Thursday, May 31, 2007

Garnett at #7 among top-earning U.S. athletes

Garnett is ranked seventh on Sports Illustrated's 2007 Fortunate 50, a list of the top-earning American athletes.

KG will take in $29 million this year- $21 million in salary and $8 million in endorsements.

Garnett, the only Minnesota athlete on the list, came in at #11 on last year's list.

Wolves Updates 5/31

From SBR
New Serbia coach Zoran Slavnic is just the man to give Marko Jaric and Vladimir Radmanovic a fresh start with the national team.

"I like problematic players," Slavnic said at his introductory news conference. "That means that these men have their own attitude, their own personality."

Slavnic wasted no time in recalling the NBA players to the national team as he begins rebuilding a program in transition and preparing for 2007 EuroBasket in September.

Kelly Lyell/The Coloradoan on Colorado State University's Jason Smith:
The Minnesota Timberwolves recently called the Coloradoan as part of their background check on Smith.

RealGM on which players the Wolves should target in the draft.

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Kevin McHale, Fred Hoiberg, Jim Stack, Rob Babcock and Randy Wittman of the Timberwolves, who have the No. 7 pick in the June 28 draft, are at the predraft camp this week near Orlando, Fla.

Stephen Litel/Downtown Journal on Garnett's game winning shot during the 3/25 game against Portland:
The problem with your superstar leading the team to a victory? That win helped lead to the Timberwolves to eventually end the season tied with that same Portland team for the sixth worst record in the NBA. If Garnett’s shot caroms out of the rim, his team holds the sixth worst record alone.


Just in case, Mutoni at SLAM Online has an easy to follow breakdown of most of the recent Kobe Bryant drama.

Clyde Drexler on what actions Kobe should take:
"If Kobe was smart he'd be trying to get (Minnesota's Kevin) Garnett to come play with him,'' Drexler said.

Henry/True Hoop on possible trade scenarios for Kobe:
To Minnesota for Kevin Garnett? (I wish Bryant and Garnett could somehow play together, but I don't see how it could happen. The irony would be that if Garnett is a Laker, where would Bryant rather play? Yet another example why, if you want to win titles, you are better off not having a max contract. Too hard to end up alongside other stars.)

Lang/SLAM Online on the chances of Kobe signing with the Wolves:
Again, if I’m Kobe I’m not going to Minnesota.

Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune on the Lakers offseason plans:
The Lakers will do something significant. I'd do O'Neal this summer and with Garnett able to opt out after next summer, I'd work on him as a friend if I were Bryant and get him to sign a short exception deal and then get taken care of down the road by the Lakers, though with nothing actually signed.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/30

From Kix and the City:
For their latest project, UNDRCRWN teamed up with Adidas to present the “Believe in Five Collection”, a collection of five limited run UNDRCRWN designed Adidas Signature sneakers that includes, the T-Mac VI, the Kevin Garnett Bounce, the Tim Duncan Stealth, the Gil-0, and the C-Billups.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Jeff of Celtics Blog has helped create a Wikipedia for NBA draft prospects. Rookiepedia features player info, rankings, draft projections, and a few mock drafts. In addition, each team has its own page that includes team needs as well as draft history. The site is a great resource for all your draft related needs.

Wolves Updates 5/29

From Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune:
There's always talk about Garnett, and the latest apparently unfounded speculation has him going to Phoenix in a fantasy-sounding multi-team deal that has Stoudemire going to the Bulls and the Timberwolves getting little, apparently because everyone seems to believe they'll always make a bad deal. Picking No. 7 in the draft, they have to think about doing something. Most team insiders believe the T'wolves will play it out and keep Garnett, but there was a big "what if?" when the Timberwolves landed at No. 7. They lost the postseason tiebreaker drawing for lottery position No. 6 or No. 7 with Portland after both finished 32-50.

Stephen Litel wants to talk about the team's potential offseason moves.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/27

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Some basketball people feel ex-Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, after his Pistons contract expires in 2009, will be reunited with Kevin Garnett, who will be traded to the Lakers.

Don't be surprised if former Gopher J.B Bickerstaff ends up as an assistant with the Timberwolves.

From Sid Hartman:
Kevin Garnett, who sat out the final five games of last season because of some leg problems, doesn't seem to have any problem walking down the Metrodome stairs to the first row of seats behind the Twins dugout. The Timberwolves star is a big Twins fan.

On its website, Sports Illustrated has the Wolves taking Ohio State point guard Mike Conley Jr. with the No. 7 pick in the NBA draft on June 28. However, I doubt this will happen, as the Wolves are loaded with guards. It's more likely they will take one of three Florida big men if they are available: Al Horford, Corey Brewer or Joakim Noah.

From T.J. Simers/The Los Angeles Times:
The Lakers have been reluctant to include Bynum in a trade for some of the top players in the game, including Kevin Garnett, and yet the newspaper asks the question as if it's even a possibility, and then one-quarter of those responding say why not cut him.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/26

Wendell Maxey Jr./HoopsWorld on remembering Malik Sealy.

RandBall discusses the Wolves and the draft lottery in the latest edition of RandBites.

Russ Bengtson/SLAM Online on the "Comedic Genius of Cherokee Parks."

