Where to begin with Rod Benson? Blogger...rapper...Berkley grad...volleyball star...basketball star...New Jersey Net? All the above and no doubt more, but the 22-year-old just invited to the Nets training camp is best known for his blog...toomuchrodbenson.com, an occasional look at what life is like for the aspiring, nearly 7-foot D-League ball player hoping for work in the "L".
On why he didn't go to Las Vegas for All-Star Weekend:
I didn’t go for two reasons. The first, and probably more practical reason, was that at one of our NBDL seminars (yep, we have seminars) we were warned against getting too wild out in Vegas, and told the consequences that would come down if we were caught "wild’n out" in the Sin City. The second reason I didn’t go is that I really, really wanted to "wild out".
On getting even in the NBDL Championship Game:
Half way through the 4th quarter, Pooh Jeter got hot. He made some big shots and started to get real emotional. He starts yelling out: "Put me in your blog! Put this in your blog!" I laughed but it kind of bothered me because it looked like we were going to lose. With a few seconds left, Pooh got fouled and had a chance to put his team up 3 and essentially close us out. As the second free throw went in, he repeated the whole "Put this in your blog!" thing. We are friends, but at that moment I wanted to throw his little ass in a coddamn trash compactor I was so mad...In overtime, after I scored to put us up by 6, then blocked Pooh’s layup on the other end, he was complaining to the refs about a foul call he wanted. I walk right up to him and say "THIS is going on the coddamn blog!" He was so angry, he started yelling out any and everything about the blog, but it didnt matter. We won the championship.
On the similarities between sex and video games:
I have said before that I would choose Madden over women in many situations. That day, Madden was my woman. What we shared was similar to a sexual experience. First, I got to know it. I read the manual, and reviewed the new controls. Then I turned it on. Self explanatory. Then there was the foreplay. I checked the rosters and the ratings. Its body (ratings system) was amazing, and it's 100 speed guy named Devon Hester made me nearly faint. Then we went at it. Oh man we must have done it 6 or 7 times in a row. The room was spinning, the temperature was rising, and my whole body was trembling with joy. Madden and I started at 10am and I didn't say my goodbyes until 5pm the next day. I started out pretty bad because I hadn't done it in months. By the time I was done, I was back to my old dominant self. I found myself taking control early, easing my way in, then pounding (my opponents) towards the end, leaving all the other guys wondering how I could do it so well.
On challenges and encouragement:
It was actually a lot of fun for me to go head to head with all these guys who had much bigger names than me, even though Rudy Gay dunked on me so viciously that I considered retirement. Still, I had my fair share of nice plays offensively and defensively. Like Golden State, after the first day, Tony Barone approached me and congratulated me on my performance on that day. Its small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but guys like me never forget comments like those. I can pretty much remember every nice thing a coach I respected ever said to me. It dates back to the 5 and 6 year old division of the Boys and Girls club basketball league. "Rod, you're doing a great job of being tall," my coach said after my first couple of plays. Then 5 minutes later it was: "A basketball is not for kicking."
On the value of a great point guard:
It was on this day that my love affair with Mike Conley Jr. began. Running the pick and roll with this guy is like a dream. No matter where I was on the court, he could find me. I bet that Mike Conley could find Osama Bin Laden...if he was open.
On basketball physicals:
Turns out that there is no weigh-in, just the typical physical. I did feel lied to a little bit because the doctor said to me: "I do my physical a little differently. I only check the things that are sports related." That got me excited, because I thought to myself: "Yes, he won’t have to grab my balls and make me cough, because that’s definitely NOT sports related." Then he says "Pull down your pants, turn your head to the left, and cough. I need to check your testis."
On whose game his resembles:
Back to the workout, it was very weird asking Toby Bailey to come off the ball screen and look for me on the pop. But we got it done....In the locker room, [he] couldn’t contain himself when I said "I’m like K.G. except I ain’t worth a dollar."
On how to receive a compliment from a basketball great:
Don Nelson walks up to me (already awesome because I’m pretty much star struck by a man with so much basketball clout) and says: "Rod, I really enjoyed watching you play. You’re in pretty good shape, huh?" I didn’t really know how to respond. It was like those T.V. shows where a hot girl approaches the guy who has been eyeing her, but is clearly not on her level, then the guy stumbles over his words and looks stupid. I said back: "I mean, umm yea, I could be better." Then Don Nelson replies: "Well, you’re in better shape than these guys. You run the floor really well." I stood there kind of awkwardly as he walked away. I was so giddy that I couldn’t really put myself together -- I might as well have just been propositioned by Jessica Biel.
On making it in the NBA:
My boy Roger Powell just signed to go to Italy, a smart choice, the rational choice, but it is hard to be rational in a situation like mine. Chance it and stay here, knowing that getting cut is another D-League ticket? Go overseas and make money and never have $8 in my wallet again? I guess only time will tell, but I'll tell you this, if I have a legitimate shot, I'm goin for it, because I know what I can do.