Wolves Updates 4/30
The drawing of Garnett on the left was done by France Belleville at Wagonized.
Belleville has a couple other sketches of the player that can be found here
From Ken Berger/Newsday: Despite assertions to the contrary from owner Glen Taylor and GM Kevin McHale, I'm told the Timberwolves are prepared to trade Kevin Garnett. "I think they're shopping him," a league source said.
More info on Kevin Garnett court:The Metro Jackson Habitat for Humanity in 2006 used a $1 million donation from the Minnesota Timberwolves player to construct 10 homes on Elm Street, which was renamed Kevin Garnett Court, and eight on Hunt Street.
Wolves Updates 4/28
From the Courier-Journal: It'll be a grand night for mingling when the celebs and sports stars hit Louisville next week for the Grand Gala.
"Blade" star Wesley Snipes, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Garnett, newly svelte Star Jones and actor-comedian Chris Tucker will attend the annual bash at the Galt House Hotel & Suites after Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
Fred Hoiberg was one of the players named to Iowa State Men's Basketball All-Century Team.
Stephen Litel has a new blog
dedicated to the Wolves and the Lynx. His site has been nominated as best sports blog in the Blogger's Choice Awards. You can vote for it here. Rick Rickert on playing
in the NBA development league:"I look at it this way: If you're a winner in a minor league system like this and you progress, NBA teams want winners," Rickert said.
Wolves Updates 4/27
NY Daily News
on Sebastian Telfair:It sounds like a ridiculously tough fit, but Denver, Orlando and Minnesota are already being mentioned as possible new homes.
The team's VP of communications said that country station Bob 106 will continue to air the games
next season. If that's the case, I really hope the following is true:Neil Freeman, the general manager of BOB 106, said management is "in the process of exploring every option available to us to clean up," any issues regarding listeners not being able to hear games.
From Sid Hartman:In Seattle, the word is former Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey is a leading candidate to become the coach of the Sonics, for whom he was an assistant for 11 years.Rob Babcock answers a fan's question
on the team's summer plans:It is frustrating to not be in the playoffs. Everyone is frustrated, but we now need to turn that frustration into work and we need to solve our problems. We like our core group of players and we have three young players to build with for the future and a superstar in Garnett to help them along the way. We need to change up our roster to surround that core group with the right players that will compliment their talents. In order to do that, we will have to make some trades, and that is an area that we are really focusing on...
Wolves Updates 4/26
Owner Glen Taylor on the team's disgruntled fan base:"I understand that the people are going to complain when you're not winning. That's fair," Taylor said Wednesday during an interview from his home in Mankato. "I don't personally take it as too negative. I just think that most people are like myself: They just want the team to play better. They're frustrated and they don't know what else to do, so they say, 'Hey, Taylor, straighten it out."'Without prompting, Taylor mentioned James as a trade possibility - hardly a revelation considering his up-and-down production, playing time and demeanor. Taylor also said he's talked to James, Jaric and others with uncertain status, and nobody has asked to be dealt.The trades are surely coming, though, and they're going to be tough to pull off...
In their "Best Of The Twin Cities" issue, City Pages
names Garnett the "best Timberwolves player." Kevin Garnett will haunt Target Center for decades as the greatest local star ever shackled to a star-crossed franchise...
In another unsurprising move, Garnett also won the reader's choice award for the same category.
T-Hud visits Dime
From Dime Magazine:Troy Hudson and his boys dropped by the Dime office this morning to say what’s up. Yes, we said morning. That didn’t stop Troy from grabbing a cold one from the Dime fridge. “I’m in New York, I’m gonna do it big,” Troy told us...
According to T-Hud's official site
, his new album, Undrafted, is scheduled to come out in May though rumor has it the release date has been pushed back til June.
Stabbing outside of Ricky Davis's apartment while player was out of town
According to Fox 9 News,
Alonge McClaid, the man Ricky Davis recently hired as his personal chef, was stabbed outside of the player's apartment on Monday night. Witnesses told police that Ricky Davis was out of town when the incident took place.The witness says McClaid stumbled out of the elevator and staggered into the lobby, after being stabbed in the abdomen.McClaid's injury is so severe that he remains still hospitalized at HCMC a day later. Sources close to the investigation tell us one of Davis's friends inside of the apartment instigated the confrontation. Words escalated first into a fist fight that others in the apartment broke up; then a second scuffle erupted; and finally a third fight, this time with a knife.
The police say it isn't clear what the fight was about and that they are still looking for the suspect.
