Shawn Respert

Recent Articles

NBA’s D-league finally working



The NBA Development League, or the D-League as it’s commonly known, started in 2001. There have been some significant changes in the league’s function since then. The D-League for years only served as a last-resort haven for wannebees and used-to-be’s. It wasn’t until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in 2011 that allowed NBA clubs to be like Major League Baseball — send down veterans and rookies and make call-ups when needed. Now, players in their first three NBA years can be assigned to the D-League any number of times. Continue Reading →

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Wolves asst. coach credits good timing for his coaching career


An NBA assistant coach’s job is more than just keeping the bench leveled as the head coach continually stalks the sidelines during games. “Every day before practice, we meet [as a coaching] staff and formulate a practice plan,” explains T.R. Dunn, one of five former NBAers on the Minnesota Timberwolves staff, including Head Coach Rick Adelman, Terry Porter, Shawn Respert and Jack Sikma. “We all have input, and obviously he [Adelman] has the final decision on what goes down on what we do. We all have roles in instructing a particular player or group of players, and we oversee the practices. During the course of practice, if we want to make a point, we can do it right there.”

Each assistant coach is in a regular “game prep” rotation: “We do the game prep and watch film of the [opposing] team and try to prepare ourselves and our team for who we are going to be playing next,” explains Dunn. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Timberwolves: The ‘Whitest team in the NBA’ has an even Whiter front office

Director of basketball operations counts coaching staff as front-office staff to claim diversity 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


The National Basketball Association for years has been graded as “the most racially diverse group of players of the major professional sports” by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). Seventy-two percent of its players are Blacks and 82 percent of its players are people of color. This racial diversity has not yet found its way into the local NBA team, however, as a Star Tribune article recently pointed out with respect to the players, without even mentioning the club’s all-White front office. According to the 2011-12 “NBA Racial and Gender Report Card” by TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, 13 percent of team presidents/CEOs, 23 percent of GMs, 10 percent of vice presidents, 13 percent of senior administrators, 14 percent of professional administrators, five percent of team physicians and 21 percent of head trainers are Black. However in contrast, the Minnesota Timberwolves has no Blacks in any of the aforementioned positions: Since Billy McKinney, its first-ever player personnel director (1988-1990), the team has not had a person of color in a key front-office position in 22 years, and only three Blacks total in decision-making roles in the franchise’s entire 24 years. Continue Reading →

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Wolves Coach Respert explains player development

A group of former NBA players recently debated on NBA TV on which city has the best hoops. Kenny Smith says it’s his native New York City, but Chris Webber argued for his hometown, Detroit. Last month this columnist and Shawn Respert, a former Detroit Bishop Borgess High School star in the late 1980s, talked about being at the “Big House,” Cobo Hall and “Celiciaville” — sacred places in the Motor City like the Big Apple’s Madison Square Garden and Rucker Park. Winning a city or league title in the “D” was equally important and oftentimes just as prestigious as any pro championship. It earned more than bragging

rights; rather, it was a fitfully earned badge of pride that would last a lifetime. Continue Reading →

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