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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #1
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Interesting article on McDyess

A roll of the 'Dyess
Forward had many options, but his heart said Pistons
Chris McCosky / The Detroit News
AUBURN HILLS -- Sure, 15 teams came after Antonio McDyess after he took the buyout from the Nuggets last month and was, for 30 days, a free agent. Cleveland and Boston came at him pretty strongly.

But as flattered as he might have been and as tempting as some of those offers were, McDyess learned a long time ago when it comes to recruiting, you have to follow your heart. It was a lesson he learned the hard way.

It was January of 1999, and the lockout-shortened season was about to start. McDyess, who had played in Phoenix the previous season, was a free agent about to sign with Denver, his first NBA team.

"I didn't want to sign there," said McDyess, a forward. "I sort of had an in-between mind at that point."

Problem was, he had given a verbal commitment to the Nuggets, and they had flown him in on the eve of training camp to sign the contract.

"When I got to Denver, I just felt like that wasn't the place for me," he said. "So I called Jason Kidd (his teammate in Phoenix the previous season) and told him, 'I don't know if I want to sign here, man.' He said, 'Just stay right there and don't do nothing you don't want to do. I will be there soon.' "

Kidd, along with Suns teammates George McCloud and Rex Chapman, chartered a plane and flew through a blizzard into Denver that night.

"I was at a (Colorado Avalanche) hockey game (in the owner's suite) and I wasn't going to sign until they got there," McDyess said.

But McDyess said Dan Issel, Denver's coach and general manager at the time, knew Kidd's rescue party was on the way, and instructed security and ticket sellers at McNichols Arena to keep Kidd and company out of the building.

"I mean, it was a blizzard outside, and they wouldn't let those guys inside the arena. They kept them out in the snow," McDyess said. "It was crazy times."

McDyess, true to his character, honored his verbal commitment to the Nuggets and played four more seasons with them. But he's always regretted the decision he made on that snowy night.

"I was just very young then," he said.

"I didn't have anybody guiding me or teaching me better at that point. I was basically listening to John Lucas (Nuggets assistant coach). He was my mentor-adviser at the time and that's why he got there and talked to me before (Kidd) came, and I went on to sign the paper.

"But that whole year I felt bad about the whole situation."

McDyess wasn't about to repeat that mistake this time around. The other offers made him feel good, but he was going to play where he felt right. He wasn't leaving the Pistons.

"What kept my loyalty to the Pistons was Joe," McDyess said, referring to Pistons president Joe Dumars. "Four or five years ago (2004), I was at the bottom of my career. There were pretty much just two teams that wanted me and these guys were coming off a championship. But they wanted me even though I had a bum knee and hadn't played in a year or two.

"Joe took that chance on me and gave me another chance at basketball and allowed me to start my career all the way back over, from the bottom to the top again. I just wanted to repay him for that."

Certainly McDyess looked at the standings before re-signing with the Pistons last Tuesday. He saw Boston and Cleveland looking more like championship-worthy than the Pistons now.

"I don't want to be jumping from team to team chasing that ring," he said. "The ring is not guaranteed. Even if I went to the best team in the league, Boston, the Lakers, whoever, I just feel like anything can happen in the playoffs. I know that, and I know this team. Anything can happen."

Faith, that's something else McDyess has. Even though his best friend, Chauncey Billups, is gone, McDyess still thinks he can get his ring with the Pistons.

"I know this team, man," he said. "I know a lot of people are counting us out but this team never gives up. We love that challenge. I know with these guys here, we still have a shot no matter what the media says about it."
A couple of things in there, I did not know about, and therefore found quite interesting.

Damn Denver blizzards, cost us McDyess and cost us a shot at the longest winning streak in history.

Walking through the park the other day, I stumbled across a season ticket pass for the Clippers nailed to a tree.

Naturally I took it. You can never have enough nails...
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:21 AM   #2
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This may be new news to some of you, but to myself and others here who have followed the suns for years, this is old news.
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. -Will Rogers
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #3
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by sunsfn View Post
This may be new news to some of you, but to myself and others here who have followed the suns for years, this is old news.
I would guess its pretty much old news to everybody. Still interesting though and I love the part of Issel making sure Kidd, MCCloud, and Chapman couldn't get in the arena to change things....
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Old December 16th, 2008, 10:31 AM   #5
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There wasn't anything about the double dealing by his agent back in the day nor his friction with coach Ainge, but it seems accurate as far as it goes.
"I like to act decisively whenever I'm trying to get something done," Dumars said. "But I'm well aware that there has to be another team that's willing, and there has to be a good deal for both teams. Those two things will slow you down in doing a deal."
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Old December 17th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #6
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I remember that whole year being ticked for Ainge sitting McDyess in the fourth quarters - there sure wasn't anything happening on the court that justified him doing that. You could tell from Dice's demeanor on the bench he hated it. By the end of the season I and others were predicting that McDyess wouldn't return for that very reason.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 03:57 AM   #7
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Dan Issel was mean..
“You can’t worry about things you have no control over.”

"Above and Beyond"

-- Steve Nash

"I don't even care how much I score.
I just want to win."
-- Ron Artest
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antonio mcdyess

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