Taylor to get more involved with team
According to Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune,
"the dynamic at Target Center will change" this offseason. Owner Glen Taylor says there are going to be changes in the front office that include himself and the "expanded front office" (which includes Rob Babcock, Fred Hoiberg, and Jim Stack) being more involved in making decisions for the team."In the past, I have pushed [decision-making] back on McHale," Taylor said. "This time we'll do it more as a team. ... I have a habit of trusting people, and trusting scenarios when I'm told things. I'm very good when I've gotten involved. But I have been successful by trusting other people, giving them the flexibility to make difficult decisions. But when it hasn't worked, I've gotten involved."
Youngblood also writes that Taylor says he doesn't intend on trading Garnett and that "almost everyone on the roster -- with the exceptions of Garnett, guards Randy Foye and Rashad McCants and forward Craig Smith -- is fair game for potential trades."
Wolves Updates 4/25
Britt Robson/On The Ball
believes that Utah's Andrei Kirilenko would "make a gorgeous bookend next to Kevin Garnett as the Wolves' small forward." On Garnett to Chicago trade rumors, Robson writes:Luol Deng's coming-out party in the Heat series may have effectively eliminated any chance of Minnesota dealing KG to the Bulls.Owner Glen Taylor on which player the team would take
if it had the top pick in this year's draft:"Even if I knew we were z No. 1 today, I don't know if could answer that," Taylor said with a laugh. "There are two really need guys [available]."
Flip Saunders on Sam Mitchell being named "NBA coach of the year":
"I thought Sam has done an unbelievable job when you look at where that team came from," said Pistons coach Flip Saunders, who coached Mitchell in Minnesota. "He was basically a coach for me when he played, and I asked him to stay on with us, but he thought it was best to go out because he was so close to our players -- [Kevin] Garnett and those guys. He got a great opportunity in Toronto and he's made the most of it."
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer lists Dwane Casey as a potential candidate for the Sonics' head coaching position. Via True Hoop, Mike Seely/Seattle Weekly on his choice for Bob Hill's replacement:
Defensive-minded ex-T'Wolf coach (and ex-Sonic associate head coach) Dwane Casey is the only candidate for the floor job, in my opinion.
Wolves Updates 4/24
From Michael Rand/Star Tribune:Fans can always handle a certain level of losing if they believe there is reasonable expectation for a turnaround. But when Vice President Kevin McHale says he's coming back, Randy Wittman's coming back and Kevin Garnett isn't going anywhere -- leaving the trade of junk for (hopefully) slightly better junk or getting lucky in the lottery as the only way this team could improve -- you get 90 percent of 4,000-plus voters responding "yes" to a Startribune.com poll asking, "Is it time for Kevin McHale to go?"The Pioneer Press
on Kevin McHale's announcement during last week's press conference that he was responsible for "putting that team on the floor, and the coaches that coach it."
That's pretty much what he said after the 2005-06 season ended: "I should be criticized. We did not have the type of year that we wanted to have or expected to have or anything like that, and it falls on my shoulders. I hired the coach. I brought the players in, and it didn't work."
has posted a season wrap. Make sure to check it out.
during his Monday chat on a question regarding the Wolves offseason:Best of all, they still have Garnett, which ensures they won't be bad enough to have a reasonable chance of winning the lottery. So look for another five years or so of 34-48. Here's my question: If McHale doesn't want to leave the team in the state its in right now, doesn't that mean he'll never leave?
The titles of this article and this article could be confusing for Wolves fans.
Star Tribune won't let Aschburner have his job back
Star Tribune sportswriter Steve Aschburner took a voluntary buyout of his contract on March 10. According to the Minnesota Monitor,
Aschburner, who's been covering the Timberwolves for 13 of his 21 years at the paper, told his editor just 4 days later that he wanted to stay. The Strib, however, "denied his request to rescind his buyout application, citing budget concerns according to a letter sent to publisher Par Ridder by members of the paper's Newspaper Guild unit." Click here
to see the letter.Aschburner quickly regretted his decision, recognizing it as an "impulsive, stressed-out thing" complicated by personal issues and the "ticking bomb" nature of the five-day clause, and within four days he told his editor he wanted to stay. For the past six weeks he's been pleading with Star Tribune managers to let him keep doing a job he loves -- but what he's found is that management sees his buyout as anything but voluntary...
"Someone is going to have to cover that team and league going forward, and no one on staff wants it or has experience," he said. "I am dying to stay on the job."
The article also says that Aschburner has been getting support from some of his peers:Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News and Doug Smith of the Toronto Star have both written letters to Aschburner's editor urging his reinstatement.To show your support, you can send a letter to Nancy Barnes, Helen Wainwright, or Par Ridder atStar Tribune425 Portland AvenueMinneapolis, MN 55488
You could also send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll include your messages in my letter to the Strib.
