Sunday, July 30, 2006

Wolves Over The Weekend

Though initially hesitant, The Pharcyde graciously agreed to pose with the Claws.

Mike James Day took place yesterday in Suffolk County. According to his site, he was going to "take this opportunity and return back to his old stomping grounds in Amityville to provide hope and assistance to those youth coming behind him." Although it was too damn hot for any in-town celebration, everyone in the Twin Cities took a moment to silently thank him for choosing basketball over a life of crime.

Troy Hudson's agent is whining to the Wolves about how they push his client "to do things he doesn't want to do" in order to earn his millions. He also continues not to allow the people who are paying him that money an opportunity to gauge the player's rehab progress. T-Hud is avoiding the situation by taking his rap act on a tour of the midwest.

KG is ranked at #11 along with Tom Brady in's list of the top earning athletes. Both took in $25 million in salary and endorsements this year. According to the list, KG is set to be the highest paid player in the NBA next season.

Anthony at Wolves Watch posts his take on Randy Foye.

With all the excitement about Foye's potential, I'd almost forgotten about second round pick Craig Smith til I saw this article from the Daily News.
"We saw him for four years at Boston College," reasoned Wolves GM Kevin McHale of the selection. "He went there as a freshman, and right away he rebounded and scored. Then he did it as a sophomore, junior and senior. We really liked him."
Sources at the Toshiba Vegas Summer League confirmed that the Wolves do have high hopes for Smith once his hand is recovered enough for him to return to the court.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Wolves Updates 7/28

According to Sid Hartman, Troy Hudson and his agent are at odds with the Wolves officials. McHale and Casey don't know if T-Hud will be ready for the season as they haven't seen him workout. Hudson's agent Bill Neff says his client doesn't want to workout in front of them as he does not trust the Wolves training staff.

"He had difficulty. He felt that they rushed him back two years in a row, and he does not have confidence in that," Neff said. "They wanted him to go through two-a-days starting July 5.

"They insisted on it, and he said, 'I'm not ready, I'm not ready. I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to make the same mistakes I've made in previous years. I want to play. I don't have to be ready July 5. I have to be ready in September, not July.'

"And he wasn't ready. So he told them that. That was not a satisfactory answer. They chose instead, I guess, to say things to you which weren't true."

Neff insists there is mistrust on both sides.

"And the mistrust on Troy's side comes from the fact that he does not feel that in the past, they've done the best thing for him," Neff said. "They've done the best thing for themselves. And he feels like as a result he has not gotten better. This time he's trying to do it his way on his own. He hopes then to be at full strength and not having to deal with questions and issues."

10,000 Takes makes a list of possible post-NBA career choices for the Wolves.

Black Athlete reports a rumor that Mike James was traded by the Rockets because of problems with Tracy McGrady who felt that James "was not giving him the ball enough."

Via True Hoop, former Gopher and ex-Wolves color analyst John Blair-Bickerstaff was recently arrested for a DWI. Bickerstaff is currently an assistant coach for his the Bobcats.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wolves Updates 7/27

Two of my favorite hoops podcasts have new episodes, both featuring segments on Mike James.
-The Basketball Jones broadcast is back after a long hiatus.
-Ryan and Justin have been cranking out the Killer Crossover episodes and are still doing cool giveaways.

Dwane Casey on the current roster: "No more guards. Now, I'm only interested in guys who are at least 6 feet 8."

Click here for an awesome Mike James video on YouTube.

Sadly, there is no release date yet for the new T-Hud record according to the folks at Nutty Boyz/Troy E. Hudson Enterprises.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Wolves Updates 7/26 ranked the rookies based on summer league stats and Randy Foye came in at the top of the list.
Foye took league MVP honors at the Vegas Summer League, averaging 24.8 points on .530 shooting in five games, while bringing tears to the eyes of Minnesota homer and NBA TV's Rick Kamla. Foye was virtually unstoppable, showing "star-like quality" according to's Brian Windhorst and getting to the hole whenever he wanted.

Rick Kamla also has a recap from the various summer leagues.

10,000 Takes launches its own Sid Hartman contest.

The Timberwolves Caravan continues but today Ricky Davis' golf game wasn't so hot.

New T-Hud Single

Click here to listen to "Never Thought," the new T-Hud single featuring U.G.K. and Static Major. From the album "Undrafted" due out this summer.

Just like his game, the song's not that bad. But releasing a record while you're supposed to be rehabbing and keeping everyone waiting around to see if you're going to be well enough to play for millions of dollars next season is not a good idea.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Newest Additions To The Backcourt

Wolves Updates 7/25

The Pioneer Press stirred up Wolves message boards when it posted a rumor saying that the Wolves "at least tried through a sign-and-trade to acquire Ben Wallace."

The Wolves want T-Hud to work out under their supervision instead of rehabbing his ankle on his own.