The Wolves site on the team's new agreement with FSN North:
The Timberwolves will return the same broadcast team for its telecasts with Tom Hanneman as the television play-by-play announcer and Jim Petersen as the analyst.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/25

Judd Zulgad/Star Tribune reports that "FSN has reached a multiyear contract extension with the Timberwolves."
Among the changes beginning that season will be an increase from 35 to 40 regular-season telecasts, plus two preseason games. FSN also will produce a 30-minute Wolves show each week. (The Wolves' over-the-air deal for KSTC to show 35 games per season still has two years remaining.)

Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site talks to Coach Wittman about his new contract, offseason workouts for the players, and what his role will be with potential draft picks:
I'm going to have a great impact. I have ideas of the type of players I want and need to play the way we think we have to play. So it's a situation where we'll be working closely together here, in terms of the draft and then formulating things thereafter. Who we're going able to get and plug in, in a position, I think is going to dictate then also what we're going to focus on. We're trying to change other parts of this team to try to make it better...

Team owner Glen Taylor is on the cover of Minnesota Business (online article is subscribers only). Below is a snippet of the article.

It wasn't just small-town pride that created the billionaire of today, though. Not surprisingly, there's serious competitive drive under all that quiet geniality. The intense focus Taylor displays as he chats is also what keeps him moving forward in making deals and building his company.

"Growing up, I would be in sports, like so many other kids, and I'd think: why wouldn't you want to be captain?" he remembers. "Why wouldn't you want to be the best? So, when I went into business, I had the same attitude of, 'Why wouldn't I want to be running this company?"

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/24

According to the Creston News Advertiser, Fred Hoiberg is playing in an Iowa State All-Star Celebrity Basketball Game on July 21. The game is one of the events being held in memory of former Cyclone Barry Stevens who died in February after a heart attack.

All-Century team members Victor Alexander, Jeff Grayer, Jeff Hornacek, Jamaal Tinsley and Fred Hoiberg will play alongside former Cyclone stars Ron Harris, Tom Peterson, Elmer Robinson, Will Blalock, Ron Virgil, Lafester Rhodes, Sam Hill, Marc Urquhart and Julius Michalik.

T-Hud mentions rapping with Joe Smith and Rashad McCants and talks about his dreadlocks in an interview with Vibe:

I used to rock braids and cornrows when I first came into the League. But I was out in [Washington] D.C. one time and went to get my hair braided. This lady was doing locks and I wanted to see how it would look on me. I kept it in for awhile and one of my ministers back home called me said, 'You know, locks look nice on you. They're a sign of dedication.' And you know what? I am a dedicated person. I'm dedicated to my music, sports, my family and to God, so if this is a sign of that dedication, I'm gonna keep rolling with it.

Andrew Perna/Real GM writes that one of Randy Foye's good luck charms for Tuesday's lottery was "a little genie bottle given to him by his niece."

David Berri/Wages Of Win on the league's most productive players for the 2006-2007 season:
As one can see, the reign of Kevin Garnett has ended. After four consecutive years, KG has now slipped to second. The new MPP (Most Productive Player) is Jason Kidd, who last took the top spot in 1998-99.

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
If Portland chooses 7-foot center Greg Oden with the No. 1 pick in next month's NBA draft, it could mean 7-1 former Gopher Joel Przybilla will be traded. The Timberwolves would seem a logical suitor for the shot blocker-rebounder from Monticello.

Wittman on rebuilding the team

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
With the security of a new multiyear contract behind him, coach Randy Wittman sounded a bit more optimistic Wednesday than he did when he called for a shakeup of the Timberwolves after the regular-season finale a month ago.

"It's not a situation that calls for a total rebuilding project to get back into the playoffs," said Wittman after his signing was officially announced by the team, which did not disclose contract terms.

From Sid Hartman:
There's no doubt Wittman would like to get rid of three or four (or more) players that didn't play hard last season and weren't team players.

He talks of building the team -- not only with good players -- but with good people.

"When you have a talent like him [Garnett], I think a lot of times you need those types of players around him, more so than worrying about strictly the talent standpoint."

Wittman on his plans for the upcoming season:
"We're going to be active in looking to do what we can to change this team and the culture of this team to get back to the playoffs," Wittman said.

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Wittman likely will be doing some tweaking of his assistant coaching staff. Wittman said Bob Ociepka and Rex Kalamian, still under contract, will be back. "We'll tweak it in terms of who is on the bench and who won't be with those two guys."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Coach Wittman signs multiyear deal

From Jon Krawczynski/AP:
Randy Wittman signed a multiyear contract Wednesday to return as coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Terms were not immediately available, but team spokesman Mike Cristaldi said the contract was signed Wednesday afternoon in a move that has been expected since the Wolves wrapped up a disappointing season by missing the playoffs for the third straight year.

"Randy has a commanding presence in our locker room and we believe he is the best man to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves," said Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. "We have the utmost confidence in Randy as a leader and have no doubt that he will return the organization to the prominence we had a couple of seasons ago."

Wolves Updates 5/23

From Mike Max/WCCO:
Some may questions his work ethic but Monday Mike Max watched Timberwolves guard Mike James in an intense workout with assistant coaches.

G.R. Anderson Jr. /City Pages on the Target Center and its new management company, AEG.

The Loop at the Pioneer Press with a "day in the life of Kevin McHale."

From Lang Whitaker/SLAM Online's Live Lottery Notes:
Randy Foye and Brandon Roy are there for their respective teams. Foye wins the battle of having the biggest oversized watch.

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Wittman said Tuesday that he and the Wolves were close to agreeing on a contract to bring him back as coach. The deal could get done as early as today.