Wolves Updates 4/23
From John Jackson/Chicago Sun-Times:
Worse, Garnett has the right to opt out of his contract after next season, and there's rampant speculation that he will do just that and sign with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent.Because of that opt-out clause, many NBA observers think McHale should trade Garnett this summer to ensure the team doesn't lose him without getting anything in return.
From Frank Isola/NBC Sports:
A person close to Garnett maintains that unless the All-Star asks owner Glen Taylor to trade him, he will remain in Minnesota. And yet, Garnett's actions suggest that he would rather be anywhere else than the Twin Cities.Flip Saunders on similarities
between Garnett and Orlando's Dwight Howard:"I know when I had Kevin Garnett when he was younger how much better he was after his first playoff run and how he was the following year when he got into the regular season," Saunders said. "He improved drastically and Dwight's going through the same thing. He's going to be a lot better Monday night, he's going to be a lot better on Thursday (for Game 3) and a lot better on Saturday (for Game 4). He's going to be a lot better every game."
Kevin Garnett cake and pic courtesy of the lovely Sarah Johnson.
Wolves Updates 4/22
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:They say winning cures everything, but when the Wolves kept losing, individual agendas festered. Some players paid to be key contributors weren't happy with their roles. They openly wondered whether they might be better fits elsewhere...
From Jim Souhan/Star Tribune:It is time for us to stop blaming McHale for the Wolves' problems. All McHale has done is meet the standards of his employer and continue behavior that has been generously rewarded.Taylor -- once considered a franchise savior who would make Minnesota a better place by buying the Twins or Vikings -- deserves all of the blame now, for having no plan.Ira Winderman/Sun-Sentinel
on Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, and Danny Ainge:Now, their front-office leadership has come into such question that a trio of All-Stars might be better served by severing their ties to this Celtics connection.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:Some Timberwolves season-ticket holders who paid premium prices for their seats are upset that newcomers seem to be getting preferential treatment and perks at discount prices.The picture above is of Craig Smith
at a Reading Time-Out for Parents in Community Action/Head Start students of the North East Early Childhood Family Development Center on April 20, 2007.
From Mike McFeely/Fargo-Moorhead Forum:The only option remaining, the only way the Wolves can blow things up and start rebuilding in a meaningful manner, is to deal Garnett. He could bring draft picks and a competent veteran body or two.
Hoops Addict Playoff Predictions
Ryan at Hoops Addict
asked a bunch of hoops bloggers for their predictions on the playoffs. Click here
to see the results.
The questions Ryan asked are below:
1. What lower seed has the best chance of pulling off a first round upset?
2. What two teams will play in the Western Conference Finals?
3. What two teams will play in the Eastern Conference Finals?
4. What team will be crowned NBA Champs?
5. Last spring Dwyane Wade used the Heat's run to the playoffs to cement his status as one of the NBA's top young players. Who do you think will grab the limelight this spring?
6. Last year a lot of basketball fans let out a collective groan when Antoine Walker shimmied his way to a Championship. Is there a player this year who you don't want to see win a Championship?
Wolves Updates 4/21
overall rookie rankings, Craig Smith comes in at #7 followed by Randy Foye at #8.Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
breaks down Kevin McHale's statements from Thursday's press conference.Alonzo
also writes that owner Glen Taylor's "never say never" comments regarding trading Garnett "don't reveal anything the owner hasn't said in the past."From Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press:
It's not in McHale's DNA to walk away. The things that made him a terrific basketball player - pride, determination, a refusal to give up - are the same things that keep him from quitting as the Wolves' vice president of basketball operations.
Inside Hoops with some of Garnett's postgame interview from the April win over the Knicks.
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Wolves coach Randy Wittman talked after Wednesday's game about how the team needed significant changes to become competitive again. He said he hoped the team's powers that be felt the same way. After talking face to face with McHale, Wittman is convinced the two are on the same page.
From Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune:Many folks filling the Xcel Energy Center are not there strictly as hockey fans. They are looking for sports entertainment in whatever form. They are buying high-priced Wild tickets, and laughing at the basketball team they used to support in Minneapolis.
Taylor on trading Garnett: Never say never
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he's open to trading All-Star forward Kevin Garnett, who has been the franchise cornerstone since being drafted in 1995."You never say never," Taylor told Bloomberg News in New York, where NBA owners met. "I wouldn't close the door to it."
Taylor was also asked what would happen if the team wasn't doing well at the trade deadline:"KG and I would discuss it if we got to that point. We'll address it when it needs to be addressed."