Ricky Davis showed off his golfing ability to help kick off the Timberwolves Caravan today.
While Hanneman’s foursome shot the best score, Davis was the most impressive with the sticks, easily hitting the longest drive of the day. Davis averted disaster early when an errant shot whizzed six inches from him, but was unfazed by the potential danger.

At least one fantasy hoops expert thinks Randy Foye will "produce excellent fantasy booty this year."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Wolves Updates 7/24

KG will receive a Distinguished Citizen Award from Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity when the group hosts its annual convention in Minneapolis. I know nothing about the fraternity but it seems like no dubious honor as Oprah and the Clintons are also receiving awards.

Justin/Celtics 17 and Ryan/HoopsAddict put together some Mike James audio clips in this week's Killer Crossover podcast.

Bob Sansevere poses a series of questions to Mike James:
The thing I like best about the Wolves is they want to win a championship. I think that's the thing that turns me on the most about them. They want to win, and everybody doesn't believe they can win. The teams that win a lot are misfits. We have misfits on this team. They even tell Kevin Garnett he's not clutch, that he plays for three quarters and disappears in the last five minutes. When I was in Detroit, we were misfits. And we won the championship.

...Only time is going to tell if I'm what the Wolves need to win a championship.

If I could trade places for a day with any celebrity, it would be Jay-Z, and I'd be on a private boat with Beyonce for that day and chill. I don't want to be Jay-Z. I just want to be in Jay-Z's position and be with Beyonce when she's in a bathing suit.

I want my epitaph to say, "Here lies Mike James. It doesn't matter if you loved me or hated me. I was Mike James."

Wolves Over The Weekend

Fred Hoiberg underwent "painful but successful" surgery last week to fix some issues caused by his open-heart surgery.

Both Sid Hartman and The Pioneer Press are reiterating rumors that the Wolves are interested in acquiring free agents Reggie Evans and Lorenzen Wright but Hartman says the price tag might be too high.

Mike James and Trent Hassell have been taking part in the Howard Pulley pro-am league. Coach Casey was "impressed with James' ability to drive to the basket and shoot from the outside."

According to Hartman, the organization is questioning if T-Hud will be able to play this season and if not, the Wolves would like to "have him retire, collect the insurance, and trade him..."

Wolves Watch also has some ideas of what to do with Hudson.

10,000 Takes is writing some pretty awesome poetry.

Carnival Of The NBA #33 is up at Perkolators-CelticsBlog.

Friday, July 21, 2006

More Wolves Updates

From the Pioneer Press:
The rumor is the Timberwolves are talking trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for 6-foot-3 point guard Damon Jones and 6-7 small forward Luke Jackson in exchange for 6-1 point guard Troy Hudson, but the Wolves say that's news to them.

KG learns some Chinese, empathizes with Rod Steward, and says goodbye to Asia.

Phoenix was excited that Banks was willing to come off the bench to play with the team. McHale even placed a call to the Suns telling them they had "landed a tremendous kid."

Check out HoopsAddict and Celtics 17's Killer Crossover podcast for draft analysis and fun giveaways.

Mike James Party

Because I had friends who were able to get us in for free and it was only a few blocks away, my friends and I decided to go to "The Official Mike James Premiere Party" last night.

The flier said the event started at 9pm and urged you to get there early. We got there at 10:30pm or so to a crowd of 30 people, none of whom was Mike James. Of those people, about 7 knew who the player was and only 3 of them were at the club to meet him.

After sitting there for a couple hours drinking expensive drinks, seeing a bouncer get punched in the face, enduring forced conversation with a self-proclaimed psychic, and being told by the worried looking promoters from the moment we got there that "he was on his way", James rolled in around 12:30am.

The press release on the site made sure to mention that there was a "strict dress code" of no hats and no white sneakers. James walked in wearing a Yankees cap and pristine white sneakers and sat at the so-called VIP table that came complete with a security person.

I walked up to the security dude right away and asked him politely but firmly to let me in to say hi to James so I could leave and was granted access right away. I sat down next to James, said "welcome to the team" and we started chatting for about the next 20 minutes. An owner type tried to kick me out halfway through our conversation but James wouldn't let him.

I asked him about Jeff Van Gundy coming to his house to get him to sign with the Rockets and James said, "That stuff don't impress me."

I also brought up the KFAN interview how amusing it was. His response was that "last year everybody thought I was arrogant. Now they think I'm funny. But I'm saying the same things."

Of course I asked him to check out this site when he had a chance and he sat there on his blackberry doing just that for a few minutes.

My friends came up to the table after a while and even they were impressed by how personable and friendly he was to them and everyone else around. Dude just seems so genuinely psyched to be playing for the Wolves.

Wolves Updates 7/21

Wolves GM Jim Stack says the decision to sign Mike James rather than give Marcus Banks a more lucrative contract was based on the need for "a more immediate impact at the point."

