Owner Glen Taylor says that Garnett is being "really positive"Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press asks Taylor about the upcoming season, Garnett, and the team's newest additions. Excerpts below.
You've been here every day of training camp. What do you see so far that excites you?
They've worked really hard, probably as hard as I've seen in any of the years I've been through. But there's probably been as many smiles and positive attitudes...Part of that is K.G. has really set the tone, being really positive. It's been really neat. It's very competitive.
There seems to be a national perception that Kevin Garnett isn't happy as a Timberwolf. What have you seen from him?
I would say that if you watched him last year when he was playing, he lost the smile on his face. I think it kind of started from that. He was frustrated. He didn't know what to do. I think with the new coach, all the changes and stuff … But it was this summer, very early, I think right after the playoffs, when I met with him, it was already then that he basically started changing. I saw him changing.
He wanted to know about any trades we were going to do. He wanted to be more involved in that. He wanted to know what options we had. We talked about that. He got involved with the Mike James (signing) because that was an important one with us.
Then this summer, you guys heard him say some stuff (in a SLAM Magazine interview). But that wasn't consistent with what he was doing with the team. He was practicing. He was doing all that. He was meeting with the guys. He was taking guys out for dinner. He was doing all kinds of stuff like that, which he hadn't done for a little while.
Even when I read things that sound a little negative, I'm not really (worried) because it's not consistent with what he's telling me.
So do you ever see a situation where you rebuild the team without Kevin Garnett?
I wouldn't want to say to you it wouldn't happen. Let's just say that for some reason or another, the team we've put together here, if for some reason doesn't do any of the things I just said, and then I make up my mind where, God, we've just got to start over, that would be the circumstances where I would talk to Kevin. Do you really want to be around if I'm going to do this...
Taylor describes how Garnett pointed out that Mike James was a lot like him. The owner says that in contrast, Garnett's thoughts on Marcus Banks were "oh God, Marcus is still learning, I've got to take this over."
About Fred Hoiberg, Taylor agrees that he's a GM in waiting for either the Wolves or another team. He says that part of the reason Hoiberg was brought into the front office was in case McHale decided to leave.