Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chalmers watched gold-medal Jayhawks with pride

Miami Heat and former KU basketball player Mario Chalmers works with youth at his basketball camp Monday, July 20, at the Sports Pavilion Lawrence.

Miami Heat and former KU basketball player Mario Chalmers works with youth at his basketball camp Monday, July 20, at the Sports Pavilion Lawrence.


Former Kansas University standout Mario Chalmers watched his alma mater with pride when the Jayhawks won a gold medal at the World University Games in South Korea earlier this month.

Chalmers said he talked with coach Bill Self and junior guards Wayne Selden Jr. and Frank Mason III one day after they beat Germany in the gold-medal game on July 13.

“They could be real dangerous,” Chalmers said of the Jayhawks. “I think that’s good. They bring it all together, they could be another 2008 team.”

Chalmers is preparing for his eighth season in the NBA with the Miami Heat. He’s been a part of trade speculation this summer, heading into the final year of his contract ($4.3 million) this upcoming season.

“It’s part of the business,” Chalmers said from Sports Pavilion Lawrence, where he was hosting a five-day youth camp. “For me, I don’t really think about it. I try to control what I can control, and I’m just working on me and my game.

“I would definitely love to stay in Miami. I think we have a good chance this year to go all the way. It’s just bringing everything together.”

Chalmers, a two-time champion with the Heat after winning one at KU, said he has settled into a comfort zone in the NBA, which is “a dream come true.” His father, Ronnie, a former director of basketball operations at Kansas, serves as his agent and helped run the youth camp while keeping his son updated on trade rumors.

The younger Chalmers doesn’t take the trade talk personally, but he’s always ready to prove doubters wrong.

“I’ve always got a chip on my shoulder because I’ve always been counted out,” said Chalmers, who has a new tattoo on his right arm of Super Mario — the video game character — holding a basketball. “That’s how I keep going.”

After the youth camp, Chalmers will host his seventh-annual Mario V. Chalmers Golf Tournament Monday at Alvamar.

Eight years after leaving Lawrence, some things have changed for the 29-year-old.

“Now nobody really recognizes me, and I just walk around,” Chalmers said with a smile. “That’s the only difference right now, but it’s always good to come back.”

What draws him come back to Lawrence?

“Lawrence is like another home to me,” Chalmers said. “I felt so welcome here when I was during my college days, so it’s always good to come back and give something to the community that gave to me.”


Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 8 months ago

Isn't it funny how Chalmers can go virtually unrecognized in a town where he's a legend? The kids there now have definitely heard about him and certainly seen video clips of his heroics, but couldn't pick him out of a lineup. Most of them anyway. I remember the first time I went back where I felt old and out of touch. It's a crappy feeling but it will happen to us all. Time, the great equalizer...

Chris Bruning 4 years, 8 months ago

Pretty sure he is preparing for his 7th NBA season, not 8th.

Andrew Holmes 4 years, 8 months ago

No its his 8th. He was drafted in 2008, so he's played the 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and now going to start the 15 season. This'll be his 8th season.

Eliott Reeder 4 years, 8 months ago

He was a little busy making miracles happen during the '08 season, and didn't play in the NBA until the '09 season, but you are correct in that this will be his 8th year in the L. He just finished the 2015 season, and will be entering the 2015-2016 season this year... your numbers are just off one year.

Freddie Garza 4 years, 8 months ago

They won the title in April 2008. His first NBA game was circa November 2008.

Eliott Reeder 4 years, 8 months ago

SMH... okay, let me explain this one more time: Basketball seasons begin in one year and end in another. It is common to reference any particular season by the year in which it ends, not the year in which it begins, therefore we say we won a title back in "the '08 season" even though that season actually began in 2007. Got it? Next season will begin at the end of the year 2015, but it will always be referenced in the future as the '16 season....

Jeremy Wilhelm 4 years, 8 months ago

  1. 2008/09
  2. 2009/10
  3. 2010/11
  4. 2011/12
  5. 2012/13
  6. 2013/14
  7. 2014/15
  8. 2015/16

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually, most go by 2007/08 but regardless, it will STILL be his 8th season or are you saying he didn't play in the NBA in the 2008/09 season.

Tom Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

It's a good comparison to the 08 team. Even with improvement, we won't be as good on defense as that team, but we can be very good on that end if Diallo is that rim protector that he looks like he can be. We also don't appear to have the vocal leadership we had with DJ and RussRob on this team.

But, like the 08 team, we have a ton of talent, a wealth of experience and great depth. Should be a fun team to watch.

Eliott Reeder 4 years, 8 months ago

I agree. If Diallo is a difference maker down low, we can be REALLY good this year, but we don't have the brotherhood and cohesion we had in '08 or '12. It is interesting how each of those two teams had players (D-Jax and T-Rob) that suffered a lot of personal tragedy that seemed to bind them together with their teammates. Those teams seemed to play for something more than just themselves, they were playing for their brothers. Though the phrase hadn't been coined yet, the '08 team had a lot of FOE in them, rallying around D-Jax and his three chest bumps after every shot and free-throw...

