There are a lot of professional athletes who play on different teams and may not receive the most playing time as the other top players on the team. Sometimes you have to accept your role on a team.
One player who excepted his role on some successful teams was former NBA player Mark Madsen. Madsen won multiple championships with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Mark Madsen’s first two NBA seasons
Madsen was a two-time All-American coming out of Stanford. It was time for the California native to test the NBA waters. The Lakers selected Madsen at No. 29 in the first round of the 2000 NBA draft. Madsen was a player who never really saw a lot of playing time, but he already became an NBA champion during his rookie season.
In his next season with the Lakers, Madsen was apart of another championship team. In his first two seasons of playing in the NBA, Madsen was a two-time champion. It doesn’t get any better than that. Though Madsen did not play that much, he was a great teammate on and off the court. He was respected by his players in the locker room, and whenever he did get some playing time, he would go all out.
Madsen would only spend three seasons with the Lakers, but he was able to win a few championships during his time there. He was a fan favorite in LA and made the most of his time playing on a successful team.
Finishing his career in Minnesota
After three years in LA, Madsen signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a free agent during the 2003-04 season. He averaged the most points in his career in his first year with the Timberwolves as he averaged 3.6 points per game. He also saw an increase in his minutes per game at 17.3, which was a career-high as well.
Madsen spent six seasons playing in Minnesota. His entire career, he was a player that came off the bench in a reserved role, and that is something he excepted when he first entered the league. That is the true definition of a team player. When you know and understand your role, you sacrifice for the team because you want what’s best for them. That is what Madsen did.
Madsen spent nine seasons in the league, and after his career was over, he remained involved in the game of basketball.
Mark Madsen’s coaching career
Madsen wasted no time when he was done playing basketball. He would become the assistant coach of the Utah Flash of the NBA D-League in 2009. In 2012 he returned back to his alma mater of Stanford and was hired as an assistant coach. After just one season at Stanford, he returned back to the D-League. He was named the head coach of the Lakers’ D-League team, the Los Angeles Defenders. Just two months later, he was promoted to a player development coach for the Lakers.
Madsen’s coaching career took off after he was done playing. After serving as a player development coach, Madsen became an assistant coach for the Lakers for seven seasons. About a year ago, he was hired as the head coach at Utah Valley University. In his first season, the team finished with an 11-19 overall record. Madsen’s playing career in the league has allowed him to become a coach, in which he’s coached on multiple levels. He continues to impact the game of basketball.