Reactions to the 7th pick

From Britt Robson/On The Ball:
Okay folks, it really couldn't have turned out much worse for the Timberwolves in the lottery tonight...

Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune on the holy water from Lourdes, one of the team's lottery good luck charms:
Our Lady of Lourdes has been credited with causing crippled children to walk, deaf men to hear and blind women to see. And even this noble lady did not have in her powers the ability to assist these hapless lads from Minnesota -- this luckless, wretched collection of humanity located inside the dreary concrete of Target Center.

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Talk about a punch to the gut followed by two kicks to the head...

From Dan Barreiro/KFAN:
By the by, wouldn't it be poetic hoops justice if the Sonics draft Kevin Durant and hire hire Dwane Casey, and the old Wolves' coach gets to put his old team in the new Sonics' rear-view mirror?

Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site on the team remaining in the 7th slot for the draft:
This year, that's an accomplishment; the lottery balls dropped the NBA's three worst teams -- Memphis, Boston and Milwaukee -- out of the top three, and awarded Portland (sixth-best chace) the rights to the first pick.

From Greg White/Hoopsworld:
Anything other than the top two picks puts the Wolves in a serious bind. With the prospect of losing KG down the line, or him demanding a trade, anybody they pick up won't make them a playoff team.

Wolves to pick at #7 in this year's draft

The Wolves have the 7th pick in this year's draft. That is the slot in which the team was statistically most likely to remain after last night's lottery.

"As expected, we ended up with the seventh pick, our pre-lottery draft position," Wolves Vice President of Basketball operations Kevin McHale said. "This is a talented draft class, and we will be able to get a solid player to add to our nucleus with this selection."

The top three picks in this year's draft:
1) Portland
2) Seattle
3) Atlanta

Though the team's hold on the 7th spot was unsurprising, the results were still fairly disappointing. As Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune points out, it's very likely the Wolves will be seeing a lot of Greg Oden and Kevin Durant as the team's division rivals possess the top two picks. Also, a Wolves fan can't help but cringe upon realizing that both Portland and Minnesota had an equal chance (5.3%) of getting the top spot.

However, what stung the most was watching the Wolves 2006 draft pick. Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy was all smiles on center stage when it was announced that his team had won the #1 pick in this year's stellar draft.

Though the rookie had no direct impact on the lottery balls, Randy Foye was a very smart choice as the team's lottery representative. There is no one else within the organization, player or front-office type, who could have emerged relatively* unscathed by fan criticism or ridicule had he come home with anything less than the #1 pick. Even Garnett would have heard the word "unclutch" thrown around a few times.

*From KFAN/Dan Barreiro:
Roy brought home to the Blazers the spectacular No. 1 overall pick, Foye delivered the as-expected OK-but-not-great, No. 7 to the Wolves. Which summed up quite nicely what the two players brought to their respective squads in their rookie seasons.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

NBA Draft Lottery tonight

Fred Hoiberg was on KFAN earlier talking about the lottery. The Wolves site has a transcript of the interview. Hoiberg was asked about Mike Conley, Jr. and, after saying he wouldn't talk specifics, says the following:

I will tell you that there are 10 guys that we really like in this draft. It's going to be important for us to bring them in to interview and test them, to put them in situations where we think they'll either thrive or it'll expose their weakness. It's going to be an important couple of weeks up until the draft on June 28.

The pic is Randy Foye hanging out with Gail Goodrich and Rick Kamla yesterday on the NBA TV set in Secaucus, NJ, the location of tonight's lottery.

Foye on the team's future draft pick:
"I'm excited to see who it will be, but for whoever it is, it will be tough," Foye said. "After the first one or two guys - I mean, everyone knows [who] they're going to be, and after that, it's not some monster. It's going to be a guy who has to work. Those first two guys might get a little leeway, but for anyone else, it will be a lot of work."

Bill Simmons on the karma rankings of each team in the lottery:
Nobody deserves a stroke of lottery fortune less than Glen Taylor and Kevin McHale, the NBA's version of Bush/Rumsfield for 8-10 years. Of course, nobody deserves a stroke of lottery fortune more than KG, one of the few superstars with too much pride to ever bail on a sinking ship. Either that, or they're blackmailing him with a sex tape so he'll stay. But wouldn't it be nice to see KG play the David Robinson to Oden's Tim Duncan for the next 5-6 years? Hence, 10 points for "overdue good karma."

Lottery countdown

Owner Glen Taylor on tonight's lottery:
"I don't have any good feelings about it," he said. "That hasn't been our history. I just hope by the luck of the draw that we don't back up too far, to ninth or something, with those teams getting ahead of us. And that could happen."

Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune talks about the team's lottery chances with an astrologer ("the stars indicate a major disappointment..."), a math professor ("...every single team in the lottery, except for the top two, has a better chance to move down than move up"), and a powerball winner ("just go with the flow and things will work out.").

Click here for the probabilities of the team moving up, down, or remaining at #7 in the lottery.

Click here for the team's lottery and draft history.

Peter Schrager/Fox Sports writes that if the Wolves get the #1 pick, they should look to pair Greg Oden with KG.

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Oden's presence also would have far-reaching implications in other ways. Garnett, who can opt out of his contract after next season, might feel more optimistic about the direction of the franchise.