"We felt that Marcus could come along, that he had all sorts of potential," Stack said. "[But] we felt he needed to grow in some areas -- not that he couldn't. But we felt we couldn't get left holding the bag. Mike James, we all felt, was more ready to play that spot. ... We felt we got a guy who has proven he could start in the league. He brings a swagger with him."

The Wolves held a "power lunch" for season ticket holders during which McHale said:
“We’ve got trade talk going with a couple teams, said McHale. “We’re trying to add another piece, but I was really happy that we were able to get what I felt was important for our team which was a guy to stretch the floor, and a veteran guy. We got them both in Mike James.”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mad Dog Blog

It's been almost a month since Mad Dog last updated his blog but this post was worth the wait.

He discusses how excited he was when the Wolves signed James. He mentions hanging out at the Basilica Block Party and refers to without explaining the "trick" players used when getting measured in their shoes.

Mad Dog also talks about running his first 5K. His time was just over 28 minutes. That was the time in which I finished my first 5k and I was pretty satisfied with it but I'm not a professional athlete. How is it possible for someone who gets paid a million dollars a year (or whatever his salary is) to play basketball not to best even "two 45 year old men pushing strollers with two kids in each of them?" At least he has a sense of humor about it.

Finally, he issues this challenge:
If any of you can find Marko Jaric's profile I will post your picture on this blog. Marko told me he has one, but I can't find him for the life of me. I finally updated my myspace page even though there is a fake one of me that looks real, but it's not and it says some crazy stuff.

Banks Hurt At James Signing

Marcus Banks' dad says that while his son had a good relationship with McHale and Casey, Wolves officials weren't very friendly with them at the Vegas Summer League games.
"It wasn't a good place to talk business, but I thought they should have been more enthusiastic."

According to his dad, Banks was upset about the Wolves signing Mike James with their full MLE.
"Believe me, he was hurt," Arthur Banks said. "I couldn't get him out of his bedroom for about two or three days. He's a really strong competitor. He's not bitter at Mike; he played with him in Boston."

Still, Banks is going to a contending team that offered him more money than the Wolves could or should have.
"If I'm going to sit behind anybody, I don't mind sitting behind Steve," Banks said Tuesday. "I'm super excited. We're going to have some fun in the sun."

"I'm going to a great group of guys who know how to win," Banks said.

Reusse On Banks' Departure

Patrick Reusse believes that Wolves' history is repeating itself and that McHale's mistakes will lead Coach Casey to be fired.

He used a No. 1 choice on Foye and traded away two others. He traded his team's second-best player in Szczerbiak in the deal for Banks, now gone after starting 28 games in garbage time last season. He committed a combined $61.3 million of owner Glen Taylor's money to a guy who can't play (Jaric) and a 31-year-old journeyman who prefers not to pass (James).

And if all of this doesn't make Taylor twitch, he's also on the hook for another $27.6 million for Troy Hudson, now limping the anchor leg behind Micheal Williams, Terrell Brandon and Rod Strickland on the Wolves' relay for lame point guards.

For this mess, the Wolves will reach back to days of yore and fire Casey on or about Dec. 18.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Banks To Phoenix

According to the Arizona Republic, the Suns have agreed to sign Marcus Banks to a 5 year contract worth about $21 million.

The team lost:
-"the key" to the Celtics trade
-one first round draft pick
-yet another PG
-a player with a lot of potential

What the team has in his place:
-Mike James
-Randy Foye
-a crop of underplaying but overpaid guards

For the mental health of Twolves fans, I hope he doesn't develop into a stud playing backup for Nash.

Wolves Updates 7/19

There's a "Mike James Official Premiere Party" on Thursday night. For $10, you can hang out for hours on end before James makes what is sure to be a very brief appearance. I do have to give him credit for being smart enough to figure out a way to make money off of people before the season even starts.

A link to a German Timberwolves blog. I can't understand a word but it looks cool.

Just one more stop on the KG Tour.

From Marc Stein/ESPN:
Dallas and Minnesota are on the short list of teams that have considered gambling on the remaining five years and $72 million left on (Kenyon) Martin's contract...

Sources say that Hassell is actually the one midpriced Minnesota player the Raptors would have considered for James but that the Wolves were unwilling to move him. Minnesota thus was forced to use its $5.2 million midlevel exception to sign James, landing him with a four-year deal worth $23.5 million.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

KG Tour Videos

YouTube has a bunch of clips documenting KG's trip to China.

Kare 11 also has video of Garnett's visit to the Taj Mahal.

Wolves Updates 7/18

Phoenix is "getting serious" about signing Marcus Banks. Houston and Miami have also shown some interest.

Bob Sansevere from the Pioneer Press can't get McHale to answer the question of whether the Wolves are a "championship contender."

Slam Online has posted an interview with Mike James on Slam Radio from a few months ago.

Also via Slam, KG on the Zidane head butt:
"Zidane was provoked with verbal attack on his family. And let me tell you family is everything. Family comes first," said Garnett.

Mike James likes his women to have pedicures.

