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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended October 13, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 12Oct00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Madsen Fitting In to Lakers

EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA -- One day into training camp, 6-foot-9, 240 pound "MadDog" Mark Madsen has secured Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant as his champions. "He's active, hustles, listens, rebounds and isn't scared to play," O'Neal said. "He's one of those big, solid dudes......He's my type of guy, dude." Kobe Bryant is also impressed with Madsen's come-early, stay-late approach. "Every day he gives his all, his whole effort - goes 110 mph all the time, so I like Mark," Bryant said.

Madsen is a Mormon with an economics degree from Stanford. Back on draft day, Jerry West assured everyone that No.1 pick Madsen would quickly become a Laker favorite. "Anybody (bleeps) with Mad Dog, they've got to (bleep) with me. Period," O'Neal said.

Lakers coach Phil Jackson hints that Madsen will have a spot in his rotation. Jackson is curious to see if the referees will give Madsen some latitude on fouls. "This is a kid you can't keep out of the gym," Jackson said. Currently, Madsen is sporting a black eye compliments of Horace Grant's elbow.

Madsen has been willing to pattern his game after another undersized rebounding specialist, ex-Laker Dennis Rodman. "No piercings or tattoos yet, but I'll try to match the hustle," Madsen said. "To be honest, in college I was too short and too slow, and I was able to do some things in college," Madsen said. "And even now, people question the height, the quickness - but I think the heart overcomes a lot of those things, and you can play taller than you are by going hard and by hustling."

Madsen has also befriended Ukranian Stanislav Medvedenko, even though they play the same position. "Madsen's a great kid, and he's encouraging him and helping him through, trying to be a companion for him," Jackson said.


Madsen earning heavyweight pals
Orange co CA Register 10Oct00 S2
By Kevin Ding: The Orange County Register
LAKERS: The hustling 'Mad Dog' has Shaq and Kobe in his corner.


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