Wolves lose tiebreaker
From ESPN:The league held random drawings Friday to break ties between lottery-bound teams that finished with idential regular-season records, and Portland was picked over Minnesota. The Trail Blazers and Timberwolves were both 32-50. That means Minnesota will have the seventh-best chance among the 14 non-playoff teams of receiving the first overall choice...The lottery will be held on May 22. If they're not one of the three teams picked, the Wolves will draft between seventh and 10th -- depending on how many, if any, teams behind them in the order are chosen.
Wolves Updates 4/20
From Sid Hartman:Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor won't talk about it, nor will Kevin Garnett, but the gossip around the Target Center is that Garnett recently talked to Taylor about a contract extension. Garnett is signed through next season, then becomes a free agent.
Hartman also writes that Bracey Wright says he won't return, Mike James isn't sure he'll be back, and T-Hud "wants out."Britt Robson/On The Ball
writes a season wrap which ends with the following:There is not a single player on this team that had a really good year. Not one. I Dislike Your Favorite Team
draws comparisons between Kevin McHale and George W Bush.Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune
on yesterday's press conference with McHale:Once again, the Big Lie was for McHale to suggest he could be successful in making trades, without including Kevin Garnett in such discussions.
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:The news was McHale essentially admitting that, more than a decade after assuming control of the team, the Wolves today are much the same as the Christian Laettner, J.R. Rider-bunch he inherited, warts and all, years ago. And that will be difficult to change.
From Stephen Litel/City Pages Sports blog:At the very least, as I have stated all year, a vast majority of these players are friends off the court. The problem? Most are not friends with Kevin Garnett. Throughout the season, there was never a sense that Garnett himself was a member of this "team." He did his own thing, separate from the rest, leading by example on the court while allowing the dysfunction to continue off the court.
Click here for chances the team lands any pick #1-10.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
The Timberwolves say they have had a season-ticket renewal rate of nearly 70 percent on almost 7,000 ticketsand have sold about 600 new full season tickets.
Tony Mejia/CBS Sportsline
gives his "toast of the year" award to Dwane Casey:Burnt, that is. That was Minnesota's Dwane Casey, fired despite coaching the Timberwolves to a 20-20 mark. I called it a ridiculous firing then, and have been proven right by what's happened since, with replacement Randy Wittman finishing up 12-30.
McHale to return next season
Michael Rand/Star Tribune
reports on Kevin McHale's press conference from this morning:Timberwolves Vice President Kevin McHale said at a postseason news conference today that he will stay on the job next season. He also said he "wants to have coach Randy Wittman back" and said there are no plans to trade Kevin Garnett in the offseason."It was a bad season," McHale said of the squad's 32-50 record, which included a 12-30 finish under Wittman after Dwane Casey was fired after going 20-20 in the first 40 games. "There's no other way you can say it. It starts with me."
Rand also lists other highlights from the press conference.Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
recaps today's news conference as well.
Update: Click here
for the AP article.
Update: KARE 11
has video of the press conference.
Wolves Updates 4/19
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:Wolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale will hold his season-ending news conference at 11 a.m. today. He will discuss the season, the state of the franchise and the team's future. He will also presumably discuss his future; owner Glen Taylor has said McHale can return if he so desires.Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune
looks back on the season.Aschburner
also talks to Coach Wittman and Ricky Davis about what they thought went wrong this year. The coach blames team chemistry while the player replies that the team " just didn't keep growing."Coach Wittman on his future with the team:"We'll sit down here hopefully in the next couple days, and I'll have a better understanding," said Wittman, under whom the Wolves were 12-30. "I'm not saying I've got a bad feeling. I haven't had a conversation. We'll have that."Paul Shirley on
his impression of Garnett:Ridiculously good impression. He's one of the more earnest, intelligent and hard-working professional basketball players I've been around. Which is sad, I think, because he is kind of buried in a less-than-stellar environment.Scouts Inc/ESPN
breaks down the Wolves by looking at its current status, roster/salaries, salary cap situation, and the general issues facing the team.
From Dave Campbell/AP Sports:It's obvious to anyone that frustration with the direction of the franchise under owner Glen Taylor and basketball boss Kevin McHale has devolved into disinterest...
Wolves secure first-round draft pick
Last night's loss to the Grizzlies helped guarantee the team a top 10 pick in this year's draft.
This means the team won't have to surrender its pick to the Clippers this season as it was top-10 protected in the deal for Marko Jaric. The Wolves ended the season tied with Portland for the 6th worst record in the league. A tiebreaker on Friday will decide which of the two teams will pick sixth.
Wolves 94, Grizzlies 116
Kevin Garnett and all but an estimated 14,000+ people (an exaggerated number and most were gone by the second half) decided to skip last night's season finale at the Target Center.