More Reasons To Love KG

There are so many things wrong with a multi-millionaire going to a third world country to promote a brand whose items are not affordable for an overwhelming part of the population.

Then you see a pic like the one on the left and read that your favorite athlete is hanging out with kids in an Indian village and giving them clothes and shoes and it makes you feel that the trip is not entirely bad.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dupree Signs With Pistons

Ronald Dupree, traded by the Pistons to the Wolves for a second round pick last preseason, just agreed to a 2 year contract that brings him back to Detroit.

To be honest, besides seeing him on the bench a lot, the only thing I remember about him is that he, along with McCants, was chastised by Coach Casey for being too friendly with the Pistons on the court as they were kicking our ass during a game in January.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wolves Updates 7/16

Anthony from Minnesota Sports has Wolves Watch up and running again.

KG visits India on his promotional tour while acknowledging that basketball has nothing on cricket in that country.

From the Pioneer Press:
Word is that Timberwolf Kevin Garnett was in Los Angeles the other day at the prep athlete of the year award ceremony honoring Ohio State's 7-foot, 250-pound incoming basketball freshman Greg Oden.

Wolves consultant Rex Chapman could end up in the Denver Nuggets' front office soon, which could affect a trade for Kenyon Martin.

Don't be surprised if the Timberwolves soon hire longtime NBA assistant Bob Ociepka and make assistant Bob Thorton a scout.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mike James Day

Thank god for Twolves Central otherwise I may have never found out about this:

Suffolk County, NY officially declared July 29th as "Mike James Day."

"Awesome, one of the top five things that has ever happened to me," James said. "The county dedicated a day to me for all the hard work and for not giving up. What I've come from and seen on the street - for me to overcome it and to know that the entire county acknowledges that, words can't describe how I feel. It's just amazing to know that my hard work and struggles are finally paying off."

No word yet on how the Timberwolves plan to mark this special occasion in Minneapolis.

Also worth checking out are the Mike James Basketball Experience and the Mike James Scholarship Foundation.

Wolves Updates 7/15

T-Hud's Nutty Boyz Entertainment Group site still lists his new record "Undrafted" as coming out this summer and says that "Troy expects the 2006-07 season to be a break-out year in his NBA career."

Houston wasn't that awesome last season:
"San Antonio, or Houston, or Miami," an exasperated Mavs official said a few days ago after James' announcement, "but Minnesota? Come on."

Jim Petersen and Tom Hanneman will return as the Wolves' TV broadcasters next season, and discussions are under way for Billy McKinney's return as radio analyst. The Wolves have received about 50 resumes and inquiries for the radio play-by-play job if there is a vacancy.

The Pacers are expected to announce the hiring of Johnny Davis as their new lead assistant coach.

Foye MVP Of Vegas Summer League

After yesterday's win over the Hornets, Randy Foye received the trophy for Most Valuable Player at the Las Vegas Summer League.

Each game, Foye led the Timberwolves offense with the speed and control of an experienced point guard.

That description is almost enough to make me apologize to McHale for any of the criticism I've ever directed towards him. It also makes me that much more antsy for the season to start.

Marty Burns named Foye and Brandon Roy the most impressive rookies in Vegas. ESPN also included them in their roundup of the top new players but said Roy "didn't have as much sizzle as Foye."

Coach Casey had this to say about the MVP:
That Randy Foye is just a sponge. He asks great questions and has really responded to the coaching he has been given. It is pretty apparent that he has a good knowledge of the game already and has been making solid decisions on the court.

Please don't bother telling me not to get worked up because "it's just summer league" (That means you, TK!) as I'm well aware. Consistently awesome performances from our rookie while playing against others in the draft as well as current NBA players justify any excitement I have about MVP Randy Foye. The only thing dampening my enthusiasm about this is the fact that Paul Shirley didn't fare as well.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Wolves Updates 7/14

KG blogs about flying kites on the Great Wall Of China.

Mike James will be wearing #13:
"Because I remember in college when I went to Duquesne, they said 13 was the bad-luck number," James said. "Everyone who gets it, something bad happens to them, they get kicked off the team, suspended. I said that's my number. Plus, I'm from Amityville, and you know that story."

The Suns are showing some interest in Jaric and the Cavs are still looking at Banks.

The Pioneer Press says "rumors persist that the Timberwolves will trade Marko Jaric and Trenton Hassell to Denver for Kenyon Martin."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Foye Is Clutch

Foye can apparently score when it matters:
The Minnesota Timberwolves outscored the Dallas Mavericks 13-2 over the final 3:15 of play to win its Toshiba Vegas Summer League game 86-76 Thursday afternoon. The Timberwolves turn around can be attributed to the nine-points scored by Randy Foye down from the stretch. Foye scored a game-high 28 points (10-18 FG, 7-9 FT).

Marty Burns calls Foye and Brandon Roy, "the most impressive of the rookie crop."

