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CJ Watson: First Quarter
by: CJ Watson
December 24, 2007
Weíve had a couple days off, which I was in dire need of because we played four games in five nights. I was so sore and beat up that I could barely move. So I took it upon myself to pamper myself with an hour massage and soaking in a hot bath of Epsom salt to relieve some pain in my body.

I think the massage helped a little bit, but I think the lady messed my leg up somehow. For some reason she kept pulling my leg in all different directions-- which was very weird. Of all the massages I got since playing basketball, Iíve never had someone pull my leg in all different directions like she did. I was going to say something, but I didn't want to offend the lady because maybe that was her routine. Plus, I don't think she spoke that much English.

My trainer from Las Vegas (big ups mad moves inc.) once told me to stop driving to the basket so much and start using my pull up jumper to preserve my body so my career can last longer. I knew why he was saying it, and what he was saying is true, but I was just being stubborn because he thinks he knows everything. You can't tell him nothing, he's a "New Yorker". They think they know everything. I will surely take that advice now, but still take what the defense gives me at all times.

I went to a Mexican dance concert on one of my days off. It was a humbling experience. It was better than being in the house and watching TV and being on the computer all day I guess. Even though I didn't understand anything, because it was in Spanish. It was a whole bunch of different dances that told stories and folk tales and life experiences of the Mexican culture. I enjoyed it and it was interesting to see something new and different that I hadn't experienced before. Itís something I do I guess besides movies or walk around the mall on my days off.

We recently got another player from the Houston Rockets-- first round draft pick Aaron Brooks. He gives us another scoring threat on the team, and with me and him in the backcourt, itís going to be hard for people to stop us because we are both fast. Or let me rephrase that-- I'm quick, but he is roadrunner fast. He's like a little bullet out there. I believe it will help our team out when he gets adjusted with the system, players and coaches.

I like the D-League so faróitís actually a lot better than what I expected. Iím not saying that I love it, but itís a good option instead of going overseas and being far away from your family and friends. Even though the money is better overseas. But Iím not in it for the money; I do it for the love of the game, right? Although if my NBA dream doesn't come to reality after this season, then I have to go get that money overseas. I guess I just expected much worse and bad traveling experiences, but it hasn't been anything like that yet so far LOL. Maybe itís different with other teams and stuff. Our team owners have taken care of us and do things for us that I'm sure no other teams do. (At least that's what my coach tells us, so I guess I have to believe him).

If youíre in it for the money, then this is not the best league for you. But itís good for exposure because there are scouts at probably every game, and the scouts may be the only people in the crowd. We played in Los Angeles, and it was like we were playing an 8 AM AAU game where no one came except for a couple of parents that traveled with the team. It was only the scouts in the stands, and a handful of people. You could hear everything that was said on the court. It didn't help that we lost and our coach got two technical fouls and another one of our players got thrown out for a bogus foul call off of a rebound. But we live and learn I guess.

Our coach has received a technical foul every game we have played in --no exaggeration. Maybe thatís his thing to get us going or get the refs to actually make better calls, but I don't know. I haven't asked him yet for his reason or if he even realizes that every game he has received a technical. I know he must have money to throw away because those technical fouls aren't cheap. He has to be at least 5,000 dollars in the hole. He can give that to me instead of costing us points and getting a tech every game.

It definitely was an experience and introduction to the D-League to see some of the crowds, or lack thereof that come out to watch us. But our Rio Grande fans are the best, they come out and support like no other. I was reading on the internet that we were tied for first place in the D-League power rankings. Whatever that means. I think things like that don't mean much because teams change so much every week because of players getting called up or sent down from NBA teams or players coming back from overseas getting signed to a new team. So you can be atop of the power rankings one week than the next be at the bottom. Hopefully the Rio Grande Valley Vipers will be at the top throughout the entire season. We have been playing some good basketball and we have one of the best records in the league. Because itís not how you start, but also how you finish the season.

I have a quick funny story about my assistant coach Brian Walsh. He's a short, really short dude. He's about five feet, he doesn't take any stuff, and heís a funny dude. He doesn't think he's funny, but just the things he says and does makes him funny and weird at the same time. He does it all with a straight face though.

One day we had practice and he was taking a nap in the training room before. I went in and woke him up, and he told me he had the weirdest dream. He was playing football and he was on the field with no pads on while everyone else did. I asked him if he was on offense or defense, and he said there wasn't any offense or defense. It was just people taking turns running up to him and hitting him as hard as they possibly could. I started dying laughing and still do to this day. He also said in one of his dreams that our trainer Joe came to practice one day and just started beating him up just for no reason and no one stopped him. How and why he has these dreams still boggles my mind, but they are hilarious and I had to let the world know. But Coach Walsh is a good guy and a good coach.

I want to wish good luck to a few of my teammates who have been called back up to NBA and one who went overseas. I wish them the best of luck and many blessings on their journey and in life. And also Kevin Bookout too, he hurt his shoulder and we don't know how long he's going to be out. We are down to like eight players I think, all guards and one big man. So we will have to play scrappy and hard to win every game. All of our games are on the road the rest of December and all of January except for one home game. So things could get ugly for us if we let it. I think we will be ok, but itís going to be tough because of the number of players we have. I heard through the grapevine we are getting back one of my old teammates Stanley Asumnu. Iím so excited about that because we could really use him.

We did a team community service event at a childrenís hospital, and I believe it made their day. Quinnas White gave a kid his Jordans and a hat signed by the team. He walked out without any shoes on, but it was nice and Iím sure the kid will never forget that moment in his life. We gave out tickets to most of the people in the hospital so they could come check us out on the court. And our dance team even came out and signed autographs and performed a routine or two for the little kids. They are called the Snake Charmers by the way, I had to give them a shout out too because they help us out at our games and give the crowd something to cheer for during timeouts and stuff.

If everything goes according to plan, I will be spending Christmas in Nashville with la familia. I can't wait to see all my family (mama, daddy, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, nephews, and in-laws) again to have a white Christmas --that is if it snows in Nashville while I'm there. But Merry Christmas and happy new year to all. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season!!! 2008 is the year of the storm, so get your umbrellas out and check your local forecast because the quiet storm may be hitting a major city near you soon.

P.S.-Remember to vote for me for the d-league all star game. The game is going to be in New Orleans this year, and I'm trying to get a free trip, so vote for me ASAP at: http://www.nba.com/dleague/allstar2008/asb/daily.html.

Donít worry, Iíll take pictures so everyone can feel and enjoy the experience just as if you were there. Don't let me down fans, I'm counting on you!!!
 


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Aaron Brooks
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 161 lbs.
Birthday: 01/17/1985
29 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Franklin
Previous Team: Oregon , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #26 in 2007 Draft
by the Rockets
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
7.4 Pts, 1.6 Rebs, 2.9 Asts


Kevin Bookout
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 259 lbs.
Birthday: 03/17/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Stroud
Previous Team: Oklahoma , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF/C,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
5.1 Pts, 5.3 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


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