Wolves Updates 5/22

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
A little birdie says interim coach Randy Wittman has agreed in principle to a three-year head coaching deal with the Timberwolves. A contract is expected to be signed soon.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who chatted with Kevin Garnett at Sunday's Lynx game at Target Center, asked if his $20 million star will be back with the team next season: 'That's our assumption. He hasn't said anything to me (about a trade) and I haven't said anything to him.'

Randy Foye on Howard Porter, the former Villanova star who is reportedly in "very serious condition" after a brutal assualt:
"I probably talked to him five times this season and he came to two or three of my games, including the one at Orlando," said former Wildcat Randy Foye, who played for Porter's hometown Minnesota Timberwolves, and was stunned by the news of Porter's condition. "He always came to talk to me. He's just a great, great guy."

From John Gambadoro/Arizona Republic:
The Suns face a dilemma, and they understand that. Garnett could help them win now, and I stress could. But at what cost? Getting Garnett doesn't guarantee a title, it puts the Suns in an awful salary-cap situation going forward and it deprives them of a young star if they get the Atlanta pick.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/21

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Don't think the Chicago Bulls aren't glad that the Timberwolves a year ago never seriously considered their offer of Luol Deng (22 years old), Tyson Chandler (24) and Chris Duhon (24), plus two first-round draft picks (one of which the Bulls ended up using for Tyrus Thomas, who is 20), for Kevin Garnett.
The Bulls, who have a promising future with those players (who also happen to be good citizens), wouldn't come close to making that offer to Minnesota again.

Some Timberwolves' season-ticket holders are fuming over the reassignment of Jeff Munneke, who for years has been the public face of the franchise as far as good will and customer service.

From Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune:
If the Timberwolves happen to jump from No. 7 in the preliminary odds to No. 1, I believe they finally would deal Kevin Garnett to put in place an Oden/Conley building project, something to get excited about. Plus, Oden needs someone like Conley. Despite Oden's high skill level, he's a more passive personality, whereas Conley is a born leader. The pairing would provide Oden the comfort zone he needs to ease his transition.

From Michael Rand/Star Tribune:
The Timberwolves, instead of finding a better pig, have turned Kevin McHale into one of too many chickens to list. Owner Glen Taylor said in a Star Tribune story last week, "I will be more involved with the process." That's not strong enough for anyone to believe another failed season will be blamed on "I" instead of "we."

From Tom Powers/Pioneer Press:
To this day I wonder how a bit of luck on lottery day might have changed the entire franchise. Heck, the Wolves don't need good luck. They just don't need any more bad luck.

From the St. Cloud Times:
It's almost as though the hands of the basketball gods reach down and flick the Wolves' pingpong balls out of the way each and every year.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/19

Happy 31st Birthday, KG.

Friday, May 18, 2007

McHale on Garnett's injury

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett's injured right quadriceps healed not long after the season ended, but the pain he experienced is an indication that his minutes must be scaled back, vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said Thursday.

"He's fine," McHale said. "He got some work on it. I think a week after the season, everything was getting in the right order. He's had problems on and off."

McHale said Garnett will need to do more maintenance in the future to stay healthy...

McHale also said that he wants to decrease Garnett's playing time to around 34 or 35 minutes a game.

Foye and McHale on lottery luck

Kare 11 on Randy Foye volunteering to represent the team at the NBA draft lottery this Tuesday. Foye says he's bringing along a few good luck charms, one of which is holy water from Lourdes given to him by assistant GM Rob Babcock. ("It's the real stuff," Babcock said Thursday.)

On the team's history of bad luck in the lottery, Foye said, "I think it's time for a change."

Kevin McHale isn't putting any stock into the holy water:
"I'm not a big believer in bingo-machine luck," McHale said. "What's going to happen is what's going to happen."

You can watch Foye and McHale talk about the lottery here.

Wolves Updates 5/18

A WCCO video of Kevin McHale responding to the controversy arising from John Mellencamp's comment. He says that accusations that he was smoking pot are "ludicrous."

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said talks of potential trades will heat up a bit after the lottery. Things will continue to get busy after the league's pre-draft camp in Orlando in early June.

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Foye, Rashad McCants and Craig Smith - the trio the Wolves plan to build with around Kevin Garnett -have been working out regularly at Target Center. Foye, McCants and Smith, plus Wolves draft picks, will play for their summer team in the Las Vegas league July 5-15 in Las Vegas.

University of Minnesota men's basketball coach Tubby Smith and longtime pal Dwane Casey, the former Timberwolves coach, had lunch in Minneapolis two weeks ago, when Casey strongly recommended Vince Taylor for an assistant's job Smith had open. Smith hired Taylor this week.

Nate Jones/NBA Fanhouse compares KG and Tim Duncan.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wolves assistant joins Gophers staff

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Vince Taylor, who came to Minnesota to work on Dwane Casey's Timberwolves staff, will be named Tubby Smith's third assistant at the University of Minnesota, Taylor confirmed this morning.

Taylor, a Kentucky native, was a part of Casey's first staff and just completed his second season as assistant coach/player development with the Timberwolves.

Taylor says about the move:
"It was a preemptive thing. Randy [Wittman] said I'd be back here. But I felt like I had an opportunity where I'd have some stability. That's just logical. I'm a father and I like it here."

Mellencamp's publicist responds

C.J./Star Tribune got a hold of John Mellencamp's publicist, Bob Merlis, to address the singer's remarks on how Kevin McHale and Larry Bird "would come to my dressing room after the show and smoke me under the table."