You've got to feel for Paul Shirley during all the summer league action:
For someone like Randy Foye, the Timberwolves' first-round draft pick and owner of a convenient two-year guaranteed contract, it probably feels like a set of glorified pickup games. But I get only five games to prove that I am worthy of someone's interest.

KFAN's Doogie talked to Marcus Banks' agent today:
He said "still a good chance" that Marcus stays here...he said McHale told him a trade will be coming to open up a slot for Marcus in the backcourt....and told Higgins to "sit tight."

KG In Beijing

KG is blogging about his trip to Asia:
This is your boy KG and you might ask what do I have going on this summer. Well I just arrived in Beijing for my up coming adidas tour of China, India and Chinese Taipei. Had some good news when I arrived, we just signed Mike James. I like what Mike brings to our team and the way that Randy Foye has played in Vegas I think our team will be much better next season...

The limited edition Asia only Garnett '06 shoe is now on my Christmas wish list:
Many of you know my signature shoe from last season; well we took that shoe and made a hot version just for Asia! The shoe is black, red and has a laser etched dragon that runs the length of the shoe, it's hot!

Wolves Updates 7/13

A press conference officially introducing Mike James will take place this afternoon.

Sid Hartman talked to Glen Taylor who said:
-the team has no interest in getting Darius Miles
-they won't strongly pursue Reggie Evans
-they're still after a big man
-a few teams have inquired about Jaric
-an offer will be made to Banks (though GM Jim Stack thinks it's unlikey he'll be re-signed)

According to Stack, if the total payroll for next season goes over the luxury tax threshold Taylor is willing to pay the tax if it's for a serious upgrade.

Wolves summer league games resume tomorrow against the Mavs.

Loyalty is a very admirable trait except when it's demonstrated by a VP of Basketball Operations:
McHale found himself in an interesting position being a pick before the Celtics and longtime pal Ainge in the draft.
"It was a little strange," McHale said of his former Celtic teammate. "We had a lot of discussions, but we always talk anyways. It's just that he was a little more inquisitive this time. I'm glad I was (picking) in front of him."
As for any secrets and false information the two may have passed as they tried to do the best for their teams, McHale said, "Friendship overrides that."...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Mike James Sound Clips

Ryan from HoopsAddict is gracious enough to provide two more amusing audio clips from Mike James (one about drunk driving, the other about him being prepared but unstable) along with this warning:

Get ready for a rocky ride Timberwolves fans.

KG World Tour

Nine-time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett and adidas have teamed up to announce an extensive six-city international tour. The KG tour will tip-off in Beijing July 13 followed by stops in Shanghai, Delhi, Agra, Bangalore and wrapping up on July 19 in Taipei.

The theme of this year’s KG Tour is “We.” We believe in 5. We believe that no one player is better than all five on the floor. When five players come together, with their individual styles, skills, personalities and dreams, the impossible can happen at any moment. All successful teams have one thing in common, the mentality that together “we” are stronger as a whole then as separate parts. Together “we” can make the game better.

The KG Tour will feature a number of events ranging from a Garnett ‘06 limited edition Asia-only shoe launch, Garnett ’06 limited edition India-only shoe launch, community events, basketball clinics, basketball tournament games, a visits to the Great Wall and Taj Mahal.

Wolves Updates 7/12

"I'm a Minnesota Timberwolf, and I'm excited about being a Minnesota Timberwolf," James said during a phone interview. "It's just, wow, it's cold! I can deal with the cold, though. I'm from New York. I've got a Hummer. I'm good. I can get through the snow."

KFAN's highly entertaining interview with Mike James is available online. It is a must listen.

Though the Blazers' Kevin Pritchard says there "is no imminent trade involving Darius Miles," PA from KFAN hears that a Jaric and Mark Madsen for Miles trade is a few weeks away.

Paul Shirley's most recent blog entry talks about playing for the Wolves in the summer league:
As usual, I have pledged to myself to be the least cool basketball player. I will continue to ask my teammates about their lives outside of the sports world. Most likely, my questions will be met with stone-faced stares and unintelligible responses. But, if I can keep anyone from putting a shotgun in his mouth, I will have contributed something.

Rick Kamla thinks the Wolves should have kept Brandon Roy.

Isaiah"J.R" Rider is in more trouble after being arrested for felony cocaine possession on Sunday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mike James Deal

According to ESPN, the deal reached between Mike James and the Wolves is worth $25 million and the team's "four-year pitch includes the ability to become a free agent after year three and a trade kicker, which pays him a bonus if he is dealt by the Wolves."

"I had to have two things; only one team gave them to me," James said. "Everyone gave me the same amount of money. I specifically asked for a player option on my third year and a trade kicker, and (the Rockets) said no. I had to have those two things. After what they put me through, I couldn't sign with them without those things."

The Wolves plan to use their full mid-level exception in the agreement. That and the fact that yet another point guard is about to be added to the roster make the chances of Marcus Banks being re-signed very minimal.

