.”
  • Jeff Malone has listed Darrell Walker, Delaney Rudd, and Felton Spencer as his favorite players he played with.
  • Michael Jordan & Jeff Malone – From Sports Illustrated in 1989: “If there’s a pattern in some of the teams that stop me,” says Jordan, “it’s that they make me play defense against a big, physical guard who runs off picks. Washington has Jeff Malone. Dallas has Rolando Blackman. Seattle has Dale Ellis. I can’t post these guys up that easily because they’re as big and strong as I am. I know Malone ‘s not supposed to be a good defensive player, but he comes after me.”
  • Jeff Malone is listed on page 103 in One Last Shot: The Story of Michael Jordan’s Comeback by Mitchell Krugel as a ‘Jordan Stopper’ along with Rolando Blackman, Kevin Johnson, and John Starks.
  • Former Bullet Darrell Walker once said, “Everybody has somebody they can not guard. Michael Jordan just couldn’t guard Jeff Malone. I was a point guard playing alongside Malone, and Jeff just killed Jordan. Jordan even wrote about it in his book.”
  • More evidence of the Michael Jordan-Jeff Malone battles, a quote from Hang Time: Days and dreams with Michael Jordan by Bob Greene in reference to a February 1992 triple-overtime game between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz. Malone only had 13 points that night, but the ball was in his hands at the end of the game and he led the Jazz to a 126-123 win:
    • But on the basketball court he’d [Michael Jordan] had a rare angry confrontation with a referee that had resulted in his being ejected from a game. It had taken place in Salt Lake City, near the end of a terrific triple-overtime contest against the Utah Jazz. As the clock was running down, Utah’s Jeff Malone drove for the basket and a foul was called on Jordan. Jordan exploded at referee Tommie Wood – he knew that Malone’s ensuing foul shot would win the game – and when Wood walked away from him, Jordan followed, arguing heatedly with Wood and, according to Wood, bumping into him. A technical foul was called on Jordan, he was thrown out and sent to the locker room, the Jazz did indeed win……..

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Charles Rhodes Showing He Belongs In The NBA

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 25, 2008

Charles Rhodes put NBA scouts on notice with his performance in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 10.8 points (tied for 2nd on the Mavs), 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 19.0 minutes per game, over five games, while shooting 64.5% from the field and 77.8% from the free-throw line. This Dallas Mavericks forum has a great break-down of Rhodes’ numbers in comparison to some other players.

NBADraft.net has described Rhodes as a “bruiser with a diverse skill set,” and other reports have outlined displays of hustle and tenacity.

The next stop for Rhodes and the Dallas Mavericks has been the Rocky Mountain Revue, another summer league in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Mavs will play their sixth and final game of the revue tonight versus the Utah Jazz. After a slow start in the RMR, Rhodes came through very strong yesterday, scoring 14 points in the 4th quarter for a total of 21 in a win against the New Jersey Nets.

Charles Rhodes still has many hurdles to climb in order to make an NBA squad, many players in his situation often get caught in a numbers game. In the least, he has taken large strides towards a training camp invite, whether it be with Dallas, or another NBA franchise.

Dallas Dedicated has shed some light on the battle between Charles Rhodes and another power forward hopeful, James Singleton:

Charles Rhodes, the 6-8 rookie from Mississippi State, has outplayed Singleton in very outing. While Singleton is coming off major knee surgery, Rhodes has been impressive and has outhustled opponents on both ends of the floor.

Charles Rhodes continues to impress us at Dallas Dedicated, and would even go so far as to say he might be desired over James Singleton. Too bad Singleton’s contract was rushed….and guaranteed. 

Should Rhodes not be on an NBA roster when the season begins, I’ll be curious to see if he opts to head overseas or remain close to a possible call-up by playing in the NBDL. Stay tuned….

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Update on Mississippi State Bulldogs in NBA Summer Leagues

Posted by Kyle Weidie on July 16, 2008

We’ll start with the oft-covered Charles Rhodes.

What the Web is Saying:

“Charles Rhodes has looked extremely impressive on the offensive end, but hasn’t been able to stay out of foul trouble.”hoopsworld.com

“‘Chuckie’ Rhodes, I won’t lie, I want to see this guy on the court with J-Kidd and The Big German! Rhodes is a beast, with a large body. for the past 3 games he has been a real eye opener.”All about the Mavs

“[Charles Rhodes] A bit of a surprise, but played a very solid game. Scored 10 on 5-8 shooting and had six boards off the bench. Defended the pick and roll nicely and demonstrated nice shooting range. Could turn heads if this play continues.”Dallas Dedicated

  • Game 1: Mavs vs. LA Clippers – Rhodes had 10 points on 5-8 shooting and six boards in 21 minutes of play. He did have six fouls, but that seems to be the norm in summer league play. I’m glad to see that Charles only committed one turnover.
  • Game 2: Mavs vs. Golden State Warriors – Rhodes had 12 points on 4-5 shooting and 4-4 from the FT line, six rebounds, two assists and a block in 17+ minutes on the court. However, Rhodes was still successful at picking up fouls (5), and the turnovers (5) returned to his repertoire.
  • Game 3: Mavs vs. Minnesota T-Wolves – Rhodes, getting slightly less time with 16+ minutes and still coming off the bench, scored nine points on 4-5 shooting along with two boards, two assists, and a steal. He committed less fouls (4) as his time narrowed, but Rhodes realized that room for mistakes was limited and didn’t commit one turnover.

