Mobley answers to his mother

#1
Mobley answers to his mother

Cuttino is tough, but Jackie can still get his full attention.

By Joe Davidson -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Sunday, May 1, 2005

Cuttino Mobley backs down to no player.



Not Kobe Bryant in postseasons past when the Laker was at his very best; not the ever-efficient and hard-to-keep-up-with Ray Allen of Seattle now.

But Mobley's mom? Look out.

The Kings guard can hear Jackie Mobley's voice even in the most frantic Arco Arena moments. It can pierce through the delirium and reach his eardrums like a cannon blast, stopping him cold.

Take Friday night. Mobley did most of the barking in a Game 3 the Kings desperately needed in this first-round playoff series with the SuperSonics. He jumped on teammates to stick with it, then his mother got on him.

When Mobley was hit with a technical foul late in a game the Kings went on to win, there was Mama Mobley standing on the far baseline, in clear view of the culprit, arms crossed, shouting, "Cut that out, Cuttino!"

It's a strong bond between mother and son, nurtured in North Philadelphia when all they had was each other, with back alleys so dark and dangerous Mobley, as a 12-year-old, had to stand cool when a thug stuffed a gun barrel into his mouth just to see how he'd respond.

He responded well enough to get away, to avoid such a mess again.

Then and now, Jackie is the woman in his life, the one constant in a basketball career of change - one high school, one prep school, one college, three NBA teams. And if that makes him a mama's boy, so be it. Join the Kings crowd. Mike Bibby is a mama's boy. Same with Bobby Jackson, whose mother died two years ago but remains in his heart.

"The mama's boys," Jackson explained, "it's a good thing."

Jackie will cook her son meals when she visits, such as this weekend. She'll go on the road to keep him company. She's a sounding board, a voice of reason.

"Yes, I spoil him, but it's a good kind of spoiled," Jackie said Friday at halftime. "We try to take care of each other."

Jackie raves about her son, naturally, about his ambitions (he wants to become an actor when his playing days are over); their similar taste in fashion, their similar charm and charisma, and their matched intensity. She helps oversee a foundation in which Mobley donates funds to help inner-city youth in Philadelphia, to get them into good schools, sometimes all the way through college.

"Where I come from, it's always hard," Mobley said. "I want to give back to kids, help pave the way. It wasn't always easy for me as a kid, either. There were always scary incidents growing up. I don't need (a) Purple Heart or a pat on the back."

His mother doesn't entirely agree. She pats him plenty.

But those manners? Once a mother, always a mother.

When Mobley was hit with a $15,000 fine last week for making an obscene gesture to a heckling fan in Seattle, Jackie was on the phone in no time. And her son couldn't hide.

"I asked him, 'Now what did you do? What obscene gesture?' " Jackie said, her face replaying the role. "He knows I love him, but he knows I'm still no-nonsense. I told him, 'Forget the guy with the beer. He's a jerk.' "

Jackie has been a passenger on the Mobley ride since her son's Rhode Island collegiate days when he led the Rams to the 1998 Elite Eight. She was by his side months later when he slipped out of the draft's first round and was taken by Houston in the second.

When there was an MTV "Cribs" shoot at the Mobleys' Houston home, Ma was there to open the door.

When he was traded to Orlando last summer, she was the first to find out. When he was shipped to Sacramento for Doug Christie in January, Jackie again.

Of all the moves, Sacramento has been the most challenging, he said. No longer was his best friend and playing partner Steve Francis with him. (Francis was so distraught about the trade he said there was no real reason to wake up in the morning anymore, and just recently he said the Magic would have made the playoffs with Mobley.)

With the Kings, Mobley inherited some tough tasks. Blend into a motion offense in which the big men run things from the high post. Contribute without dominating the ball.

But it's hard for cats, even a fellow nicknamed "Cat," to change all their stripes. He's a scorer by nature, a career 17-point man, and he has had to adjust to a team full of scorers. He has had some prolific nights when he has never looked better, and he has had some outings when his shot wouldn't cooperate.

Such is the norm for a streak shooter.

"He can really light it up," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "That's the thing about him. He can go 0 for 7, then hit six shots in a row. I like the six shots in. A lot of guys never saw a shot they didn't like, and I think Cuttino is one of those guys."

And, oh yeah, Mobley has been asked to regularly check the other team's best guy a lot, right on down to Allen in this series. Francis calls Mobley often to offer basketball critique in taking on Allen, or anyone - 'Take it harder inside, go glass' ."

Mobley's mother's voice is more well-rounded.

"You cherish your mom when you're younger," Mobley said. "When you get to my age, 29, when you don't have a wife, you've got to really cherish your mom. She keeps me levelheaded. When she sees me complain on the court, I can hear it, 'Just shut up!' She's still the mom."

Mobley takes extra time to work on his game after practice, shooting until his arms feel like rubber.