"There was no room to qualify things. There's no follow-up question because the reader isn't there. It's an e-mail that came in," Merlis told me. "I'm telling you I've spent a lot of time with this guy. He's the least likely guy to smoke pot I've ever known. He's very abstemious. I really believe the smoking related to cigarettes, but you know when I was in high school if you smoked cigarettes that was breaking training."

"From the hard hood to the hardwood..."

You must check out T-Hud's music video for "Bang Out." (link via KFAN Rube Chat)

There's also a video for his song with Ray-J, "Tru Love."

As if that weren't enough, an aspiring musician posts an amusing video in which he raps about how T-Hud is "fake as hell."

Wolves Updates 5/17

Via RandBall, a pic of David Stern presenting London mayor Ken Livingstone with an honorary jersey at the NBA Store in NYC to promote the October 10 preseason exhibition game in London between the Celtics and the Timberwolves.

Stephen Litel will be on air at KFAN with Doogie this Sunday at 5pm to talk about ways to fix the team.

From Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune:
As for Garnett, I think he ends up staying with Minnesota for one more season, unless he demands a trade. Those who know him best say he won't. So we'll see.

Eric Pincus/Hoopsworld writes that if the Garnett becomes available, the Lakers should pass if the price is too high.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

T-Hud's Blueprint For The Future interviewed Troy Hudson aka T-Hud about his new record. The player talks about the connection between hip-hop and athletics, studying rap music, and how he wants his label Nutty Boyz to be the next Def Jam.

Hudson also discusses how he wants to "be that guy who really steps forward and really makes the blueprint for athletes" on how to become a successful rap artist.

I'm gonna take the odds on this, I want everybody to know I'm a ballplayer. I can't disguise that and that's one of the challenges I'm accepting because I want people to know it's a new day and age. Ballplayers is about to put it down in this entertainment business. Not only music, movies [as well]; Baron Davis has a film company. I want people to understand that just because I play basketball don't mean that I didn't have dreams of being the next big-time entertainer, on the music level, the film level or whatever.

At least
the player is working hard on his backup plan should owner Glen Taylor's own blueprint for the future fail.

Wolves Updates 5/16

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
In the wake of another playoff-free season, Taylor put more people in the decision-making mix, more people to be heard from, more meetings he would be attending.
By his own account Taylor is not a basketball expert. But he owns the team. And, he says, knows how to create an environment in which ideas flourish.

The Strib also provides the hierarchy of the team's front office.

Tim Kawakami/Mercury News thinks Garnett would be a good fit for Golden State:
Which brings us to Garnett, who has been on Mullin's radar for years and might be available this summer, since he can become a free agent in 2008.

He'd be perfect, obviously - rangy, tough, an ideal athlete to slide next to Davis and Jackson, probably dying to get out of Minnesota and apparently reasonably interested in the Bay Area hoops scene.

True Hoop on Bill Simmons' prediction that "
one day a stat geek would declare that Kevin Garnett was as good as Tim Duncan."

Chris Sheridan/ESPN writes that the Bulls getting Garnett is something that would be "easier said than done."
First of all, the Timberwolves say they aren't trading him. Second, KG will make $22 million next season, and salaries in most NBA trades have to be within 125 percent of each other. Unless an under-the-cap third team can be brought in to broker a deal, that would mean Chicago would have to put together at least $17.6 million worth of salaries...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Randy Foye to represent at the lottery

According to Mike Trudell at the Timberwolves site, the team is "sending Foye to do their bidding" at the NBA Draft Lottery in Secaucus, New Jersey on Tuesday, May 22.

Trudell also writes on the team's luck in past lotteries:
The Wolves have literally never moved up in the draft, and have moved down more than once, most notably in 1992. That year marked the only time the Wolves owned the league's worst record, and both Shaq and 'Zo stood waiting at 1 and 2. Instead, Minnesota got Christian Laettner at No. 3...

Notes on the team's chances:
With the NBA draft lottery set for May 22, the Wolves enter as the No. 7 seed and have an 18.3 percent chance of moving up into the top three slots. Then again, they have a 24.4 percent chance of slipping back to eighth, ninth or 10th. Their most likely position for the June draft? Right where they are at No. 7, where they have a 57.3 percent chance of landing when the Ping-Pong balls stopped tumbling.

Wolves Updates 5/15

On Garnett trade rumors, KFAN's Dan Barreiro says that he's not convinced the player is "going to wind up anywhere":
"To me, the step that is going to have to be taken is for him to go in and say flat out I want out which I don't think he's done yet. I think they are going to be stubborn about that," said Barreiro. "My issue is that I don't want McHale to be the guy to have that opportunity."

From Bill Simmons/ESPN:
Anyway, watch how the Spurs attack Phoenix tonight with Duncan and tell me that KG wouldn't have helped. Not only should the Suns make a play for him this summer, they have to make a play for him this summer. If only for Nash's sake.

Monday, May 14, 2007

McHale says he wasn't smoking pot

True Hoop last week posted the following story from John Mellencamp found in Blender Magazine:

I've known Larry Bird since we were kids. When he was on the Celtics and I was playing in Boston, he and Kevin McHale would come to my dressing room after the show and smoke me under the table.

Star Tribune gossip columnist C.J. called McHale about the story and got the following response from Wolves PR director Mike Cristaldi:

"I've heard about the John Mellencamp blog or what-not," said Crisaldi. "After talking to Kevin he told me to pass along that if you assume anything other than cigarettes and cigars then you'd be wrong. As he said, Larry and John were having some cigarettes and he, Kevin, smoked cigars. Nothing more than that."