At the very least this move should appease KG who wanted a veteran and even placed a call to James today to persuade him to come here.

"They had a great conversation and that meant a lot to Mike," James' agent, Bill Duffy, said. "Garnett told him he needed him there. That says a lot about Garnett to do that and it says a lot about Mike that Garnett wanted him."

Mike James Announces He'll Sign With The Wolves

During a game of Golden Tee, Mike James took some more time out of his today to call into KFAN and announce that he's signing with the Wolves.

Chad Hartman: What is it that convinced you to come to Minnesota?
Mike James: Kevin Garnett

Mike James (later): Ricky Davis is my boy

A season full of interviews with James alone will be worth the signing price.

ESPN has more on the agreement.

Mike James Interview On KFAN

In what was the most entertaining interview I've ever heard, Chad Hartman just finished up talking to Mike James on KFAN.

James said that three teams offered him 4 year deals. One of those teams included a trade kicker and an option after the third year. According to James, that's the team with whom he's going to sign.

James also said KG called him today and told him he'd love to have him in Minnesota.

James talked about his wife being with him through all of his struggles and mentioned that she was "sleeping with the enemy." As he spent a lot of the interview referring to himself in the third person ("No one wanted to roll the dice on Mike James"), I've got to assume that he's the "enemy."

The best part of the interview had James comparing himself to a cheap prostitute, saying everyone wanted to use him for his goods but no one wants to spend the money to take him on a date.

No matter how hard Hartman tried to get him to say he was committing to the Wolves, James refused to announce his decision.

I just really hope that KFAN posts that interview on their site.

(Update: Hartman just said James has agreed to announce his selection on KFAN at 4:05pm)

Banks' Bird Rights

Steve Aschburner of the Star Tribune says the Wolves don't have the full Bird Rights on Marcus Banks:

Banks, the Wolves' starter at point guard in the final 28 games last season after he arrived in a January trade with Boston, is an unrestricted free agent. The team believed it held full "Bird" rights on him, allowing it to pay whatever was needed to re-sign Banks (up to the league maximum) without gouging into their other financial tools for free agency.

But General Manager Jim Stack confirmed Monday that the NBA turned down a Wolves petition to free Banks from certain restrictions on fourth-year players' salaries. Now, if the bidding for Banks' services goes beyond $2.464 million for the 2006-07 season, the team would have to spend part or all of its midlevel exception to the salary cap, a valuable chip worth $5 million to lure outside help.

What it means is, the more the Wolves spend to bring back Banks, the less they'll have to offer newcomers. Or vice versa.

Clearly, the team had a different signing scenario in mind.

"We were trying to fight with the league that we did not circumvent anything," Stack said in a phone interview from Las Vegas, where the Wolves are participating in summer league action through Friday. "The league said they're not going to grandfather it for us."

Wolves Updates 7/11

Mike James has yet to announce which team he'll be playing with next season. ESPN reports that the decision is expected to come today and thinks that James is leaning towards the Mavs:
"The biggest 'wow' in this whole situation has been Avery Johnson," James says. "I respect him as a coach, but we have a relationship beyond the court...he has a ring and he knows what it takes to win. He's been the person who has wowed me the most through this process."

CelticsBlog has a KG Conspiracy Theory.

Troy Hudson's agent says the player's rehab is going well and he should be ready to play by late August.

Coach Casey on acquiring Reggie Evans:
"If the price is right, we're very interested," Minnesota Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey said. "He's a rebounding machine."

The Sixers were one of the teams that wanted Randy Foye in the draft.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wolves Dancer Auditions

In case you couldn't make it, WCCO has video of the Twolves dancer auditions.

The Professional Cheerleader blog features a post from dancer Natalie describing what it takes to be part of the team:
We've adopted the catchword “cosmopolitan" as the all-encompassing word to describe our team's brand. A Timberwolves Dancer is confident, yet approachable. She is as intelligent as she is beautiful. She is fearless and friendly! Each member of the Timberwolves Dance Team is a classy, feminine woman whose ambition has taken her to the ultimate level of professional dance.

Waiting For James

Carnival Of The NBA #32 is up at Need4Sheed.

Mike James has a meeting with the Mavs today and could make his decision on where he's heading tonight. Until he does so, GM Jim Stack says the team isn't going to make any moves.

Darius Songaila and Reggie Evans are among the other free agents in whom the Wolves are interested.

Marc Stein named Randy Foye his maiden Rookie Of The Year nominee and another ESPN report on the summer league referred to Foye as "the early favorite" for the honor.

According to Sid Hartman, T-Hud's ankle is not healing and there's doubt as to whether he'll play next season.

The Wolves sent Eddie Griffin home on Saturday after a week of practice with the summer league team, telling him he needs to get in better shape. They probably also mentioned something about staying out of trouble which might be why he's no longer in Vegas.

Ricky Davis took part in a charity basketball event for the Baron Davis Foundation and Paul Pierce Truth Foundation, both of which benefit underprivileged inner city youth.

