DimeMag

Reynolds Rap: The D-League Life & NBA All-Star Weekend Predictions

After an illustrious four-year career at Villanova, Scottie Reynolds didn’t go down the typical path of a consensus First Team All-American. Finishing his tenure at ‘Nova second all-time in scoring and leading the Wildcats to a Final Four appearance in ’09, Scottie went undrafted in 2010. After a brief stint with Prima Veroli in Italy, he set his sights back on America, specifically the Springfield Armor of the D-League, in hopes of getting the opportunity to play at the next level. As one of the perennial figures of Villanova Basketball and a current standout in the D-League, we decided there was no one better to turn to for an inside scoop on life in the NBA’s minor league. In his second entry, Scottie talks about missing the Super Bowl, his picks for the Slam Dunk Contest and becoming a facilitator.

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I’m watching the Brazil-France game right now. I actually played soccer back in the day, but I used to always skip practice because I got so bored of it. My mom was like, “You’re going to practice or I’m taking you off the team,” so I had to choose. I decided to put all my eggs in one basket and focus on basketball.

I didn’t get to watch the Super Bowl this year. We were in the air for a six-hour flight. It was 1:00pm L.A. time and we had to make an unexpected stop over in Nashville and we ended up not watching the Super Bowl at all. Everyone was acting crazy about missing it. It was un-American! I mean, I don’t like any of the teams, but you gotta watch the Super Bowl. Out of both teams I guess I like the way the Steelers play more, but my team’s the Redskins, so it’s hard for me to cheer for anybody else. All we (Redskin fans) had to cheer for was DeAngelo Hall winning the MVP of the Pro Bowl, but honestly, we need to get this quarterback situation fixed. Actually, the same thing happened to me last year for Game 7 of the NBA Finals. I didn’t get to watch it because I was in the air flying in from a workout from the West Coast.

When we were leaving Springfield on our road trip it was snowing bad. I don’t even know how we left; there was a blizzard coming from the Midwest and I think we ended up with a foot of snow. We left at like 6:00 or 7:00am from the airport and we were looking outside and thinking, “How are we going to fly in this?” Our flight took us though Denver, Reno then Las Vegas, but we had to change our route midway. We finally took off and went to Denver, which had already been delayed, and landed 15 minutes late for our connector in Las Vegas. We didn’t arrive at our final destination ’til 11:30pm. We were travelling for 20-21 hours and had to play the next day. It was reckless.

I also have to add that we took a 10-hour bus ride from Reno to Bakersfield and I got to see all parts of California that I never thought I’d see. The view from the bus was great since we saw what I would call mountains but they (Californians) call it hills. The shuttle we took – which I Twitpic’d – wasn’t too big and we all sat really close together with hardly any separation between us.

We didn’t have a good game the night before against Reno, we were shorthanded and basically had to go out there with new guys playing different positions. I guess it was good for me to direct the offense and create order. We were hitting shots and I think Tony Bobbitt was 8-for-16 from three which helped (me get 18 assists). Once we were in the flow of the game and I understood the coverage of the game, it was easy.

I’ve been a lot more vocal, helping place guys in position so we don’t get stagnant and everybody is on the same page. Especially when we have new guys, you have to be vocal or else you’re going to be on different pages. I feel like I’m creating a lot more scoring opportunities too and it adds pressure on D when I score. It’s just a matter of when and how I do that.

Having players come and go is the nature of the business. We have five of the original 10 that started back in November, but at the same time I think we’re bringing in guys that know basketball so it’s kind of easy for us to be vocal and put people in their position. Even if it’s not really my character, you can’t be afraid of what people might say to you – there has to be order and structure. It’s made me come of my comfort zone and be more direct.

With our recent losing streak, there’s a couple times we had blowout losses which is not a good feeling at all, it can get pretty frustrating. I think we make big strides and then we revert back to our bad habits, moving forward and back, moving forward and back. Most of the time we give ourselves a good chance to win. Having a chance to pull it out, but we’ve had lapses in the fourth quarter where we can’t pull it out. Some of it is the youth, the team or growing pains. I think J.J. Hickson said, “We’re not going out there trying to lose.” We’re going out there every single night to win the ball game. We always had that mindset moving forward. The most frustrating part is we do the necessary things in practice but don’t apply it in a game. We need to apply things more.

When Craig Brackins left it was definitely a sad day in Springfield. I don’t know if he’s coming back in or not. Hopefully he can go there (Philadelphia 76ers) and get time. But on the other hand, as a friend, you’re kind of hoping he’ll be back here for a while. He’s a good friend and I like playing with him. It’s like having an AAU teammate. Speaking of which, I have to give a shout out to Craig, my man L.D. Williams in the Philippines and Jamar Brown too.

Point guard wise, I think Cedric Jackson is one of the better players I’ve played against in the D-League. I think we like playing against each other. He’s an older guy who knows the game and I always like going up against him. He’s got a lot of good talent and you try to apply aspects of his game to yours.

For All-Star Weekend, I plan on going down to Virginia to see my family, keep it low key. We don’t play ’til the next Tuesday after All-Star Weekend so it’ll be nice to have a break, go home and then get ready to finish the last stretch of 17 games of the season.

I’m excited about the NBA All-Star Game this year. I’m going to root for my boys Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose, who are with the same agency as me. We worked out in the summer and I’m glad they made the team. Kevin Durant is always fun to watch, and we’re both from the DMV and played against each other in high school. Picking a winner for the Slam Dunk Contest is tough this year because I worked out with JaVale [McGee] and got to know him. He’s so tall and athletic and kind of like a guard in a 7-1 body. I like Blake [Griffin] too. He and I could have been on the same team in Oklahoma together. I put my Top 2 right there. I really wanted to see Brandon Jennings in there. I’ve seen him do crazy stuff, and as a guard, everything he does should be counted extra. I know he would have something up his sleeve that I’ve seen him do. As for me, my dunking days are pretty much over, but I guess I sometimes like to dunk when no one expects it. I’m what you call an unexpected dunker.

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