KFAN's Dan Barreiro talked about the Mellencamp story on his show on Thursday and later that day received a phonecall from McHale who was "just screaming" at him. Barreiro says that it was the first time the two had "had any kind of conversation in years." (You can listen to Barreiro talk about the conversation here.)

Barreiro said that McHale stressed that the quote does not say "smoked pot, which is true. The quote 'smoked under the table,' I don't think people are usually talking about cigarettes. He claimed they smoked cigars. Which might be true.

John Mellencamp used to smoke 4-5 packs of cigarettes a day so it seems highly unlikely that McHale or Bird could have even kept up with let alone surpassed Mellencamp in that department. Secondly, no one uses the term "smoke me under the table" in reference to any legal substance. If it were cigars or cigarettes to which the musician was referring, chances are he would have said as much. Clinton's "I didn't inhale" line seems more believable than the team's response to this one.

Wolves Updates 5/14

Scott Howard-Cooper/Sacramento Bee on the possibility of a deal with the Lakers:
That the Timberwolves say they have no plans to trade Garnett is different than saying they won't trade Garnett. The greater obstacle as the Lakers ponder a gamble -- aware of how all this blows up in their face if 19-year-old Bynum has a great future elsewhere as Bryant and Fill In The Blank head into retirement -- is the internal belief that Minnesota personnel boss/former Boston great Kevin McHale refuses to deal with them.
It's a Celtics-Lakers thing.

Mike McGraw/Daily Herald on whether the Bulls could land Garnett this summer:
Minnesota needs payroll relief, and they won’t get any by accepting $17.6 million back for Garnett’s $22 million salary. The Timberwolves will be in better shape next year because Garnett can opt out of his contract and then accept a sign-and-trade at a more reasonable starting salary.

Plus, the feeling here is Minnesota wants to give it one more shot with Garnett, only this time with rising executive Fred Hoiberg having more of a voice in what happens this summer.

The Big Lead/Fanhouse with draft pick suggestions for the team.

Frank Haataja/Mesabi Daily News also writes on the team and this year's draft.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/12

Tony Mejia/CBS Sportsline on whether he thinks the team could get an "impact player" at the No 6 or 7 spot in the draft:
They should, but past history indicates they'll find a way to muck it up. Minnesota's best bet is to luck out and grab one of the top two picks. Not even the Timberwolves front office would be able to screw that up.

From Preetom Bhattacharya/HoopsWorld:
Kevin Garnett reportedly will not be asking for a trade and the Timberwolves would love nothing more than to keep their star attraction even though the franchise is operating in the red with him on the roster. Imagine how bad ticket sales would be if Minnesota fans felt the team was in rebuilding mode - the consensus seems to be that they'll be better off letting him walk and breaking even when he opts for free agency than taking comparable salaries back and sell less tickets.

Marc Berman/New York Post on Isiah Thomas:
Thomas has his eye on Pau Gasol, O'Neal and Kevin Garnett during summer trade talks and free agent Vince Carter.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Help Wanted: Dance Team Supervisor

The Target Center has posted an online application for the position of Dance Team Supervisor.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently seeking a qualified individual for the position of Dance Team Supervisor. Team supervisor is responsible for the choreography, performance and overall management of the Timberwolves Dancers.

Except for the dance background part, the job listing could be describing the duties of an NBA coach. Considering the pay differential between the two and lack of job security for this position within the organization, the requirements seem almost too much to ask:

-Dance background and strong choreography skills required
-Detail-oriented with excellent communication skills
-Strong teamwork and relationship-building talents
-Ability to work weekends and evenings- flexible schedule
-Able to take creative direction and feedback
-Knowledge and interest in basketball and the NBA/WNBA

Wolves Updates 5/11

Broderick Turner/The Press-Enterprise on the possibility of Garnett going to the Lakers:
Another thing to consider is that Minnesota general manager Kevin McHale played for the Boston Celtics and he still harbors ill feelings toward the Lakers. Because of that, it seems highly improbable that if McHale were to part with Garnett he would not trade him to the Lakers. Also, why would McHale -- or any other GM -- want to help the Lakers get better?

Austin Kent/HoopsAddict on and the idea of bringing KG to Los Angeles:
Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are the two greatest basketball bachelors in the game today; does a better ending to their historic but painfully unsatisfying careers exist?

From Evan Weiner/The New York Sun:
The Timberwolves have put out word that the team's 17-year-old Minneapolis arena is aging and may have to be replaced in about five years. In 1994, the Minnesota Legislature approved a takeover of the privately owned facility, and it has been owned by the city since 1995.

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Some basketball people are convinced that the Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett, 31, will end up with the Los Angeles Lakers within two years.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Garnett named to All-NBA Third Team

Kevin Garnett was named to the All-NBA third team along with Dwyane Wade, Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwight Howard.

On the first team are:
Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, and Kobe Bryant

On the second team are:
LeBron James, Gilbert Arenas, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and Chris Bosh

Garnett has not been on the first team since 2004.

Wolves Updates 5/10

Though Mad Dog says he wants Golden State to win the series, he raves about Utah's Derek Fisher:
One time while he was injured we as a team were playing terribly. Before one of the games, Derek gave an impassioned speech while in street clothes and really tried to encourage the guys to take up their level of play a notch. Everyone in the locker room from Shaq to Kobe to Slava Medvedenko was all ears. Afterwards, Phil Jackson referred back to Derek as the emotional leader of our group.

