Tag:Byron Mullens
Posted on: November 25, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 4:58 pm
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Byron Mullens went to prison for some hoops

Posted by Royce Young



Byron Mullens is known for a lot of things, most not all that positive. First, most don't even know who "Byron" Mullens is, because the majority of people know him as B.J. And that's the guy that's known as a pretty solid bust in the NBA after coming in to Ohio State as maybe the top freshman in the country in 2008. Or the guy graded as the worst in NBA 2K12.

Mullens has yet to find a way to see any meaningul court time in the NBA, as he's been relegated to nasty title of "project" in Oklahoma City. He's insanely gifted though. About 7-1 and can run the floor and jump like a power forward. Lots of ability, but he hasn't realized it yet.

But forget all that for now. Because Mullens has spent this lockout doing something pretty unique. He went to prison. To run some ball. Via an excellent piece from ESPN.com:

Mullens was born in Canal Winchester, Ohio, and grew up playing basketball around Columbus. He lived off and on with his mother and five siblings until high school before moving into his own apartment, paying his expenses by working after school and on weekends as a plumber. During his junior and senior years of high school, Mullens lived with the family of one of his best friends. In his first year there, he and the friend visited a juvenile detention center to teach basketball clinics and talk to troubled teens about making better choices — and also to play pickup games.

[...]

“I played ball at some places for juvenile kids when I was in high school and I kinda wanted to get back into it,” Mullens said.

By mid-July, he played in his first pickup game at Ross, which houses mostly level 2 and 3 prisoners — medium and “close” security, respectively….

“They play some really good basketball up here,” Mullens said.

It's easy to judge players like Mullens for what they've done, or maybe more appropriately, what they haven't done, but this is something very cool. While his teammate Kevin Durant has increased his already sterling reputation for playing pretty much anywhere and everywhere, Mullens has gone one place Durant hasn't -- behind bars.

But it's not just a "giving back" scenario for Mullens. He's there to work.
Mullens has yet to sustain any injuries -- except perhaps to his pride.

Inmates trash talk and yell at him on every possession to "dunk the ball," and the taunts only increase when Mullens steps behind the arc. But Mullens says he's not there to dominate the boards. Instead, he sees these pickup games as an opportunity to work on his outside shooting and ballhandling. Since the tallest inmate Mullens has faced is 6-8 and most hover around 6-foot, the majority of his shots are uncontested. The inmates try to counter with speed and 3-point shooting.

Like most pickup ball, defense is not the focus of these games, which consist of three 20-minute periods. And even though inmates who have taken referee tests are paid 75 cents per game to serve as officials, fouls, traveling and three-second calls are hard to come by.

"The refs aren't very good," Janes said. "You'll get the calls you get."

But what the game doesn't lack is good competition.

"Honestly, what surprised me most coming in here was how good these guys are," Mullens said.

It's funny that Mullens says he's working most on his outside shot while there, because that's always been a complaint about his style. Instead of using his 7-1 from to dominate inside, Mullens has always preferred to float around the perimeter and basically blend in as if he were just a 6-7 forward. Having a big man with touch is a wonderful thing, but you also want your big man to get after it in the paint.

However, prison might not be the best place in the world to get physical though. Good call, Byron. Keep it outside.

Posted on: October 4, 2011 4:51 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2011 5:02 pm
 

The worst overall player ratings in NBA 2K12

Posted by Ben Golliver

nba-2k12

Last week, we took a look at the top-rated players in the latest rendition of the popular video game, NBA 2K12. Miami Heat forward LeBron James led all current players with a player rating of 98. Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams were all rated above 90 by the game on a scale of 1-100.

Here's the flipside. The following is a list of the worst-rated players on each team. The absolute worst of the worst is Oklahoma City Thunder center Byron Mullens, who rates as a 40. The rest of the bottom five: Chicago Bulls forward Brian Scalabrine (41), Toronto Raptors center Alexis Ajinca (42), Utah Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko (42) and San Antonio Spurs forward Steve Novak (43).