The guy with the sign was one of two people booted from the game for walking around with anti-McHale signs late in the 4th quarter. The other guy kicked out was also wearing a "Fire McHale" t-shirt. From the way they were handled by security, you would have thought they were buying underage girls alcohol at a sold out Slayer show instead of providing 30 seconds worth of entertainment during a lackluster game in an almost empty arena.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:After a 116-94 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at Target Center, Wittman was clear about what the 32-50 team needs: "A shakeup, I think. The roster is unbalanced a little bit. We don't have bigs that can guard bigs. A lot of different things need to be done. We have to find guys that are caring for one another, that are playing for one another. I just don't think we have that mix together right now."
Team record: 32-50Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune recapAP RecapBox Score"We have to find guys who are caring for one another and [want] to play with one another," Wittman said. "I just don't think we have that with this mix of guys right now. These games are hard to play. You play them for pride as an individual. They showed me who had pride and who didn't down the stretch here."
Wolves Updates 4/18
A preview of tonight's game against the Grizzlies,
mercifully the last of the season.
The team has won only 12 games since January 16, the second-fewest in the league. A victory tonight would give them the same 33-49 record as last season. A loss would give the Wolves their first 50-loss season since 1995-96, Kevin Garnett's rookie season.Britt Robson/On The Ball
hands out end of the season awards and discusses Bracey Wright:Most likely two or three years from now he'll be a vague footnote in our collective memory banks, but last night and during a disastrous three-month stretch where the Wolves have compiled the second-worst record in the entire NBA (only the Milwaukee Bucks, at 11-33, undercut Minnesota's 12-33 mark) Bracey Wright has instead been a minor but not unappreciated grace note. Good for him.
on Ricky DavisBy the way, if we're keeping count this decade, Ricky leads the league in "crazy partying stories that have been passed around by everyone who follows the league but can't be confirmed by a firsthand witness who was actually there." He started taking on Bill Brasky proportions about three years ago...
Mad Dog talks to Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu and writes on how Ricky Davis "plays so hard every single night."The Pioneer Press
on a few issues facing the team.Kelly Dwyer/SI.com
looks at the Wolves and the other non-playoff bound teams.
From Dan Barreiro/KFAN:If you still care at all about this team getting something its executives have done nothing to deserve, you want Oden.Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune
on the team's "must lose" situation.From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
A trip to a Timberwolves road game next season with owner Glen Taylor on his private jet brought $45,000 from two bidders at the team's Fastbreak Foundation auction to benefit youngsters the other day at Target Center.
Carnival of the NBA #43: Carnival Idol
presents the latest edition of the Carnival of the NBA. If you're looking for entertaining items from around the basketball blogosphere and/or love American Idol, make sure to check it out.
Wolves Updates 4/17
Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune
writes that Garnett is "said to be getting treatment in southern California."
Coach Wittman on Garnett's status:"I anticipate he's probably done [this season]."
Mad Dog said his errant three-pointers in last year's season finale against Memphis were a result of "feeding off the crowd":"But at least I was in the arena, working. You had teams in and out of the playoffs sitting down their players, I'm out there busting my tail."The Basketball Jones
"reminisce and reflect" on the NBA season in their latest podcast.Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
said Rashad McCants "suffered a bone bruise on his right knee, not a more serious injury" during Sunday's game.McCants, who said he was sore and would not play against Denver on Monday night, was nervous at first when he banged knees with Golden State's Jason Richardson because he feared he might have suffered a more serious injury.
McCants says he hopes to play in Wednesday's game against Memphis.
As of Monday night, the Wolves are tied with the Knicks and Trail Blazers for the 6th worst record in the league. Randy Foye says about a potential Wolves draft pick:"It doesn't matter who we get. Unless you get Greg Oden or (Kevin) Durant, they're probably going to have to sit behind somebody (in the rotation)," Foye said.
Rob Babcock talks a little about the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Wolves 107, Nuggets 122
From the AP Recap
:Despite the spirited play early on, signs abounded that neither team was really much into the game.
Team record: 32-49Box Score"We were playing our game, keeping it close and then we just ran out of gas," Minnesota forward Bracey Wright said. "The third quarter has hurt us all year."
Mavs discussed getting Garnett
According to Dallas Basketball,
the Mavericks "did engage in trade-deadline discussions involving Kevin Garnett."Harper, the former Mavs star (and frequent DB.com contributor) mentioned during a TX21 telecast of a Mavs game on Wednesday that he was told the Mavs discussed the notion of acquiring Minnesota of superstar Kevin Garnett in a deal that would have meant giving up Josh Howard and Jerry Stackhouse in trade...