True Hoop with a story from John Mellencamp about hanging backstage after a show with Kevin McHale and Larry Bird.

From Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune:
The Timberwolves are as unpredictable as any franchise in the NBA. The feeling now is they won't deal Garnett unless he absolutely makes a pain of himself demanding a deal and he's not likely to do that. The franchise is losing millions of dollars and the internal belief is they need Garnett's drawing power, whatever that is, and if he decides to walk out next year or the year after, then they just save the money and break even and start building again.

Twolves Blog with a Kevin McHale retrospective to determine if he does deserve to be fired.

Via RandBall, a list of the hall of fame probability leaders (according to these measurements), with Garnett at #41.

There will no shortage of suitors, but with Garnett able to exercise a player option at the end of the season, he's not going to command the full bounty that he might have brought in years past.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/9

Brock Lesnar on preparing for his mixed martial arts debut against a seven-foot opponent:
I tried to go down and talk to some of the guys from the Timberwolves, but none of them wanted to come and train. KG (Kevin Garnett) didn't want no part of it.

Coach Wittman on Randy Foye and Craig Smith being named to the league's All-Rookie teams:
"What's encouraging is that both of them were working hard today with the coaches, trying to improve themselves," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "I'm proud of both of them. Now it's, what are they going to do with this first season? Hopefully they'll use it as a springboard to bigger and better things."

Foye and Smith are the team's first rookies since Wally Szczerbiak (1999-2000) to be selected to the All-Rookie team.

The Painted Area on trading Garnett for Dirk Nowitzki.

A day in the life of Wolves' mascot Crunch.

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
A number of Timberwolves season-ticket holders are withholding minimum renew payments until they find out what players are acquired in the draft.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Foye and Smith make All-Rookie teams

Roy is joined on the T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team by Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani (57 points), Minnesota’s Randy Foye (48 points), Memphis’ Rudy Gay (39 points), Toronto’s Jorge Garbajosa (37 points) and Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge (37 points).

The T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie Second Team consists of Utah’s Paul Millsap (36), Charlotte’s Adam Morrison (35), Chicago’s Tyrus Thomas (26), Minnesota’s Craig Smith (21) and Boston’s Rajon Rondo (10), Charlotte’s Walter Herrmann (10) and New Jersey’s Marcus Williams (10) all tied for the final spot on the second team.

The voting panel consisted of the NBA’s 30 head coaches, who were asked to select five players for the first team and five players for the second team, regardless of position. Coaches were not permitted to vote for players on their own team. Two points were awarded for first team votes and one for second team votes.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Updates Part II

Via YAYSports!, a link to, a site run by Lakers fans.

Ian Whittell/ on the Euroleague Final Four and CSKA Moscow's veteran point guard, Theo Papaloukas:
Although Papaloukas turns 30 Tuesday, his representatives have let it be known that "three or four" NBA teams have expressed a strong interest in the CSKA guard. The Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks are said to be on the interested list.

T-Hud was at the Kentucky Derby this weekend:
Basketball player Troy Hudson bet on Sam P. for a variety of personal reasons. His grandmother's name is Sam, and the horse's number was 13; Hudson's birthday is March 13.
"It's a no-brainer," he said on Friday night.
Alas, Saturday, he didn't fare so well. But, "It was my first time being there, so that was the highlight of my day," said the Minnesota Timberwolves guard. "I'm not really a gambling person anyway."

From Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune:
And would Minnesota now swap Garnett for Nowitzki? That would give Dallas the tough guy they feel they need after shriveling up for the Warriors, and it would give the Timberwolves a star and a good guy.

Wolves Updates 5/7

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
The Timberwolves, who will consider buying a first-round pick for June's NBA draft, probably could get Phoenix's pick, which will be late, for about $3 million.

The Timberwolves not only will try hard to trade Ricky Davis when the playoffs end but Trenton Hassell as well.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/6

A phone call between KG and Tracy McGrady courtesy of The Hype.

Ken Berger/ suggests the Knicks make a move for Garnett.
Garnett's agent, Andy Miller, dumped cold water all over my scenario, calling speculation about Garnett's future "media driven."

"I speak to Kevin McHale frequently, and there's been no discussion about what they would do because he hasn't told me that they're going to do something," Miller said.

From the Los Angeles Times:
"You have to feel for Kobe Bryant," TNT analyst Charles Barkley said after the Lakers lost Wednesday. "He's the best player we have in basketball today. He just doesn't have enough help. [The other] guys are just too inconsistent and it's not going to be easy to fix that team. People keep talking about Kevin Garnett, but if [Minnesota executive] Kevin McHale takes any of [the Lakers] for Garnett, he's crazy."

Friday, May 04, 2007

Timberwolves Dunk Team

We can only hope they're putting as much effort into improving the team as they are revamping game-night entertainment.

From the Timberwolves site:
Are you an athlete who also happens to be a crazy Timberwolves Fan? Do you find yourself wanting to fly through the air with Crunch, the greatest dunking mascot in the NBA? You could be the perfect fit for the all-new Timberwolves Dunk Team! Auditions for the 2007-2008 Dunk Team will be taking place in June.

Regardless, this does seem to have the potential for some good times.