RJ King 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, and in addition - not exactly personal tragedies - but the individual challenges they had faced: Rush back after scary surgery, Russ-Rob and Mario emerging triumphantly after rough freshman/sophomore years, and Sasha acclimated and now comfortable in a new country. There was very little sense of entitlement on that '08 team. More like, "we've struggled and now it's our time."

I feel the brotherhood of '12 stemmed from the fact that they were so thin. They were underdogs, who had to have each other's backs, play to their strengths (Releford's defense, KY's garbage come to mind), and not let up. Tyshawn really matured. That tournament run was incredible.

Loved the character of both those teams!

Eliott Reeder 4 years, 8 months ago

Indeed. They really ran with that underdog, chip on the shoulder mentality, but the T-Rob family tragedies from the year before was what bonded them all for life. Not many teams have gone through something like that together. And also, in addition to that, the twin's mom was like a team godmother that really made everyone feel like family, and I think she may have still been around Lawrence for the '12 season even though her boys were in the L, but I'm not sure...

Chris Shaw 4 years, 8 months ago

It will be interesting to see how this team grows or doesn't grow in 2015-2016. I have a hard time seeing the comparison to the 08 team, but the end result could be the same.

Togetherness and Chemistry is an amazing thing so that is about the only comparison I can see. I think the roster makeup is a lot different. If we are truly comparing to the 08 team...what concerns me is that that 08 team had Chalmers, Russ Rob, and Collins as primary ball handlers that were completely interchangeable subbing for one another. Basically a 3 headed monster in the backcourt all creating opportunities for Rush, Arthur, Jackson, and Kaun.

I just don't see that on this 2015-2016 squad and I do think it's a concern. You have Mason and Graham as primary ball handlers, but KU is severely lacking that third ball handler to sub for Graham and Mason. Svi? You will have to convince me because he's not a a true 2 handling the ball. Vick? I like him, but he's young, raw, and inexperienced. How quickly can he get up to speed if at all? Selden? After his first two years playing along side Wiggins and Oubre I'm not convinced he's gonna be any better playing the 2 alongside lesser talent in Greene and Svi. We shall see.

Also, heading into 2008 nobody knew exactly who the leaders were gonna be but Russ Rob, DJ, and Chalmers IMO took on that role as the season progressed. We know Ellis is gonna defer and be like Brandon Rush so you can only hope Selden, Graham, and Mason can take on that leadership role.

The last factor is whether or not Bragg and Diallo can be that force in the middle KU needs. Jackson and Kaun were seniors and Arthur was essentially Bragg and Diallo, but with 2 years experience. Ellis, Traylor, and Mickelson are seniors and Lucas is a big body Junior so the experience is there, but is the talented duo of Bragg and Diallo gonna be too inexperienced to get KU where they need to be? The "Timing" of the roster might be off just a bit for it all to work and mesh. Again, we shall see. That's the beauty of why we play the seasons.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 8 months ago

Not sure what a "ton" of talent will do if they cannot rebound or play defense. 25% of that ton are still trying to find the best Wi-Fi places on campus too, so it will take time for them to jell if they ever do during the season. (they may not get off the bench see SVI, "tons" of talent but barely played.

You can't just forget that with this team, we stumbled home and lost early in the NCAA. The gold medal was great, but we played those games with a Senior All Conf. Player opp. Frank. I like our guys but none of them were all conf., nor are they going to be hard nosed leaders, who are seniors.

We are a serious injury away from being average if that injury is to Diallo, or Perry (he takes so many shots) or Frank. We have to remain healthly with those 3 for something special to happen.

Hoping for the best for 2016!

Eliott Reeder 4 years, 8 months ago

I think Devonte probably has better all-around basketball skills and a higher ceiling than Nic Moore, but he may not have the heart and toughness that kid brought to the table quite yet. I was very impressed with how tough Nic was at the WUG despite getting pushed around and hacked on throughout the tournament.

Tom Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

So much FAIL, so little time. We all know you're in full troll mode, though, so I take it all with a pound of salt. Still, a few of these gems deserve attention...

"You can't just forget that with this team, we stumbled home and lost early in the NCAA."

Yes you can. That team's best player was playing hurt, as was their best outside shooter, and one of their high school all americans was not playing at all. Not the same team at all as what will be on the court this year. And while we the fans can forget about last year, you can bet the guys who were there last year won't.

"The gold medal was great, but we played those games with a Senior All Conf. Player opp. Frank. I like our guys but none of them were all conf., nor are they going to be hard nosed leaders, who are seniors."

It was good to have Nic Moore (who would not be first team all conference in the Big 12) but we didn't win the gold medal because he was there.

Oh, and Perry Ellis was actually all conference. First team, actually, even after struggling down the stretch with his injury. Get to know your team before commenting on them, buddy!

Jonathan Allison 4 years, 8 months ago

Give Nic Moore the credit he deserves. He was not just first team all AAC, he was AAC Player of the year, and even though his shot wasn't falling he was a huge part of the Gold medal. Was he an upgrade over a healthy Devonte Graham, who knows, but his senior level experience and natural leadership ability was a huge key to us being competitive against a bunch of 23-24 year old European professionals.