Rex Champman talked with the Nuggets owner at the summer league this weekend but says he hasn't been officially approached by the team about their GM vacancy.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Foye And Roy At Summer League

The Wolves lost to Portland tonight in summer league and, according to Draft Express, Brandon Roy was "far and away the best player on the floor."

On the match up between the player the Wolves selected and the player the Wolves actually got in the draft, Draft Express says:
Foye handled the ball against Brandon Roy , which was a nice little side-bar to the action. Foye kept Roy in front of him on nearly every possession as Roy didn't seem to have the tricks to penetrate past Foye's defensive pressure.

Foye has also been getting high marks from around the league while showing off his skills in Vegas:
"He's calm and collected," said Phoenix star Amare Stoudemire, whose Suns allowed Foye to score 30 points Friday at Cox Pavilion. "He knows what he's doing out there. He takes his time. A lot of rookies don't have that type of poise. For him to come into the league with that poise already, he's in good shape. The guy has a nice game, and he's got a great future ahead of him."

Foye was named Toshiba Player Of The Day after the team's win over Phoenix on Friday.

Wolves Over The Weekend

Mike James' agent Bill Duffy (who played ball at the U of M with McHale) says that James will probably choose a team by Monday.

Rockets assistant GM Daryl Morey, a stats analysis/Moneyball guy, says that it'd be difficult to get full value for Garnett in a trade and agrees that McHale should continue to build the team around him.

Sid Hartman says that KG has not asked for a trade and " is happy because he has been assured that the team is going to add some veteran players to take the pressure off him."

Two months after the fact, Danny Ainge is expressing some displeasure with Mad Dog attempting 3 pointers during the must-lose final Wolves game of the season:
"That was obviously as ugly as it gets in that last game," Ainge said.

Glen Taylor is planning to talk to Griffin about staying out of trouble.

The Wolves are "taking a long look at" Reggie Evans.

Amare Stoudemire offers some advice to McCants:
"What he (McCants) has to do is really take his time. You've got to exercise every day. You've got to look at it as a 9-to-5 job and work hard. When you're at home, you've got to stretch and take care of yourself. It's tough. But I'm pretty sure he can overcome it."

Banks' agent says they have offer from two other teams but Banks would prefer to remain with the Wolves.
"I've gotten a chance to play the way I know how in Minnesota," Banks continued. "If I can stay there, that would be great. But this is a business and you've got to be patient."
The Cavs have also been looking at Banks.

Hoopsworld interviews Bracey Wright.

Flip Saunders compares Rick Rickert to Joel Przybilla.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Foye Impresses At Summer League

Summer League Day 1 (ESPN):
The Wolves lost to Sacramento, 90-83.
Rookie guard Randy Foye displayed the quickness and scoring ability the Timberwolves had hoped for by scoring a game-high 23 points (9-17 FG) in 35 minutes of action.

Summer League Day 2 (Draft Express):
Win over Phoenix, 91-33.
Foye continues to quietly impress with the instincts he's showing and his overall skill level. He's taking the ball strong to the basket time after time and even had one very nice left-handed and-1 finish over the outstretched arms of Amare Stoudemire. For the second straight game his outside shot wasn't quite falling for him, but Foye found other ways to contribute, whether it was rebounding, making heady passes or getting in the passing lanes.

Foye went back to his mid-range game in the 2nd half and did a terrific job knocking down his shots. He didn't neglect his bread and butter-his slashing game-though, continuing to take it strong at the hoop again and again to finish with pretty finger rolls, draw fouls and get to the free throw line. Foye played more of a scoring role than the distributor Minnesota tried to make him into yesterday, and he thrived, to the tune of over 20 points.

Wolves Updates 7/7

Deadspin on the "odd film choices" reportedly found in Griffin's car after his accident.

Griffin on the lawsuit filed against him:
"It's been difficult because you've got the guy or his brother putting out false claims or whatever that I was masturbating and all that stuff," Griffin said during a brief interview. "It's been difficult. My mom got to read that stuff. My family got to read that. The bottom line that it comes down to is the guy's just trying to sue me for a ridiculous amount of money.

Free agent Mike James talked with with McHale, Rob Babcock, and Jim Stack at the summer league games.
"Minnesota is definitely one of my top (choices)," James said. "They have one of the best players in the NBA in Kevin Garnett. I've been a fan of Kevin since I've been in the game. It would be an honor for me to play with somebody like that, because I think he thinks like me as far as how I approach the game, and he would bring out the best in me."

According to the Rocky Mountain News, Marcus Banks' agent says "it's most likely Banks, primarily a point guard, will return to the Timberwolves."
Banks was in Vegas watching the Wolves summer league opener.

From Britt Robson/City Pages:
It's time to shoot the moon. In order to capitalize on KG's remaining years as a premier NBA talent—and that clock is certainly ticking down—the Wolves will have to take risks and get lucky. That means rolling the dice on an enormously talented, recently dinged problem child like Portland's Darius Miles, who'd fit perfectly into Casey's up-tempo scheme and is rumored to be available for Jaric and one other player.