Mo Evans: Garnett "wants out"

From Kevin Ding/The OC Register:
Here's the background info: Lakers forward Maurice Evans calls Kevin Garnett "one of my best friends in the league." Here's the news: "I know he definitely wants out of that situation, deservedly so," Evans said Thursday.

"He's given his heart and soul to that (Minnesota) organization," Evans added. "And whether it be here or Minnesota or wherever, I hope for and wish him the best in his future."

Garnett has made reference to opting out of his contract after next season, though that would come at extreme financial cost. Garnett has not publicly asked for a trade, but there has been speculation about the Timberwolves trading him rather than losing him for nothing.

Wolves Updates 5/4

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Lang Whitaker/SLAM Online on the player who "averaged the fewest shots per game in the NBA this year":
I looked it up. He finished 433rd out of 441 NBA players listed in this season’s database. He played in 56 games and averaged a paltry 0.8 shots per game, a number so minuscule that it actually takes work to not shoot that much. Your winner?
Mark Madsen.

From Arash Markazi/

While Vegas seems to be attracting most of Hollywood's young crew for the fight, some big names like Michael Jordan are planning on going to both, while others like Kevin Garnett will be staying in Kentucky for "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports."

Assistant GM Rob Babcock on some of what the team uses to evaluate draft prospects.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/3

Fred Hoiberg talks about his heart problems and his new role with the team:
"It's going to be an important summer for us, and I'm looking forward to the challenge," Hoiberg said. "Hopefully we can get this team back in the playoffs -- and a team that this city can be proud of."

From Sid Hartman:
Rob Moor, chief executive officer of the Timberwolves, said he has just started negotiations for a three-year contract for Randy Wittman to continue coaching the Wolves. Witt- man said once he signs this contract, he will decide about his coaching staff.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Rookie Of The Year voting

The Blazers' Brandon Roy, the Wolves' pick in last year's draft, was selected as rookie of the year. A panel of sportswriters and broadcasters awarded the player 127 out of 128 first-place votes.

Randy Foye ended up at #5 in the voting while Craig Smith came in at #11.

Wolves Dance Team coaches fired

Dan Barreiro/KFAN reported earlier today that Melissa Sax and Tura Hallblade, the co-directors of the Wolves dance team, have been "dismissed."

Click here to listen to Barreiro's sarcastic and amusing rant on how the Wolves are finally holding the proper people accountable for the team's problems.

For more info on Sax and Hallblade, click here.

Timberwolves "Early Bird" commercials

The team recently aired a series of commercials aimed at getting fans to purchase their season tickets before the end of the season. Click here to watch the amusing ads. (Thanks to Skeets for the link.)

Wolves Updates 5/2

Charley Walters/Pioneer Press on owner Glen Taylor:
Taylor isn't going outside the organization, but he wants more input from others in the front office.

He also said Tuesday that the Wolves would seek to improve by building around Kevin Garnett with Randy Foye, Rashad McCants and Craig Smith. Other players could be traded.

"But it's a little hard right now (during the playoffs) to talk to other teams," Taylor said. "We're looking at scenarios and options."

Mike James on an academic study of the NBA which said that "during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players."

“If that’s going on, then it’s something that needs to be dealt with,” James said. “But I’ve never seen it.”

From Mike Max/WCCO:
Timberwolves head coach Randy Wittman has already started to re-organize his assistant coaches.

From Mike Waldner/The Daily Breeze:
Garnett is No. 1 on the wish list of those who are positive they know how to get the Lakers rolling once again. Then comes Kidd followed by J. O'Neal.

T-Hud's new record

Click on the picture for info on T-Hud's upcoming release, Undrafted. According to the distributor, the record is set to come out on 7/17/07.

Hudson talks about the release:
"I am really anticipating the release of the album, and I hope that it is well received by hip-hop fans nationwide," says an eager Troy. "They say that you only get one chance to make a first impression. I hope mine is a good one."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wolves Updates 5/1

From the Pioneer Press:
Garnett was selected to the NBA all-defensive second team for the second time in his career after leading the league in rebounding for the fourth consecutive season. Garnett has been on the all-defensive first team six times.

Joining Garnett on the second team are Ben Wallace, Kirk Hinrich, Jason Kidd, and Tayshaun Prince.

The first team is made up of Tim Duncan, Bruce Bowen, Marcus Camby, Kobe Bryant, and Raja Bell.

From Eddie Sefko/The Dallas Morning News:
Kevin Garnett and Nowitzki have had similar career paths. And Garnett has heard the same insinuations that Nowitzki is bound to hear if things do not turn around in a hurry.

"You guys got to make headlines and do what you got to do to make controversy," Garnett said of the media. "So you sometimes say [smelly] kind of things. It's never fair. But at the same time, it motivates the player. The player really cares less about what you guys think."

Coach Wittman on the team's "Blueprint for the Future" and whether he'd want a player other than Garnett to lead the team:
No. Obviously, if this can be done, you have to do it with Garnett. Players like him come around once in a lifetime. Everything involved, not just as a player. But what he does for the community, what he does for kids, how he handles himself. He’s never in the papers. Those things are qualities that we’d like to see from everybody, and when you have it, you don’t want to lose it...

Wolves President Chris Wright says he wants to "adopt the Phoenix plan" in regards to competition between the Target Center and newer local sports arenas:
"What Phoenix did was put $80 million into the city's older arena. New wide corridors, refurbished suites, an interactive area for families in the second deck that's always sold out ... it's great."