As he enters NBA, Shabazz Muhammad tells father to take a seat on the bench

  • Article by: JON KRAWCZYNSKI , AP Basketball Writer
  • Updated: June 30, 2013 - 10:39 AM

MINNEAPOLIS — For the first 20 years of his life, almost every time Shabazz Muhammad turned around on a basketball court, his father was right there behind him.

Ron Holmes meticulously planned out and cultivated his son's playing career, from Muhammad's very first days in sneakers, through the construction of AAU teams that allowed his son to become one of the most heavily recruited prep stars in the nation and during his one and only season at UCLA.

Now that Muhammad is preparing to make the long-anticipated jump from college to the pros, he is telling his famously involved — and occasionally trouble-making — father to take a seat on the bench. Muhammad said the two had a conversation last month setting new ground rules for their relationship going forward.

"I talk to him now as a dad," Muhammad said on Friday after being introduced as one of the Minnesota Timberwolves' two first-round draft picks. "He's not really in my basketball (life) anymore.

"I still love the guy. I talk to him about basketball and life. But he doesn't really come around with basketball anymore. I think that's the appropriate thing to do. It's really helping me out a lot."

When Muhammad arrived at UCLA last year, he was hailed as the next great Bruin in the program's storied history and the sure-fire No. 1 draft pick in 2013. But his stock dipped some, partly due to some off-the-court exploits by his father.

Muhammad had to sit out the first three games of the season and repay $1,600 in impermissible benefits after the NCAA and UCLA found that Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina, travel arrangements made by his father.

It was also revealed in a Los Angeles Times story in March that Holmes shaved a year off of his son's age when he was young to give Muhammad an advantage against younger competition on the summer AAU circuit and in high school. Muhammad, it was revealed, was actually 20 and not 19.

Holmes also ran into trouble of his own with the law. He served six months' house arrest in 2000 after pleading guilty to using fraudulent bank statements and tax returns to secure mortgages. Earlier in June, Holmes pleaded not guilty to federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges and is again on house arrest.

"There were some slipups with him. We definitely talked about that," Muhammad said. "That's why I loved doing interviews with NBA teams because they said, 'When you look at him, they're like this kid didn't do anything. He's a good kid.' That's one thing I wanted to reach out to everybody doing the interviews with me.

"My dad is a great guy, but with basketball, we don't really talk about it. He's just being a dad and just helping me out with life now."

New Timberwolves President Flip Saunders had some of those concerns and conversations with Muhammad in the pre-draft process.

"When we sat down and talked to him he owned up to anything in his previous history that he's dealt with," Saunders said. "And a lot of that didn't have to do with him. It had to do with some other people involved. I felt comfortable with that. Not only did he own up to it, I felt he had a little chip on his shoulder because of where everything was at."

Former UCLA coach Ben Howland watched Muhammad deal with the scrutiny that comes with being such a hyped recruit, and the ensuing adversity with his three-game suspension and the revelation of his true age.

"I think he handled adversity extremely well and he had a lot of it," Howland said. "The stuff with the NCAA and not knowing when he was going to be cleared, he stayed positive, worked hard, supported his teammates through the whole process."

Maybe for the first time in his basketball life, Muhammad is facing serious doubts about his abilities on the court. He averaged 17.9 points a game, but even Saunders acknowledged that he had a tendency to coast on occasion during games. His ability to shoot from long range and go to his right also are being questioned, but Muhammad remains confident.

"I love changing people's opinions," he said.