NBADraft.net and Draft Express both compare Charles Rhodes to Brandon Bass. In comparing each of their final seasons at their respective schools (Bass left LSU after his sophomore year in 04-05), PPG and FG% are close, but Bass was a better FT shooter and rebounder, although Bass’s edge comes on the defensive boards. Other stats such as assists steals and blocks are negating, but Rhodes did turn the ball over more. One thing about Brandon Bass is that his game is mostly facing the basket and doesn’t always display true quality low post moves. I believe that Charles Rhodes has a more diverse inside/outside game than Bass. However, Bass has been known to be a good one-on-one defender, something I can’t really say about Charles Rhodes.

In any case, the Dallas Mavericks seem like they are looking for another Brandon Bass, but Rhodes doesn’t qualify as he doesn’t have previous NBA experience. Hoopsworld thinks that James Singleton might be the next Brandon Bass. Mavs.com says not yet. As for Brandon Bass himself? Expect to hear more from him in 08-09, it’ll be a contract year.

The Dallas Mavericks will play the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday the 16th at 5 pm central time. Visit NBA.com to catch the action.

Jamont Gordon

What the Web is Saying:

The Games:

  • Game 1: 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors – Jamont started at guard along with Junior Harrington out of Wingate. Gordon scored 11 points on 3-8 shooting and 5-6 from the FT line, along with five assists, a rebound, a steal, and a block with three turnovers in 28+ minutes.
    • “We have Jamont Gordon and Dawan Robinson running the show, and it seemed like they were making bad decision after bad decision out there, it was tough to watch.”sixer soul
  • Game 2: 76ers vs. Denver Nuggets – Gordon started at the helm once again, playing just under 30 minutes. During his time, he had 12 points on 5-8 shooting (2-6 from the FT line), six rebounds, five assists, and a steal to go along with four turnovers.
  • Game 3: 76ers vs. LA Lakers – Playing in just under 29 minutes, Gordon scored eight points on 2-7 from the field and 4-6 from the FT line. He also had four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and only one turnover.
    • “One of the Lakers’ guards thought it’d be funny to randomly scream and Jamont Gordon while playing defense at the top of the key. Well, he thought right. He scared Gordon enough to jump back a little. I thought it was funny.”sixer soul

So far, Jamont Gordon’s per game summer league numbers do show his versatility. Shooting is still a glaring concern as he has gone a combined 0-5 from three-point territory. Turnovers aren’t terrible at 2.67 per. Jamont is doing a good job in getting to the free-throw line, averaging a FT attempt every 4.8 minutes. However, going 11-18 from the charity stripe will not help Gordon’s cause.

I’ll be getting an up close look at Jamont Gordon tonight as the Philadelphia 76ers take on my beloved Washington Wizards.

Walter Sharpe

Sharpe is seeing decent action for the Detroit Pistons so far. He’s started in all three games, averaging 22.7 minutes, 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 steals per. He’s not shooting well from the field (30.4%), but is knocking down free-throws (85.7%). Look for Sharpe’s Pistons to take on Charles Rhodes’ Mavericks on Thursday the 17th.

What the Web is Saying:

  • “Sharpe was active on both ends of the court, but was caught out of position much of the night. He was aggressive on the defensive end and was rewarded with 3 steals for his efforts. His shot was off and all of his points came from put backs or free trows. Since this was his first taste of NBA level pace and talent, it’s hard to judge how much was nerves and how much was inexperience. Sharpe looked to have the skills that Dumars has promised that he has. Sharpe needs to work on finishing around the basket and needs to relax when shooting. We are going to have to see more of him before there can be any kind of judgment, but Walter got off to a shaky start.”Pistons Full Court Press (after the July 11 Laker game)
  • “Having another poor shooting night was Walter Sharpe, who went 2-8 from the field. But that wasn’t what left the biggest impression from the young forward. It was Sharpe’s leaping abilities and the way he can handle the basketball and bring it up the court. Sharpe looked smooth out there and seemed to be relaxed when he had the ball in his hands.”Pistons Full Court Press (after the July 13th Clippers game)
  • “Walter Sharpe continued to impress coaches and fans alike with his play. Sharpe showed his versatility and looked very comfortable in the Pistons offense and defense. If Sharpe continues to improve at his current pace, it’s hard to imagine that he can’t fight his way into the Pistons rotation, depending on what changes are made to the current roster. Sharpe finished with 8 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes of play.”Pistons Full Court Press (after the July 15th Bucks game)

Marcus Campbell

As for our friend Marcus Campbell, he received DNP-CD’s (did not play – coach’s decision) for all five Miami Heat games in the Orlando NBA Summer League. A report in the Sun-Sentinel said that Campbell was limited by injury.

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