May 3, 2016 | 12:09 pm EDT Update
Augustin was a little turnover-happy at times, coughing up the ball 30 percent of the time in pick-and-roll and transition plays. His two most common turnovers were the bad-pass turnover and the lost ball turnover. His unfamiliarity with his new teammates contributed to many of the miscues, especially early on when Augustin didn’t know the plays. Augustin is hoping to stay with the Nuggets. “Everybody in the NBA can play so as long as you can get the opportunity and minutes,” Augustin said.
His 6-11 father, Sid, had children with five women — Adams’ mother is Tongan, a native of a small island in the South Pacific. Sid was in his 60s at the time of Steven’s birth. By the time Adams got to know him, Sid was worn down from life and battered from a car accident that had severely damaged his legs. When Sid died after a long struggle with stomach cancer, Adams stopped going to school. He lied to his siblings. He started hanging out with some members of a local gang, the Mongrel Mob, though he never officially joined. “The initiation was brutal,” he says. “They pretty much kicked the crap out of you. I wasn’t interested in that.”
McFadden took a chance on the youngest Adams. He arranged for a scholarship to Scots College, a century-old Presbyterian school in Wellington. The cost of tuition and boarding from middle school through high school can run more than $150,000. Steven showed up in Wellington, a six-hour drive south, in rough shape; unkempt hair halfway down his back and wispy fuzz across his face. His clothes were ragged, his reading and writing skills were poor and his attitude was worse. “I’d never worn a tie before. I was a bushman,” he says. “My friends now were like, ‘Who’s this murderer?’ It was really uncomfortable at first.”
Adams knew virtually nothing about the NBA when he arrived. One of his brothers had an old video game he played as a kid. In the game, the best player was Peja Stojakovic, Adams says. And his brother had a poster of Larry Bird. So when Adams started playing, it was a lot of shrugging and no deference, which unnerved a long list of opponents. During his rookie season, Nate Robinson punched him in the stomach. Vince Carter elbowed him in the side of the head. Jordan Hamilton punched him in the shoulder. Larry Sanders elbowed him in the neck. Zach Randolph punched him in the jaw, a move that got Randolph suspended for Game 7 of the Thunder’s first-round playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies two years ago.