Howland and Saunders said playing in coach Rick Adelman's system that is predicated on passing and moving without the ball will help him blossom into the player many projected him to be when he was a prep star in Las Vegas. But being able to draw a line in the sand in his relationship with his father, and asserting himself as his own man, may be as important to that process as anything else.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 FINAL
Washington 5
Boston 8 Top 9th Inning
Minnesota 9
Toronto 0 FINAL
Baltimore 5
Oklahoma City 100 4th Qtr 4:15
Chicago 96
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 4 FINAL(SO)
Boston 3
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Washington 1
Toronto 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Dallas 3 2nd OT :00
Florida 3
NY Islanders 4 3rd Prd 6:08
Nashville 3
Vancouver 0 2nd Prd 11:10
Arizona 1
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 83 FINAL
Bucknell 90
Western Ky 88 FINAL
Charlotte 84
Navy 62 FINAL
Colgate 72
Temple 70 FINAL
East Carolina 56
UAB 59 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 62
Boston Univ 64 FINAL
Lafayette 89
American Univ 68 FINAL
Lehigh 62
Wisconsin 76 FINAL
Minnesota 63
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Saint Peters 63
Arkansas 78 FINAL
South Carolina 74
Morehead State 76 FINAL
UT Martin 65
USC Upstate 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 62
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
North Florida 71
Southern Ill 55 FINAL
Missouri State 48
Texas State 64 FINAL
Appalachian St 67
SC State 62 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 72
Delaware State 104 FINAL
Coppin State 92
Middle Tennessee 54 FINAL
FIU 59
Texas-Arlington 64 FINAL
Ga Southern 76
Norfolk State 80 FINAL
Hampton 69
NC A&T 58 FINAL
NC Central 69
Savannah State 57 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 72
Marshall 50 FINAL
Old Dominion 67
Rice 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 74
South Alabama 71 2nd Half 5:52
Arkansas State 63
Alabama State 41 2nd Half 15:30
Grambling St 26
Alabama A&M 36 2nd Half 11:50
Jackson State 49
Sam Houston St 43 2nd Half 15:30
Lamar 35
Georgia State 58 FINAL
ULM 50
Central Arkansas 49 2nd Half 3:31
Nicholls 64
Portland State 51 2nd Half 0:40
Northern Ariz 56
Southern U 31 2nd Half
Prairie View 44
Alcorn State 40 2nd Half 14:30
Texas Southern 50
Houston Baptist 58 2nd Half 5:58
TX A&M-CC 73
Ark-Little Rock 53 2nd Half 5:28
Louisiana 56
SE Louisiana 45 2nd Half 15:07
New Orleans 56
California 27 2nd Half
Arizona 48
Memphis 32 2nd Half 17:02
Connecticut 33
VA Commonwealth 23 2nd Half 18:56
Davidson 40
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Sacramento St 50 2nd Half 12:40
Southern Utah 55
Northwestern St 34 2nd Half 20:00
Stephen F Austin 52
North Texas 34 2nd Half 13:17
Texas-El Paso 58
Colorado 46 2nd Half 11:33
Washington 36
Idaho 37 2nd Half 15:33
Weber State 50
Abilene Christian 19 2nd Half
Incarnate Word 23
Eastern Wash 55 2nd Half 13:00
Idaho State 39
Marist 41 2nd Half
Quinnipiac 27
Eastern Ill 24 2nd Half
Belmont 47
Bradley 21 2nd Half
Drake 17
Cal State Fullerton 5 1st Half 14:54
UC Irvine 5
CS-Northridge 7 1st Half 12:47
Long Beach State 14
UC Riverside 12 1st Half 13:24
UC Davis 5
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
UCLA 80
FIU 30 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC A&T 67 FINAL
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 64 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 84
Charlotte 72 FINAL
Western Ky 80
Texas-El Paso 69 FINAL
North Texas 61
Wichita State 77 FINAL
Evansville 63
Loyola-Chicago 64 FINAL
Northern Iowa 69
Bradley 70 FINAL
Drake 86
Presbyterian 54 2nd Half 2:53
High Point 67
Vanderbilt 47 2nd Half 7:12
(12) Kentucky 54
Colorado 43 2nd Half 16:08
USC 37
San Francisco 45 2nd Half 15:53
Pacific 43
Idaho State 39 2nd Half 11:42
Eastern Washington 43
Weber State 24 2nd Half 15:10
Idaho 44
Purdue 32 2nd Half
Minnesota 45
Cal-Irvine 10 1st Half 12:48
Cal State Fullerton 14
Long Beach St 3 1st Half 15:50
CS-Northridge 9
Hawaii 10 1st Half 14:25
UC Santa Barbara 11
UC Davis 12 1st Half 11:31
UC-Riverside 4
Northern Ariz 15 1st Half 13:03
Portland State 10
Southern Utah 4 1st Half 14:51
Sacramento St 13
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close