|Brujos de Guayama|
July 14, 1984 |
Staten Island, New York
|Nationality||American / Puerto Rican|
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|High school||Laurinburg Institute
(Laurinburg, North Carolina)
|College||South Carolina (2003–2006)|
|NBA Draft||2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20th overall|
|Selected by the New York Knicks|
|2006–2008||New York Knicks|
|2011–2012||New York Knicks|
|2013||Petron Blaze Boosters (Philippines)|
|2013-present||Brujos de Guayama (Puerto Rico)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Renaldo Balkman (born July 14, 1984) is a Puerto Rican-American professional basketball player who plays for the Brujos de Guayama of Puerto Rico. He played college basketball for the University of South Carolina. He has represented the Puerto Rico national team in international competition.
Early life and education
Balkman was born in Staten Island, New York, and prior to attending Laurinburg Institute, he was at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. At Laurinburg, he led his team to 40-2 record and No. 1 national prep school ranking.
Balkman was a little known player in high school at the Laurinburg Institute, but he was discovered in 2002 by University of South Carolina coach Dave Odom, who instantly saw his potential. According to Odom, "I remember the first time I saw Renaldo Balkman. I was sitting in Orlando in a gym with (South Carolina assistant coach) Barry Sanderson and I asked him 'who is that kid with the dreadlocks? That's the guy we need'. He came back and said nobody knows his name." Balkman was recruited and signed by Carolina, having received little to no interest from any other major basketball programs.
Balkman played an integral role in South Carolina's two wins over eventual national champion Florida during the 2005-2006 college basketball season. He was also the 2006 NIT Most Valuable Player, averaging 9.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. Balkman's highlight for the season was a team-leading 28-point, 16-rebound, 4-steal performance in a 67-56 win over Alabama on February 14, 2006. He was 11 of 15 from the field and also had a team-high 2 blocks.
For Balkman, a defensive banger whose style Knicks general manager Isiah Thomas had likened to Dennis Rodman and Ron Artest, the 2006 NIT MVP award was a fitting capper to a three-year college career that produced 7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and a .553 shooting average.
The Knicks' choice of Balkman in the first round surprised many, notably ESPN's Jay Bilas, who noted that projected lottery pick Marcus Williams was still available as well as future All-Star guard Rajon Rondo. ESPN columnist Bill Simmons, among others, joked that perhaps Isiah Thomas thought he was drafting Rolando Blackman, a former Knicks player and NBA All-Star. However, other analysts praised Balkman's work ethic and attitude, as he had transformed himself from a relative unknown into a first round NBA draft pick over the course of a few months. There was further controversy when the Knicks' general manager, Isiah Thomas, claimed that the Phoenix Suns were prepared to take him; the Suns claimed that he was not even "on [their] radar". In the NBA's official draft guide, which was released to all reporters covering the draft, Balkman was not included in the list of the 300 top players eligible to be drafted in the 2006-07 rookie class. However, the Knicks selected Balkman with their first of two draft picks, which was 20th overall. The Knicks later selected Mardy Collins with the 29th pick. It has also been speculated that Thomas and the Knicks selected Balkman because his agent, Leon Rose, was also the agent of then soon-to-be free agent LeBron James.
In the Las Vegas Summer League before the 2006-2007 season, Balkman averaged 7.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 1 block and 2.4 turnovers during the span of 5 games. He played along Knick teammates Channing Frye, David Lee, Nate Robinson and Mardy Collins.
During his first season, Balkman played in 68 games, averaging 15.6 minutes, 4.9 points, and 4.3 rebounds. He logged four double-doubles and showed promise, particularly on the defensive end where he was called upon to guard multiple positions, from shooting guard to center. The press praised Balkman, describing him as a "sparkplug off the bench" and a "crowd favorite for his hustle and enthusiastic defense," though he was criticized for his poor outside shooting. Balkman also led the league's rookies in steals plus blocks per 48 minutes.
The 2007-08 season saw a decline in most of Balkman's stats. He played in 65 games, averaging 14.6 minutes, 3.4 points, and 3.3 rebounds per game.
On July 28, 2008, Balkman was traded to the Denver Nuggets along with cash considerations in exchange for Taurean Green, Bobby Jones, and a second round pick in the 2010 draft. The Knicks quickly waived both Green and Jones, solidifying the fact that the deal was a salary dump. Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni stated, "Renaldo really had no role after we drafted (Danilo) Gallinari, and with the emergence of Wilson Chandler his minutes would be nonexistent, so it really wasn’t fair to him to keep him in a spot that he wouldn’t play and also gives us an opportunity to clear up a roster spot and move on." Said Balkman, "I'm going to make the best of my opportunity. New York was great, but that's in my past now. Denver is my future."
During the 2008-09 season, Balkman played in 53 games, averaging 5.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He also started 10 games, after Kenyon Martin was injured. His best game was on March 14, 2009 against the Los Angeles Clippers. Balkman scored a double-double, with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Balkman barely played during the 2009-10 season, averaging 1.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 7 minutes per game. He only played in 13 games, never scoring in double figures.