However, according to a team source, the talks were "at most exploratory":From what we can gather, as compelling as the story is, this wasn’t as much the Mavs talking with Minny GM Kevin McHale as it was the Mavs brass – Cuban, Nelson, Avery – talking amongst themselves.
Wolves Updates 4/16
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
writes that "Wittman sure didn't sound confident" about Garnett returning for tonight's game at Denver.Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune
on a hoops inspired piece of art
from Brant Kingman."Because sports heroes are worshiped in an almost god-like fashion today," Kingman said, "I wanted to tell the tongue-in-cheek story of that American devotion."The Lexington Herald-Leader
on Dwane Casey:Acknowledging his anxiety to stay busy, Casey said he plans to work a camp in China in May and another in Italy in June.Charley Rosen/Fox Sports
grades the Western Conference teams and gives the Wolves an "F": As long as Garnett continues to be vastly overrated, the T-Wolves will be toothless.
From Peter Vecsey/The New York Post:How soon before Isiah Thomas coordinates the Kevin Garnett acquisition? From what I read in these parts, the Knicks have what it'll take to import him from Minnesota once he decides he wants out. Imagine co-mingling Garrett's non-supporting cast and Thomas' outcasts. Yup, that's who the Timberwolves aspire to be, last season's Knicks.
From Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune:In the end, it often comes down to respecting the game, which, sadly, the Timberwolves again seemingly are failing to do. They took Garnett out for the last games of the season, apparently to keep from losing another draft pick, this time to the Clippers in the Marko Jaric trade if it's not in the top 10.
Garnett himself had complained about reduced minutes.
"Whenever I prepare, it's for 48-plus minutes," he said.
Difficult to see him not seeking to get traded this summer.
Wolves 108, Warriors 121
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:The Timberwolves trailed by 40 points heading into the fourth quarter Sunday against the Golden State Warriors in what was one of their worst performances of this disappointing season...By the time the fourth quarter started, Wittman found himself challenging the players to bring the deficit under 20. That's about all they could try to do en route to a 121-108 defeat that was so lopsided, Wittman searched for positives.
Team record: 32-48Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune recapAP Recap
Box ScoreGame injuries:Wolves forward Craig Smith can't catch a break. He developed a lump on his forehead Sunday after taking an elbow from Andris Biedrins. Add that to his bloodshot left eye from getting poked in a game last week, and it's a scary sight...
Mark Madsen tweaked a hamstring, and that's why he didn't play in the second half against Golden State, Wittman said. Rashad McCants banged a knee in the game and played just four minutes in the second half. Marko Jaric did not play for the second consecutive game because of a hand injury.
Wolves Updates 4/15
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:Wittman said there's still no word as to whether forward Kevin Garnett will return to action this season. Wittman said the all-star won't play today. Wittman said he had heard that Garnett received treatment for the soreness in his right quadriceps, but the coach was sketchy about the details.
Judging by the lack of information being relayed, it's looking more and more as if Garnett will not return this season. Wittman said Garnett is doubtful for Monday's game at Denver.
Britt Robson/On The Ball compares the team's performance under former coach Dwane Casey and current coach Randy Wittman.
Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune on Craig Smith:
The bottom half of his left eye is discolored by blood from when he got poked Monday by Toronto's Kris Humphries, the former Gopher."My vision's good. It [the eye] just looks bad," said Smith, who has been donning shades indoors.
Despite injuries to both hands, Marko Jaric made the team's roadtrip and says, "
Whatever they need me to do, I'll do it."Aschburner
also writes:Randy Foye will be a solid NBA player for a decade or more, but right now, Roy should have been a buy-and-hold stock for the Wolves. They extracted $1 million from Portland for the draft night swap, taking cash for the right to be second-guessed for years. Roy even is more ready at the point than Foye, for now.The Nuggets signed Anthony Carter
for the rest of the season.
A preview of this afternoon's game at Golden State.
Wolves Updates 4/14
From Kent Youngblood & Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune:
On most game days the Wolves meet for a morning shootaround. Not Friday.The pregame ritual was abruptly canceled when a bomb threat was called into the health club situated in Target Center. Everyone in the building -- including Wolves players, coaches and office staff -- was evacuated from about 10 in the morning until about 1 p.m.
Also from the Star Tribune:With the frustration of a second sub-.500 season palpable in the Wolves' locker room after their 110-91 loss to San Antonio on Friday night, Jaric said too many on the team shrug off setbacks and mistakes by shirking responsibility and waiting for others to fix things.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:Even if Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett doesn't play another game this season, he is all but guaranteed to lead the NBA in rebounding for the fourth consecutive season, something only Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone and Dennis Rodman have done...
