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

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
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 your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close