Every week during the college basketball season and every other week during the offseason, former Michigan basketball star Tim McCormick joins TMI’s Sam Webb for a podcast called “The Michigan Basketball Insider.” Each show features a deep dive into the X’s and O’s and statistical analysis of Michigan games, commentary on college basketball in the Big Ten and beyond, and interviews with topics from the vast array of contacts from Tim.
McCormick spent 10 seasons playing in the NBA after being the No. 12 picks in the 1984 draft. Since the end of his professional career, he has worked as a consultant to NBA players for the past two decades, teaching strategies to improve performance and achieve greatness. Additionally, he leads the NBA Players Association Basketball Top 100 Camp for the nation’s top high school basketball prospects. Tim also provides color analysis as a broadcaster for ESPN’s college basketball coverage and Fox Sports Detroit’s Detroit Pistons coverage.
Jett Howard joins this week’s episode to reflect on his standout performances in the Jordan Classic and the Allen Iverson Classic. Attention then turns to the advice he received from Iverson and other pros. Next, Howard reflects on the hard love lessons he learned from his father and brother on the hardwood and the memorable stories of growing up with and playing games against the sons of other pros. Howard ends his appearance by talking about the growth of his game and Michigan’s transfer port business. Tim McCormick and Sam Webb close the podcast by reflecting on Tim’s participation in the NBA Draft and Moussa Diabate’s impressive performance. The duo then discuss rumors in league circles about his and Caleb Houstan’s draft prospects. The podcast ends with a discussion of some portal possibilities for Michigan if Diabate and/or Houstan turn pro.
In the exception below, Howard reflects on his interactions with childhood idol Allen Iverson and several other pros.
Sam Webb: “One of the unique things about (playing the All Star Games) is you were surrounded by all these pros…that you’ve been your whole life…but you’re surrounded by pros who watch you play and criticize your game. They had some nice things to say. From JR Smith. For AI… they were like, ‘man, this guy is a star in the making. Was there something about your interactions with them during these games and during these weeks who accompanies you or stays with you in some way? (Was there any) advice they gave you or things they said about you or your game (that resonate )?
Jet Howard: “Okay, I’ll start with Stephen Jackson because he was my coach. He was just like talking about how your approach to the game is a really big thing and how your mentality (is important). Also Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson were there too. There were so many OGs that were there. It was amazing. So (they were) just telling us how we’re supposed to approach these events and how we’re supposed to (have a certain) mindset when we go up against these so-called top guys. I learned a lot from Stephen Jackson and he was just like, ‘kill whatever’s in front of you, and don’t really focus on the outside noise and the lights.’ It’s not important.’ And with the AI he was just like ‘you don’t want to have too many rights’ I don’t want to feel like I’m blowing my head off but he was just like ‘it comes naturally to you so just keep going to work. Keep your head down, keep working. and you’ll be fine. You just have to keep staying in the gym because it comes naturally. It meant a lot to me, because he’s like my idol. I don’t want to take nothing away from my dad because I know he kinda feels like when I say he’s my favorite (laughs). He’s my favorite player. But he and my dad are like. 1A, 1B when he It’s all about my favorite players, so it was very emotional to leave the Iverson Classic, to take it all in, it was amazing.
Sam Webb: “You were talking about how emotional it was to leave the Iverson Classic. I watched the video (where) he was like, ‘Listen to your dad. Make sure you don’t ignore what he says. How Did this strike you? How did this strike you…this advice?
Jet Howard: “Man, that was crazy. It all happened so fast. So I’m going to break it down even though you didn’t ask…but I’m just going to break down the script on how it happened. We had an awards ceremony at the Martin Luther King Memorial in Memphis. So we leave that and we come to the parking lot. And I’m just like, ‘Man, you don’t understand how much of a fan I am of you .’ I didn’t really want to look like a fanboy to annoy him, but I was just like, ‘man, you don’t get it.’ I didn’t know he knew my dad in any way. I just thought it was like (talking to) another kid he’d see. So, I just walked up to him and just did it. praise the guy. He was like, ‘man, you’re just a good person.’ And then he walked into my dad. And I was confused. Like, ‘do you know who my dad is?’ (Laughs.) I didn’t think he knew all of that. (Laughs.) But when he started to break that down and tell me everything I needed to know to get to the next level…it was just amazing. If you ask my mom (she’ll tell you) I was grinning from ear to ear on the drive home. It was just crazy. And she was the one who took the video. And he said other amazing, awesome things, but she didn’t understand. But this whole experience was awesome. I literally like a life-size poster (of Allen Iverson). Two or three (posters)… For not nothing seem weird…in my room since i was 15/16.
To watch the episode in full, press play on the video embedded below.