1) Congratulations Hassan!
HEADQUARTERS OF THE MIAMI HEAT, HEAD COACH'S OFFICE, MIAMI, FL - DAY
ERIK SPOELSTRA, the Head Coach of the 2014-2015 reinvented Heat, is looking at some stats provided by his assistants. Written in red he reads: "Miami Heat, 30th team in rebounds per game."
"We need a center who can rebound," he says to the air.
KNOCK KNOCK (someone knocking at the door)
"Yeah, come in."
A SEVEN FOOT ATHLETIC GUY enters and approaches to Spoelstra's desk.
"Who are you, kid?"
"I'm Hassan Whiteside. I just heard you need a center."
"You are damn right."
"I'm a center, Sir."
"And you can get some rebounds?"
"Yes, I can. Take a look at my stats with the Iowa Energy."
"Oh, wait... You are the center who last Saturday destroyed our D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, right?"
"Yes, I am. Good game, ah. You wanna see my highlights?"
"Well, not really. Just tell me how many rebo..."
D-LEAGUE YOUTUBE VIDEO is already ON in Hassan's iPad,
"29 minutes. 24 points. 16 rebounds. 4 blocks. 11 of 12 shooting."
"Interesting, but don't lie to me, Hassan. When you say shooting you mean dunking, right?"
Hassan nods shyly.
"Don't worry. I don't care about your shooting. Can you promise me some rebounds?"
"Yes," Hassan says.
"Then welcome to Miami."
SPOELSTRA STARTS LAUGHING in a crazy way.
"Did you hear that Hassan? Welcome to Miami..."
"What?" says Hassan.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, Miami, uh, uh, Southbeach, bringin the heat, uh, haha, can y'all feel that, can y'all feel that, jig it out, uh..."-
CLOSING IN on Spoelstra's eyes, haunted, intense, as he keeps dancing and singing Will Smith's song "Miami".
2) Damien, the Baller
NOVEMBER 14, RENO, NV.
The Iowa Energy win 152-144.
Damien Wilkins: 32 points, 13 rebounds, 9 assists.
NOVEMBER 15, SANTA CRUZ, CA.
The Iowa Energy win 102-100.
Damien Wilkins: 30 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists.
NOVEMBER 20, DES MOINES, IA.
Damien Wilkins speaks as the leader of the Iowa Energy,
NOVEMBER 22, SIOUX FALLS, SD.
The Iowa Energy win 124-104. 3-0 on the road for the Energy.
Damien Wilkins: 23 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists.
NOVEMBER 24, NEW YORK CITY, NY.
D-League announces that Damien Wilkins is the Performer of the Week for games played Friday, Nov.14, through Sunday, Nov.23.
DAMIEN from his sofa (V.O.): "Awesome!"
3) Iowa! Jordan Adams is comin'. Or where the Rookie's D-League Journey begins
HEADQUARTERS OF THE MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES, FINISHING PRACTICE, MEMPHIS, TN - DAY
DAVE JOERGER, the Head Coach of the Grizzlies, approaches to the rookie JORDAN ADAMS and speaks to him.
(Quotes from Imagine Dragons' song "It's Time")
"And now it's time to build from the bottom of the pit, right to the top. It's time to begin isn't it? Now don't you understand. This road never looked so lonely. The path to heaven runs through miles of clouded hell. I don't ever wanna let you down."
"What?" says Jordan.
"You go to Iowa, Jordan. With the Energy."
"OK, coach. It's all good."
"Listen man, I love your game. I really do. But Nick the Greek is back. And you can't be inactive anymore. You have to play."
"Yeah, I know. I wanna play."
"Yeah, listen. You did a good job in the couple of games you played. Look at the Grizzly Bear Blues' Report Cards of those matches."
"Wait, you read that?" asks Jordan.
"Of course I do. You should too."
Dave shows Jordan the printed articles from Grizzly Bear Blues and both read what the writers said about the rookie:
November 3, 2014 - MEM vs. NOP
1 minute. It was more like 23 seconds.
November 17, 2014 - MEM vs. HOU
C+. 10 minutes, 1 point, 1 steal.
When Jordan doesn't force the issue he is awesome, but he was forcing it a bit tonight. I hope we get to see more of the rookies soon, but it doesn't look likely with a tough schedule looming.
November 19, 2014 - MEM @ TOR
C+. 17 minutes, 3 points, 2 assists.
Coach Joerger was mostly hiding Adams in the corners on offense, but when he got the ball he seemed to be trying a bit too hard. That's usual with rookies, though, and I expect that, with time, Adams will find his comfort level. The Grizzlies rookie did show off his defensive ability with two steals.
November 21, 2014 - MEM vs. BOS
C+. 13 minutes, 2 points, 2 assists.
It was pretty obvious that Jordan Adams needs time. I think he is still adjusting to the speed of the NBA game and playing within an offense. And that's not bad he's a rookie and this is what happens with rookies. Despite all of that he has found small ways to be effective on offense and defense by racking up 2 steals and 2 assists.
"I have to be better, coach."
"Yeah, listen. You did fantastic with the Energy in the preseason game, and you will keep showing how good you are, all right?"
"Aight, coach. I'm gonna play good basketball. Just keep on eye on me, OK? I will be ready anytime Grizzlies need me."
CLOSING IN on Jordan Adams walking out lonely of the FedExForum as he says to himself, "Iowa, I'm coming."-
Photo credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images