Ricky Davis and Mad Dog are part of the Wolves Summer Caravan that starts later this month.

The Celtics did not take Ndudi Ebi to the summer league.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Wolves Support Griffin

Coach Casey and the organization continue to support Griffin:
"I talk to guys all the time about doing the right thing," Casey said. "For me, around the team, Eddie has not had one situation. He's been great. Those (legal) situations are things that happen, but I don't judge Eddie by those. He's a great kid. I've had no incidents with Eddie whatsoever.

The Big Lead has more rumors about Griffin including a "misunderstanding" in which he was reportedly involved in 2004 (link via True Hoop).

Hoops And Other Pop Culture has a link to the actual complaint filed against Griffin.

Craig Smith, the team's second round draft pick, has a fractured left wrist and is doubtful to play in the summer league.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wolves Updates 7/5

The Star Tribune reports that Randy Foye "signed a multi-year contract with the team Wednesday worth approximately $7.9 million over its first three seasons."

Patrick Reusse writes that one of the reasons that John Lucas is going to be in Las Vegas this week is to meet with Eddie Griffin. After being jailed for a few weeks in 2004, Griffin was released into Lucas's custody. The former NBA player had also set up a treatment program for Griffin to help him get sober.

The team is talking to and has meetings scheduled with point guard Mike James and his agent as well as center Lorenzen Wright in Vegas this week. The Wolves have also inquired about Eddie House, Jannero Pargo, Darius Songaila, Jake Voskuhl and Aaron Williams.

Coach Casey tried to get the Wolves to select Gonzaga center J.P. Batista in the second round.
"Batista knows how to play," Casey said. "Even without being able to jump, he blocks people off the boards and rebounds. And he's an outstanding passer."
Batista is on the Wolves summer league roster.

From Sid Hartman:
"This is not church league. This is professional sports," McHale said. "If you don't win, then you shouldn't have the job. If we're not winning, I take it personal. That's my job, for this team to win basketball games. And we don't win, then I'm not doing my job. Then someone else should do my job if I don't."

Ndudi Ebi is on the Celtics summer league roster.

Last season's Wolves lead assistant coach Johnny Davis is a candidate for a job with the Pacers.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Paul Shirley On Wolves Summer League Roster

Not by choice, I spent much of the night hearing the seriously outdated music of Candlebox filter into my office because the band was playing at my place of work. I didn't care enough to find out why they were attempting a comeback and apparently, neither did their old fanbase (Attention promoters: If you book them, it will tank). I just assumed it was because of the ridiculous sum of money they're being paid and/or their love for playing music.

I was looking at the Wolves summer league roster and my heart skipped a beat when I saw Paul Shirley listed. After signing a book deal, playing for unknown basketball teams, and being involved with a tv pilot that wasn't picked up, he's trying to return to the NBA. He writes about this in his most recent blog post for ESPN:

For now, it makes me happy to play basketball. Admitting that scares me greatly. I don't know what I will do when my career is over. I can't imagine that a few more years of career instability is going to contribute to any emotional stability. But, hopefully I can make enough now to pay for the Zoloft I'll need later.

Yes, Shirley sucks at hoops like Candlebox sucks at making music.
Yes, both have inspired too many talentless dudes to pick up balls and guitars so that they, too, can achieve some level of fame and fortune.
Yes, I do have a huge crush on Paul Shirley.

Still, it would be nothing but good times for basketball fans if he were to be picked up so they could again read about his experiences with an NBA team. The Wolves aren't going to be stellar regardless of any moves made before the season so the team should just sign him for the sarcastic, witty, personable element he can bring to the Target Center. Please.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Wolves Over The Weekend

In regards to the lawsuit filed against him, Eddie Griffin issued a statement apologizing for his actions and claimed that one of the plaintiffs tried unsuccessfully to get an "outrageous sum of money" from him before filing the suit.
Griffin also stated that "just because these outrageous allegations have been made, does not make them truthful" and said about the accuser that "one should question his motivation."
Regardless of Griffin's history, I just can't buy anyone fessing up to masturbating and watching porn after hitting a parked car, drunk or not.

Griffin will still be with the Wolves at summer league but Reusse thinks the team should get rid of him.

The Wolves are keeping Bracey Wright on next season's roster.
The team also extended a qualifying offer to restricted free-agent forward Justin Reed, ensuring the team can match any contract offer he receives from other teams.

Marcus Banks' agent on the point guard playing for the team:
"He likes Casey, he likes the players," Higgins said of Banks. "He just thinks they need time to mesh. I think he likes it there. The ball is also in Minnesota's court. Now that they drafted Randy Foye, I don't know what level their interest is going to be."

Reggie Evans , Kenyon Martin, and Lorenzen Wright are some of the players in whom the Wolves are rumored to be interested.