Despite Garnett's contributions, the Wolves rank among the league's worst rebounding teams.
Wolves GM Jim Stack on what he sees as "reasons to be hopeful in the future":With remaining competitive, we have fallen short of that aspect; free agency hasn't worked out as well as we would have liked. But we don't feel like we're that far away. We feel like the young kids are going to grow, and with a tweak or two we can be a very good team...
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:The Wolves must finish with at least the seventh-worst record to guarantee a lottery pick regardless of what happens in the lottery. In that scenario, even if three teams won the lottery and leapfrogged them in the draft order, Minnesota would still finish in the top 10.
From Ian Thomsen/SI.com:Indeed, the three top-rated rookies -- according to the NBA's efficiency rating per minute -- are non-lottery picks: Millsap, fellow second-rounder Craig Smith of the Timberwolves and Renaldo Balkman, the No. 20 choice of the Knicks.
Wolves 91, Spurs 110
From the AP RecapMike James scored 23 points and Randy Foye had 16 for the Timberwolves, who have lost four consecutive games and seven straight at Target Center - the team's worst home stretch since dropping a franchise-worst 14 consecutive in 1994.Minnesota fell to 7-20 since the All-Star break.
Team record: 32-47Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune recapBox Score
Marko Jaric was out with "injuries to both hands and his right knee."
Wolves Updates 4/13
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press on the news about KG's injury:
The timing of all this raised questions, considering Garnett recently had voiced frustration about the team trimming his minutes...
"There's no indication to me that that's why he's shutting it down," Wittman said. "He's a guy that wants to play, there's no question about that.
Mike Trudell at the Wolves site
talks to Mike James about the player's family, his favorite places to live, and going to school at Duquesne.Coach Wittman on Justin Reed's performance
in the loss to the Mavericks:"Like I told him today, he went out and busted his rear end, played hard and it showed," Wittman said. "That's what I'm looking for. I haven't given him, probably, as much opportunity [as others on the roster]. But he waited patiently and he took advantage of that opportunity when it came. I was happy for him."Stephen Litel/City Pages Sports blog
on hearing about KG's status:I just had to laugh. I stood there, listening and watching McHale blatantly lie to the media members' faces, although I know I should not expect anything less.
The Nuggets are looking for a point guard for the postseason and, according to the Rocky Mountain News,
former Timberwolves player Anthony Carter is one of the candidates."I’m staying in shape and, hopefully, I’ll get a call," said Carter, who was in Denver’s camp last fall and is at his San Antonio home after playing in Italy.
A preview of tonight's game against the Spurs.
Wolves Updates 4/12
From Britt Robson/On The Ball:The point is, like the rest of us, Garnett is sick of this season, tired of the same old April bullshit, tired of hearing for the past 12 months that all the team needed was a tweak or two, then that all the team needed was some consistency, then that all the team needed was better chemistry--and when all that dense delusion was exposed as being clueless wishful thinking, THEN hearing that McHale and Wittman were probably coming back.
According to Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press, owner Glen Taylor "wouldn't confirm" that Kevin McHale or Randy Wittman would return next year. "What I've said to everybody is that I always wait to the end of the season, but I don't have any reason not to (believe that McHale will return)," Taylor said. "We just don't talk about it until the end of the season. I can't confirm that he is (coming back)."Michael Rand/Star Tribune
has a q&a with team president Chris Wright.Craig Smith on the first start of his NBA career:"It was pretty exciting (to start). You get to hear your name announced, so that was like a dream come true. When you're a little kid you always want to hear your name get announced, especially in the top league in the world. So it was very exciting and I was happy to get the opportunity."KG on Dirk Nowitzki and the MVP award: "Anybody that can dictate the game and make an unbelievable impression on the game should definitely earn that award, and Dirk's no different," Garnett said. "Along with Steve Nash, those guys make their teams what they are."
DraftExpress on the D-League's Fort Worth Flyers:
Ndudi Ebi has played well lately as well, but the team will need better play at the point guard slot to advance past Dakota and Sioux Falls. Jon Krawczynski/AP Sports
on the team's need to keep its draft pick this year:And given their luck - or lack thereof - historically in the crapshoot that is the NBA draft lottery, they would be wise to lose as much as possible in the final five games of the season, just to be safe.Ira Winderman/Sporting News
on the game against Cleveland: The buzz that night in Minneapolis was how it might be time for Garnett to move on, a possibility the Timberwolves' All-Star centerpiece no longer is quick to dismiss.