Here's the full list of the worst-rated players for each team in NBA 2K12

Atlanta Hawks -- Jason Collins -- C -- 45
Boston Celtics -- Nenad Krstic -- C -- 54
Charlotte Bobcats -- DeSagana Diop -- C -- 51
Chicago Bulls -- Brian Scalabrine -- PF -- 41
Cleveland Cavaliers -- Luke Harangody -- PF -- 50
Dallas Mavericks -- Ian Mahinmi -- C -- 47
Denver Nuggets -- Kosta Koufos -- C -- 53
Detroit Pistons -- DaJuan Summers -- SF -- 55
Golden State Warriors -- Vladimir Radmanovic -- PF -- 53
Houston Rockets -- Hasheem Thabeet -- C -- 51
Indiana Pacers -- A.J. Price -- PG -- 53
Los Angeles Clippers -- Brian Cook -- PF -- 49
Los Angeles Lakers -- Theo Ratliff -- C -- 53
Memphis Grizzlies -- Hamed Haddadi -- C -- 48
Miami Heat -- Dexter Pittman -- C -- 45
Milwaukee Bucks -- Jon Brockman -- PF -- 51
Minnesota Timberwolves -- Nikola Pekovic -- C -- 55
New Jersey Nets -- Mario West -- PG -- 49
New Orleans Hornets -- D.J. Mbenga -- C -- 45
New York Knicks -- Anthony Carter -- PG -- 53
Oklahoma City Thunder -- Byron Mullens -- C -- 40
Orlando Magic -- Malik Allen -- PF -- 49
Philadelphia 76ers -- Tony Battie -- C -- 47
Phoenix Suns -- Garret Siler -- C -- 52
Portland Trail Blazers -- Earl Barron -- C -- 47
Sacramento Kings -- Hassan Whiteside -- C -- 49
San Antonio Spurs -- Steve Novak -- PF -- 43
Toronto Raptors -- Alexis Ajinca -- C -- 42
Utah Jazz -- Kyrylo Fesenko -- C -- 42
Washington Wizards -- Hamady N'Diaye -- C -- 50

Note: Both the Hawks and the Hornets had multiple players rated below 50. Guard Pape Sy was rated 48 for Atlanta and center David Andersen was rated 49 for New Orleans.
Posted on: October 8, 2010 4:04 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 5:50 pm
 

Brooks thinks the Thunder are coming along nicely

Thunder coach expects difficulty in managing frontcourt versatility, praises Westbrook's leadership growth.
Posted by Matt Moore


Scott Brooks simultaneously has an extremely difficult and conveniently easy gig right now. He's got a top club in the NBA's Western Conference, but operating with a young roster in a small market, expectations aren't through the roof. He's got a high volume of frontcourt depth, but he's got to figure out how to manage all the rotations and minutes. And he's got guys that love to play together. There's really no downside to that.

At practice Friday morning before OKC's preseason game versus the Heat, Brooks talked about that frontcourt depth. Cole Aldrich, the eleventh overall pick (acquired in a trade with the Hornets that also netted Mo Peterson) will get the start tonight in KC, less than an hour from KU where he made his bones in college. The Thunder this year have worlds of depth down low, with Aldrich joining Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison (another KU alum), and Nenad Krstic with Byron Mullens mopping up the excess. Brooks says the depth is a good thing to have, but a challenge for the staff.
"I like the depth we've got at all five spots. It makes it challenging for the coach, but it's better. You'd rather have that than have to bleed every minute of the starting five. I feel very confident that our guys off the bench whoever they may be will come in and do well. I like the frontcourt. We've have a lot of different style of players. Serge brings his game, and then on down the line: Cole, Nenad, and Jeff, with Byron and D.J. It's my job to figure out how to mesh it all together."
Brooks also spoke about Russell Westbrook and the leadership skills he took from his work this summer with Team USA:
"Any time you're around a great group of athletes like he was with Team USA, it's going to help your game and your leadership. Coach K's a terrific coach, and you learn something from every coach you have. Russell's leadership skills have improved every year. I think as a point guard you want that. It's hard to lead a team as a rookie. The only one I can remember is Magic. But Russell's done a great job in developing his leadership skills."
Westbrook will get his chances to show the offensive leadership tonight against a Heat team that will start Mario Chalmers (another former Jayhawk) and Mike Miller, filling in for an injured Dywane Wade.
 
 
 
 
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