N why isnt the 'coach' playing him, is my only quesion..
Madsen stays upbeat on Minn. bench
Walnut Creek native returns home to face Warriors
By GEOFF LEPPER/MediaNews Group
Article Launched: 12/25/2007 05:50:00 AM PST
Walnut Creek native Mark Madsen has spent much of his life in search of new experiences, and from that perspective, this season is a raging success. He's never before come across anything quite like it - not at San Ramon Valley High in Danville, not at Stanford and definitely not in the NBA.
\"This is the first time in my career where I've been in a situation where we have this many losses and this few wins,\" Madsen said. \"That adds some frustration to the mix, but they say you can't grow without adversity.\"
If that's true, the already 6-foot-9 forward might find himself a 7-foot center by the time April rolls around.
After seven years in the NBA averaging more than 47 wins per season - and winning two championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers - Madsen and the Timberwolves are struggling through the pains of a tear-down renovation.
At 4-22, Minnesota brings the NBA's worst record to Oracle Arena this evening to play the Warriors. And with the Timberwolves building around a core of baby-faced talent all aged 24 or younger - guys such as Al Jefferson, Rashad McCants, Randy Foye and Corey Brewer - Madsen, who turns 32 next month, finds himself marginalized.
\"I'm trying to channel all of the frustration into work,\" Madsen said.
\"How's that going?\" he was asked.
\"Well, I had eight DNPs in a row, so you tell me,\" Madsen replied with a hearty laugh, using the NBA's shorthand for games in which he was healthy and in uniform but never called upon by Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman.
Racking up statistics has never been Madsen's game, but even by his standards, this season's 0.4 points per game average and 15.4 percent shooting are paltry numbers at best. A jet-ski accident in August led to surgery on Madsen's right shoulder that sidelined him for the first eight games of the season. But in the 18 contests since then, he's earned just 109 minutes.
\"We have a lot of great young talent, and I understand that it's a long season so I know that later in the season, the pendulum swings the other way,\" Madsen said. \"The only thing I've learned is that it's a privilege to be playing here in the league and to always be ready, to keep your conditioning up, keep your skills tuned. You hope that after a long while, when they call your name, you hope that you can do something positive. You hope that the work pays off. And it may not be instantaneous. It may be a long time.\"
Warriors guard Troy Hudson, who played alongside Madsen for four seasons in Minnesota, thinks his old teammate can handle to wait.
\"He's a mentally tough guy,\" Hudson said. \"He's a guy that you can count on night in and night out, whether it's on the court or off the court. He's a true professional. He's the type of guy that never complains. I'm sure he's in that locker room, showing the young kids and waiting for his opportunity, whether it be in Minnesota or somewhere else.\"
That last clause brings up an interesting point. Madsen is currently owed approximately $7 million on a five-year deal worth $12.1 million he signed prior to the 2005-06 season, but his yearly number is so small that a better team in need of a high-energy reserve might be willing to take a flier on him.
\"He's a guy who can go on the court and hustle for you,\" Hudson said. \"He's not going to demand the ball like most players in the league. He's got athletic ability and the spirit to play, so why wouldn't any team in the league want him around?\"
Madsen feels like he has plenty of basketball left in him, but he's not going to fight or pout his way out of Minneapolis to reach a more successful franchise.
\"Don't get me wrong: I'm hungry,\" Madsen said. \"I want minutes. But I'm never going to turn into a cancer on the team, and I'm going to do everything I can to support, whether it's cheering from the sidelines and getting six DNPs in a row or contributing on the court.\"
The administrator has disabled public write access.