Renaldo Balkman

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Renaldo Balkman
Renaldo Balkman, 2016.jpg
Balkman in 2016
No. 32 – Capitanes de Arecibo
PositionSmall forward / Power forward
Personal information
Born (1984-07-14) July 14, 1984 (age 35)
Staten Island, New York
NationalityPuerto Rican
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolLaurinburg Institute
(Laurinburg, North Carolina)
CollegeSouth Carolina (2003–2006)
NBA draft2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career2006–present
Career history
20062008New York Knicks
20082011Denver Nuggets
20112012New York Knicks
2013Petron Blaze Boosters
2013Guaiqueríes de Margarita
2013Brujos de Guayama
2013–2014Halcones Rojos Veracruz
2014Capitanes de Arecibo
2014–2015Texas Legends
2015Capitanes de Arecibo
2015Fuerza Regia
2016–2017Reales de la Vega
2018San Miguel Alab Pilipinas
2018San Miguel Beermen
2018–2019San Miguel Alab Pilipinas
2019–presentCapitanes de Arecibo
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Renaldo Miguel Balkman (born July 14, 1984) is a Puerto Rican professional basketball player for Capitanes de Arecibo of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional (BSN). He also represents the Puerto Rican national team.

He played college basketball for the University of South Carolina before being selected with the 20th overall pick of the 2006 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. After spending six seasons with the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets in the National Basketball Association (NBA), he played since the 2012–13 season in several leagues around the world, among which are Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Mexican LNBP, Venezuelan LPB and NBA G League.

Early life and education[edit]

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.

College career[edit]


Balkman was a little known player in high school at the Laurinburg Institute, but he was discovered in 2002 by University of South Carolina head 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."[1] Balkman was recruited and signed by Carolina, having received little to no interest from any other major basketball programs.

Playing career[edit]

Balkman played an integral role in South Carolina's two wins over eventual national champion Florida during the 2005–06 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.

Professional career[edit]

NBA Draft[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5] There was further controversy when 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, Andre Buck, who worked with Leon Rose, who was the agent of then soon-to-be free agent LeBron James.[6]

In the Las Vegas Summer League before the 2006–07 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.[7] He played along Knick teammates Channing Frye, David Lee, Nate Robinson and Mardy Collins, also represented by Buck.

New York Knicks[edit]

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.[8] 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.

Denver Nuggets[edit]

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.[9] The Knicks quickly waived both Green and Jones, solidifying the fact that the deal was a salary dump.[10] 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."[11] 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."[12]

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.[13]

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 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.[14]

Back to New York[edit]

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.[15] However, Balkman only played in three games after returning to New York.[16]

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 Jeremy Lin.


On January 9, 2013, Balkman signed with the Petron Blaze Boosters of the Philippine Basketball Association to play in the 2013 Commissioner's Cup.[17]

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."[18]

On March 11, 2013, Balkman was banned from the PBA. He was also fined P250,000.[19] In seven games for Petron, Balkman averaged 25 points, 13.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.7 blocks per game.

On March 27, 2018, the lifetime ban was lifted by the PBA, after gaining the approval from Santos, former commissioner Chito Salud and incumbent commissioner Willie Marcial.[20]

Latin America[edit]

On March 27, 2013, Balkman signed with Guaiqueríes de Margarita of the Liga Profesional de Baloncesto.[21] He left Guaiqueríes after 13 games.

On May 1, 2013, Balkman signed with Brujos de Guayama of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.[22]

On September 30, 2013, Balkman signed with the Dallas Mavericks.[23] However, he was later waived by the Mavericks on October 22, 2013.[24]

In December 2013, Balkman signed with Halcones Rojos Veracruz of Mexico for the rest of the 2013–14 season.[25]

In April 2014, Balkman joined Capitanes de Arecibo for the 2014 BSN season.[26]

Texas Legends[edit]

On October 24, 2014, Balkman re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks, only to be waived the next day.[27] On November 3, 2014, he was acquired by the Texas Legends as an affiliate player.[28]

Puerto Rico / Mexico[edit]

On March 8, 2015, Balkman left Texas and returned to Capitanes de Arecibo.[29]

On December 15, 2015, Balkman left Arecibo to sign with Fuerza Regia of the Mexican League,[30] but was released on December 28 after leaving the club without notification.[31]

Return to the Philippines[edit]

On January 1, 2018, Balkman returned to the Philippines, playing for ASEAN Basketball League side San Miguel Alab Pilipinas. He, together with Barangay Ginebra import Justin Brownlee replaced Reggie Okosa and Ivan Johnson (who, like Balkman, had a controversial stint in the country's domestic league, the PBA, and was also once banned from) as imports for the team.[32][33]

National team career[edit]

2010 Centrobasket[edit]

In the 2010 Centrobasket held in the Dominican Republic, Balkman helped Puerto Rico win the gold medal after defeating Dominican Republic 89–80. Balkman was the top rebounder for Puerto Rico, with eight.[34][35]

2010 Central American Games[edit]

In the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games held in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Balkman helped Puerto Rico defeat Mexico 82–77 to win the gold medal.[36]

2011 Pan American Games[edit]

In the 2011 Pan American Games held in Guadalajara, Mexico, Balkman helped Puerto Rico defeat Mexico 74–72 to win the gold medal. He recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds in the win.[37]