Balkman again began the 2010-11 season as part of the Denver Nuggets bench. He was scarcely used, playing in only 5 games, and averaging 2.6 points and 0.8 rebounds per game. His most notable game was on December 29, 2010, against the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he scored 10 points in 19 minutes, including four dunks.
On February 22, 2011, Balkman was reacquired by the New York Knicks in a blockbuster trade which also brought Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, and Anthony Carter to New York. However, Balkman only played in three games after returning to New York.
Balkman rarely saw game time during the 2011-12 season, playing only in 14 games, and averaging 3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. He was released by the team on February 17, 2012, to make room on the roster for J. R. Smith.
In December 2012, Balkman was signed by the Petron Blaze Boosters of the Philippine Basketball Association to play in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup. On March 8, 2013, in a game against the Alaska Aces for a battle to earn the top spot, Balkman had a major outburst when he claimed he was fouled after shooting an air ball inside the paint. Balkman argued with the referees, but when his argument was ignored, he shoved referees and pushed coaches and teammates that tried to calm him. After physically confronting the first referee, assistant coach Biboy Ravanes tried to calm him down but Balkman shoved Ravanes out of the way. After this, he moved to the second referee and again argued and initiated contact. At this point, Ronald Tubid, a teammate of Balkman, tried to get between him and the second referee. Balkman then moved to the third official, while being shadowed by Tubid, until he shoved Tubid out of the way. This is when another teammate, Arwind Santos, tried to intervene by putting himself between the third referee and Balkman. However, Balkman continued with his aggressive behavior, slapping Santos' arm and eventually shoving him. When Santos pushed him back, Balkman pushed him once again and then grabbed Santos' neck as their teammates tried to separate them. Balkman later apologized via his Twitter account. He said he apologized to his teammates, Santos and Santos' family as well as the team's management, and added, "Everybody does something once in a life, they’re not supposed to do. At the time I blanked out and went at it. [...] It's my first time ever in my entire life to do that." On March 11, 2013, Balkman was banned from the PBA. He was also fined for P250,000 or $6,150. Balkman averaged 25 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.7 blocks.
Puerto Rico national basketball team
|Competitor for Puerto Rico|
|Pan American Games|
|Gold||2011 Mexico||Team competition|
|Gold||2010 Dominican Republic||Team competition|
|Central American and Caribbean Games|
|Gold||2010 Puerto Rico||Team competition|
In the 2010 Centrobasket held in the Dominican Republic, Balkman played with the Puerto Rico national basketball team. Puerto Rico won the gold medal after defeating Dominican Republic 80-89. Balkman was the top rebounder for Puerto Rico, with eight.
2010 Central American Games (Mayaguez 2010)
In the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games held in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Balkman played with the Puerto Rico national basketball team. Puerto Rico defeated Mexico 82-77 to win the gold medal, led by the defense of Balkman.
2011 Pan American Games (Guadalajara 2011)
In the 2011 Pan American Games held in Guadalajara, Mexico, Balkman played with the Puerto Rico national basketball team. Puerto Rico defeated Mexico 74-72 to win the gold medal, led by Balkman who scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- "PBA Official Website". PBA. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- Hacaoglu, Selcan (August 31, 2010). "Puerto Rico defeats China at basketball world". USA Today (Gannett Co, Inc). Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- "Internal Regulations 2010". FIBA. p. 67. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- Odom Reflects on Renaldo Balkman the day after
- South Carolina Gamecocks Statistics - 2005-06
- South Carolina 67, Alabama 56 - Recap - February 14, 2006
- Bill Simmons' Draft Diary X
- Ehud Knoll CollegeInsider.co SUMMER RUMINATIONS (PART II)
- Style Magazine, The Most Powerful Man in Sports?
- Development of Young Players Key to Knicks' Future
- Nuggets Acquire Balkman
- Knicks waive ex-Nuggets
- Nuggets get Balkman from Knicks
- Balkman thinks defense first
- "Nene, Balkman steal show in Camby's return to Denver". ESPN. March 14, 2009.
- "Chauncey Billups hits three clutch 3-pointers to help Nuggets beat Timberwolves". ESPN. December 29, 2010.
- "Knicks Acquire Four-Time All-Star Carmelo Anthony". NBA.com. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- "Renaldo Balkman Stats". ESPN.
- Petron's prized catch: Boosters sign NBA veteran Balkman as Ginebra goes for towering Hill
- "No lifetime ban on Balkman". 14 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
- Alzaga, Raúl (July 31, 2010). "Puerto Rico revalida el oro en baloncesto". El Nuevo Día.
- Pagán, Estéban (October 30, 2011). "Puerto Rico conquista el oro en baloncesto". El Nuevo Día.
- PBA Official Website
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com
- Renaldo Balkman at Basketball-Reference.com
- University of South Carolina bio page