Former 2012 top high school recruit and NBA lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad is eying an NBA comeback.
The 29-year-old swingman has hired agent Keith Kreiter of Edge Sports International and recently signed with San Miguel Beermen in the Philippines.
Following a 57-point, 19-rebound performance in a win, Muhammad spoke to HoopsHype over the phone and discussed his NBA career with the Timberwolves and Bucks, his time overseas in China and the Philippines, what he’d do differently, and why he can help an NBA team.
What’s the experience been like playing in the Philippines?
Shabazz Muhammad: This is my second league overseas besides China. I think the best thing I get out of it is the ability to work on my game since you get the ball a lot more than you would in the NBA. You get to work on your game more. It’s far from home, but I’d say the adjustment has been going smoothly, and I’ve been playing well so far. I play about 45 minutes each game, so I’m in the whole time, basically. I’m getting in really good shape and can work on different aspects of my game. I remember when I was in the NBA, I’d get 10-12 minutes and try to make the most of those minutes. Even playing over 30 minutes in China was a lot of minutes.
Is anything different playing in the Philippines than in China?
SH: I think it’s a pretty physical league that lets guys play. That’s the first thing I noticed over here. The physicality surprised me. I didn’t think the league would be this physical. There are more ex-NBA guys in China, and there are two imports on each team. It was a good league and hard to adapt there with the language barrier. I thought it was a good opportunity for me. I definitely think it’s just as physical. One adjustment is there is no defensive three-second call, so you really have to spread the defense out and shoot the ball well to put up good numbers.
While you’re playing overseas, what goes through your mind?
SH: I think the fans here have embraced me, and I’ve really embraced that. It’s the biggest thing you have to do. Being in the NBA for five years, you can always have your head down if you’re…