Shabazz Muhammad was supposed to be the next big thing when he enrolled at UCLA. Muhammad had a successful one season in Westwood, but the flaws in his game were presented for all to break down.
Muhammad was sent down to the T’Wolves D-League affiliate, Iowa Energy on December 3. Initially shocked and hurt by the demotion, Muhammad told Yahoo Sports that he’s trying to make the best of his stint in the D-League.
“Nobody dreams about being in the D-League. They dream about being in the NBA,” Muhammad said after scoring 24 points to lead Iowa to a 133-121 victory over Bakersfield. “But I’m being strong mentally. I’m playing hard and going out there trying to do the best I can.
“I let it bother me for a couple of days. But after I saw how much I was playing, I just decided to use it as a positive. I’m going to get a couple of games under my belt. This is a good opportunity for me.”
“The first time I didn’t play, I was kind of uncertain,” Muhammad said. “Then it started happening continuously. That meant I needed to get in the gym more. I’ve been going to the gym twice, three times a day to work on my game.”
Muhammad told Yahoo Sports that he’s trying to handle the pressures of being a prep star turned lottery pick now riding the bus in the D-League.
“There has been a lot of hate on Twitter and all that kind of stuff,” Muhammad said. “I’m not really trying to pay attention to it. I just went out here [with the Energy] and didn’t mope or have an attitude. I went out here with a smile and to help my teammates I have right now to win.
“When you’re on top, everyone is on you. And then when you come down … I’ve been the king of that throughout my career and it’s something I’m used to.”
“There’s always pressure being the No. 1 player in high school and then being a top college guy,” Muhammad said. “There are always people wondering what I am doing.”