But I agree with you on your points about "stumbling home". Our struggles late were not without legit excuse.

Rodney makes a point about the injury risk to Diallo, Perry, and Frank... but you can probably say that about mostly every team in Div 1. "Next man up". Devonte, Svi, Bragg, Lucas, and Mickelson will be ready if Cheick, Perry, Frank, or Wayne goes does. I'd include Jamari in the conversation too, but I don't think that his role changes much if someone else gets hurt. He's a hustle man, and a junkyard dog no matter who's on the floor with him.

Tom Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Larry loaned him to us, and he played some solid D for us in the WUG's. At the same time he was a ball hog and a black hole a lot of the time, too, and almost shot us out of the final. I would have rather had a healthy Graham and it would have been better for the team to have a healthy Graham. Oh well.

It's a shame we couldn't play half our rotation for next year over there but Nic Moore is irrelevant regarding the KU team of last year or this year. That's all.

Agreed about the injury point. Figured I had already pointed out enough flaws in one post. Injuries to key players hurt teams' chances. We've seen it the last two years here at KU. Duh.

Trolls gonna troll.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 8 months ago

and Tom Tom's will drum meaningless droll, what you going to do?

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

Well Tom, you are wrong. Mason won the Championship MVP because Nic Moore was able to relieve Mason in bringing the ball up the court. With only 8 seconds to get past half-court and a 24 second shot clock, there is no way possible for Mason to have played nearly as well without the help of Moore.

Discounting his senior leadership and ball handling skills is a critical error in judgment.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 8 months ago

Typical fantasy. No surprise.

Lets forget the facts.... Lets just focus on the positives that could be, think of yourself sitting in a room filled with money and you will be there. All you have to do is click your heels and it will happen... Sorry Tom Tom we are not in a Keegan world of suspending facts to make a point. WAKE UP or just stop posting this is embarrassing.

You cannot think that if one of best players gets hurt we will be fine, we weren't last year we will not be this year. That was my point :) smh...

WUG (I am kind of worried for you on this point you are trying to make, seriously worried) When someone starts for Self you cannot just dismiss his contributions, or steals late in the gold medal game, or taking over for Frank when he was in foul trouble as our main and sometimes only ball handler as "we didn't win the gold medal because he was there". If you are going to comment on here please, I am begging you please watch the game, or read the article. This is, well this is a new low, and that is saying something.

Buddy, I know these are actual facts but try to stay with me here, when your all conf. player gets benched repeatedly during the season last year, disappears in big games, drives into the trees way to much with no where to go or gets blocked like in Korea, still cannot hit a bunny and misses dunks, and shoots 20, 30% in a lot of games, including the gold medal game, scores less than 8 points 5 times during last season (in some huge games mind you as a Junior).... Hanging your considerably small hat on him is risky. If he plays like he did before his injury, it would be great, but if we measure the Great Perry with well Perry, which is what we get most of the time, he is just ok. Love him as person, not the way he plays.

Do you really, I mean really really want the ball in his hands, late in the game needing a score to win it? Deep down wouldn't you rather have Frank, or even Wayne now, maybe even Diallo soon be that guy? I do, guess what so does Self. Not the all conf, superstar. Tells me a lot but that's cause I am paying attention Tom Tom.

Keep beating your drum you are the only one listening

Chris Shaw 4 years, 8 months ago

USA/Kansas absolutely won the gold because Nic Moore was there. They wouldn't have won it without him. Nic Moore didn't shoot the ball particularly well and he gave up a huge size disadvantage when teams tried to post him up.

With that said, his ball handling, decision making, experience, ability to quickly adapt to his role next to Mason/Selden, ability to accept his role, his relentless perimeter ball pressure, his leadership, his ability to penetrate the gaps, his ability to create scoring opportunities for others, and finally his character trumps any of the negatives or limitations he exhibited on the court. That's the reason they won the gold.

Graham does have a much higher ceiling but if he can do all those things Nic Moore did and become a more consistent shooter...Kansas' backcourt is gonna be very exciting.

Tom Jones 4 years, 8 months ago

Agree to disagree on KU winning without him, Chris, but regardless, his presence on the WUG team is irrelevant regarding KU's 2015-16 team and therefore irrelevant in his response to posts about KU's 2015-16 team.

Rodney was just concocting another way to slight the current team's accomplishment. Trolling 101.

Marius Rowlanski 4 years, 8 months ago

I think you had it right Chris. 8 seconds to get past half-court and a 24 second shot clock would have completely worn down Frank Mason and simply stated, Selden is not a PG. Selden was named the World University Games Best Player, if he had to take over and relieve Mason, no possibility would he have won that award.

Nic Moore contributed exactly where we needed it most.

Trace Stark 4 years, 8 months ago

on a different note... Very keen on seeing ole #5 slashing his way to the hole tonight!

Best of luck to Jayhawk Keith Langford and his Pan Am team mates this evening...

around 8:00, espn 2.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 8 months ago

Pretty certain that the Pan AM USA squad could use some Frank Mason and Nic Moore right about now. Bobby Brown and Romelo Trimble are terrible.

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