For one thing, his elbow doesn't feel entirely right. It has bugged him for weeks.

So have his ribs (he wears padding under his jersey), and he has been slowed at times by every other imaginable body ailment. But he plods forward, determined to provide a voice to a team that still isn't sure who the leader is, to score when those shots of Bibby and Stojakovic aren't so sure.

Mobley has handled the ball, he has scored in all sorts of ways, and he's still learning on the fly.

"He's good now, but I think he really needs to get a training camp under him, and then we'll really see something," Kings assistant coach Pete Carril said.

That is, if there is a training camp with the Kings.

Mobley can opt out of the final year of his contract to test free agency. It's too early for Kings management to fret over such a matter - there's still a series going on - and Mobley isn't sure what he'll do.

In the meantime, he works. And plays. He craves his first playoff series triumph, having lost first-round series in 1999 and last season, both times to the Lakers.

Saturday, he was the last one to stop shooting, the rest of his teammates long gone.

"I always try to work on my game," Mobley said. "I got away from it a little last month and started missing easy shots. That'll happen if I don't work on my game. I was basically trying to rest a little. ... I can only do my best. We're all trying our best to win. If you go out and do your best, the extra shots in practice, listening, tapes, studying, you can't complain. If I do reach goals, it's satisfaction."

Kenny Thomas saw the Cat act from close up for parts of three seasons in Houston, and they are teammates again.

"Cat's always been Cat, very good," Thomas said.

Center Brad Miller said Mobley has been a welcomed voice, even if it's loud. Mobley was so animated in one stretch Friday night, scolding one minute, trying to find his offensive groove the next, Adelman had to tell him, "Relax."

"Sometimes guys have to bark at each other, and we'll do that to each other here if that's what it takes," Miller said. "Everybody has to be open to criticism. No one's going to take it personal. You can't."

Added Mobley, "I just tell the guys to play the whole 48 (minutes), to not let up. I try to offer something." Kind of like Mom.

http://www.sacbee.com/content/sports/story/12820013p-13670162c.html
 
#2
EmKingsFan4 said:
When she sees me complain on the court, I can hear it, 'Just shut up!' She's still the mom."
lmao. Sounds like my mom. But that's good, sometimes NBA players need someone to keep them focused in the game. I think that might be the reason that Mobley does better in the 4th quarters eh?
 
#6
His elbows and ribs are hurt? What about his eyes? He never seems to see his team mates when he's going one on one trying to save the day.
 
F

Fillmoe

Guest
#10
lol @ people making fun of Mobley for not sharing the ball but when hes hittin all the clutch shots at the end of a game i dont hear non of it....... ;)
 
#11
Oh man, thats just great. Now I see the true genious of GP. He traded away a nagging wife for the team "Mom"...a masterpiece. I have no idea why people would make fun of him, hell i would have my mom on the bench anyday haha.
 
A

AriesMar27

Guest
#12
Fillmoe said:
lol @ people making fun of Mobley for not sharing the ball but when hes hittin all the clutch shots at the end of a game i dont hear non of it....... ;)
we make fun of him when he dribbles the ball, shoots the ball but stop when the shot goes in.... because he doesnt look to pass even when someone is open.... i think that was part of the problem for bibby in the 1st 2 games.... i saw times when mike was wide open yelling for the ball but mobley wasnt hearing it..... yet he can hear his mom in the stands yelling at him..... we'd all love him more if we would make the extra pass..... jacking up shots are only nice when they go in.....
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#13
kgrichwine said:
His elbows and ribs are hurt? What about his eyes? He never seems to see his team mates when he's going one on one trying to save the day.
Unfair comment, IMHO. I'm willing to give Cat a lot of credit for coming here and pretty much having to try to change how he's played since high school.

It's real easy to point fingers at him for the occasional miscue. I sure would like to see you pop in and give him credit when he does something right.

Some fans may not like how he plays, but at least he's into the game. He's not lethargic; he's not focused elsewhere; he's not phoning it in. Cuttino Mobley is a different type of player than we may be used to but that doesn't make him incapable of becoming a very valuable asset on our team, should he stay.
 
#14
^^ I agree and as I have said in most threads about cat. I have liked him since he entered the league.

He is doing what he was brought here to do.
 
#15
VF21 said:
Unfair comment, IMHO. I'm willing to give Cat a lot of credit for coming here and pretty much having to try to change how he's played since high school.

It's real easy to point fingers at him for the occasional miscue. I sure would like to see you pop in and give him credit when he does something right.

Some fans may not like how he plays, but at least he's into the game. He's not lethargic; he's not focused elsewhere; he's not phoning it in. Cuttino Mobley is a different type of player than we may be used to but that doesn't make him incapable of becoming a very valuable asset on our team, should he stay.

I agree. I also think that he has been working on changing his game to fit more with the team. This is NOT an easy thing to do and I respect that he is even trying. I hope he stays.