2013 FIBA Americas Championship[edit]

Balkman played at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship, where he won a silver medal. He was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Career statistics[edit]

  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


Regular season[edit]

2006–07 New York 68 1 15.6 .505 .185 .567 4.3 .6 .8 .6 4.9
2007–08 New York 65 0 14.6 .489 .083 .432 3.3 .6 .7 .5 3.4
2008–09 Denver 53 10 14.7 .558 .286 .646 3.8 .6 .9 .4 5.0
2009–10 Denver 13 1 7.0 .333 .000 .333 1.8 .5 .6 .2 1.1
2010–11 Denver 5 0 8.8 .556 .000 .750 .8 .4 .6 .4 2.6
2010–11 New York 3 0 6.0 .250 .500 .000 1.0 .0 .3 .0 1.0
2011–12 New York 14 0 8.2 .500 .222 .727 1.9 .4 .3 .2 3.0
Career 221 12 13.9 .510 .172 .542 3.5 .6 .7 .5 4.0


2009 Denver 8 0 2.5 .333 .000 .000 .5 .1 .5 .0 .5
Career 8 0 2.5 .333 .000 .000 .5 .1 .5 .0 .5

Domestic leagues[edit]

Season Team League GP MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2013 Petron Blaze Boosters PBA 7 39.9 .458 -- .590 13.4 2.4 2.0 2.7 25.0
Guaiqueríes de Margarita Venezuela LPB 13 31.4 .532 .273 .648 8.6 1.1 2.4 1.0 18.4
Brujos de Guayama BSN 31 30.9 .543 .429 .699 8.8 2.0 1.7 1.3 17.0
2013–14 Halcones Rojos Veracruz Mexico LNPB 24 33.5 .516 .222 .725 8.2 2.3 1.9 2.0 22.0
2014 Capitanes de Arecibo BSN 37 32.8 .577 .143 .660 9.1 1.8 1.5 1.9 17.1
2014–15 Texas Legends D-League 32 29.6 .641 .276 .643 9.2 1.2 2.1 .9 16.0
2015 Capitanes de Arecibo BSN 52 28.1 .564 .194 .646 7.2 1.7 1.3 1.2 15.7


  1. ^ Odom Reflects on Renaldo Balkman the day after
  2. ^ South Carolina Gamecocks Statistics – 2005–06
  3. ^ South Carolina 67, Alabama 56 – Recap – February 14, 2006
  4. ^ Bill Simmons' Draft Diary X
  6. ^ Style Magazine, The Most Powerful Man in Sports?
  7. ^ NBA
  8. ^ Development of Young Players Key to Knicks' Future
  9. ^ Nuggets Acquire Balkman
  10. ^ Knicks waive ex-Nuggets
  11. ^ Nuggets get Balkman from Knicks
  12. ^ Balkman thinks defense first
  13. ^ "Nene, Balkman steal show in Camby's return to Denver". ESPN. March 14, 2009.
  14. ^ "Chauncey Billups hits three clutch 3-pointers to help Nuggets beat Timberwolves". ESPN. December 29, 2010.
  15. ^ "Knicks Acquire Four-Time All-Star Carmelo Anthony". February 22, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
  16. ^ "Renaldo Balkman Stats". ESPN.
  17. ^ Renaldo Balkman pens a deal with Petron Blaze
  18. ^ Ex-Knick/Nugget Renaldo Balkman grabs teammate’s neck during game in Philippines (VIDEO)
  19. ^ "No lifetime ban on Balkman". March 14, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  20. ^ "Ban on Balkman lifted". March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  21. ^ LPB 2013 Transactions - Guaiqueries brings in Renaldo Balkman - Mar 27, 2013
  22. ^ Renaldo Balkman signs with Brujos de Guayama
  23. ^ Mavericks sign Renaldo Balkman
  24. ^ Mavericks waive Renaldo Balkman, Devin Ebanks, D.J. Kennedy, Fab Melo
  25. ^ "Renaldo Balkman joins Halcones Rojos". December 11, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  26. ^ Renaldo Balkman traded to Capitanes de Arecibo
  27. ^ Mavs Sign, Waive Renaldo Balkman
  28. ^ Training Camp Roster Archived November 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Renaldo Balkman leaves Texas Legends to join Capitanes de Arecibo
  30. ^ Llega Renaldo Balkman a Fuerza Regia
  31. ^ Fuerza Regia Monterrey cut Renaldo Balkman
  32. ^ "Alab brings in Brownlee, Balkman as imports". ABS-CBN News. January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  33. ^ Songalia, Ryan (January 1, 2018). "Renaldo Balkman will return to PH basketball with Alab Pilipinas". Rappler. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  34. ^ Hacaoglu, Selcan (August 31, 2010). "Puerto Rico defeats China at basketball world". USA Today. Gannett Co, Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  35. ^ "Internal Regulations 2010" (PDF). FIBA. p. 67. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  36. ^ Alzaga, Raúl (July 31, 2010). "Puerto Rico revalida el oro en baloncesto". El Nuevo Día.
  37. ^ Pagán, Estéban (October 30, 2011). "Puerto Rico conquista el oro en baloncesto". El Nuevo Día.

External links[edit]