Team surprised by Garnett's injury
and at least a few of Garnett's teammates
said they were surprised by the extent of the player's injury. Ricky Davis, Rashad McCants, and Mike James did not find out until after yesterday's press conference announcing that Garnett would be out "indefinitely."“He's a soldier,” Davis said. “If he's hurt, you would never know it unless something was broke or something. I just hope he's all right.”
Kevin McHale on the the pain in KG's right quadriceps:"Kevin doesn't complain too much, but he's had a lot of pain in his right quad off and on for the last few months," McHale said. "Kevin doesn't like to miss games, but he just felt, at this point, after talking to [agent Andy Miller] that it was just better to get this thing looked at right now."
Garnett's agent Andy Miller said the decision to have KG sit out had "nothing to do with the draft pick.""His body is obviously very sore," Miller said. "Sore beyond normal wear and tear at this point of the season. It's definitely affecting his ability to be explosive.""I can promise you that is not the case," owner Glen Taylor said when asked if Garnett was shelved to help their lottery chances. "I did not shut him down."According to Miller, the player is scheduled to seek a second opinion in Los Angeles today or tomorrow. McHale says that KG will miss at least one more game and will wait for word from the doctors before deciding whether to return for the final three games of the season.
Wolves 88, Mavericks 105
From Tim Leighton/Pioneer Press:Life without Kevin Garnett began on a promising note for the Timberwolves on Wednesday night. His replacement, rookie Craig Smith, made his first NBA start and produced nine points and an assist in the first quarter.
The good vibes were short-lived, however, because even life with Garnett, who is out indefinitely with a quad injury, had deteriorated to mopping up a miserable season with a rotation of deep reserves auditioning for the future.
While new Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith was in attendance last night, the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki and Jerry Stackhouse were not.
Team Record: 32-46Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune recapAP RecapBox Score"This is a situation we talked about throughout the year,'' Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "This is a way for us to find our identity a little bit with (Garnett) out of the game. We will have to get better at that, whether it is these last games or next year. That is a point of ours that we have struggled with him off the floor.''
Garnett out indefinitely
Let the tanking begin...
From ESPN.com:Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett is out indefinitely with an injured right quadriceps.
Vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said Wednesday night that the injury has bothered the former MVP for months, and Garnett and his agent decided it was time to shut it down and seek a second opinion.
McHale said Garnett will visit doctors in the next day or two and will miss at least two of the team's five remaining games. They will wait to see what the doctors say before Garnett decides if he will return at all this season. "After talking with Mac and our medical staff, I realized that it's in my best interest to put my body first," Garnett said in a statement issued by the team. "I need to take this matter more seriously than I have been. I want to make sure that I correct this for the future, so that it is not an ongoing problem."
Mad Dog on KG and Steve Nash
Mad Dog has a post on the team's site
about why he thinks Garnett and Nash are such great players. He describes Garnett as "one of the few who does it all on the court and off the court is the type of person that you would always want as a teammate." Madsen shares a story about the two players as told to him by KG:It’s a blowout loss for the Mavericks in Dallas and Steve Nash is being booed for mistakes against the Timberwolves. “They’ll miss you one day,” Kevin Garnett tells Steve on the court, “…Keep your head…don’t listen to all of that.” Then a few years later as a member of the Phoenix Suns, Nash told KG that he would never forget what Kevin said to him back in Dallas that time and he thanked him for saying the positive word. Kevin responded by saying “you’ll turn around and help someone else in a tough time.”
Mad Dog also mentions that, while still in high school, he failed to take advantage of his connections to Nash in order to get the girl:
I was trying to date a girl at my high school whose brother was one of Steve’s teammates that I had played with the year before. I guess I had the inside track but never managed to hang out that long with Steve that time.
Wolves Updates 4/11
Randy Foye on the news that the team was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention:
"We should have reflected from Day 1. There ain't no time to look back."
John Hollinger/The New York Sun on how "the remarkable feature of this season hasn't been the folks who lost their jobs, but the guys who have kept them," including Kevin McHale. Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune
writes on Coach Wittman's view of Randy Foye, Craig Smith, and Rashad McCants.
A preview of tonight's game against the Mavericks
who will be sans Dirk Nowitzki
and Jerry Stackhouse.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:The Wolves are in jeopardy of extending their home losing streak to six games, which would be their longest since they began the 1994-95 season 0-10 at home.Stephen Litel/City Pages Sports blog
on the loss to the Raptors.
A sportswriter at UConn's paper
wonders "how much more losing Garnett can take."
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:The Timberwolves are now officially out of the Western Conference playoff race. The reason? Golden State's victory over Utah late Monday pushed the Warriors' percentage points ahead of the L.A. Clippers for the conference's eighth and final playoff spot. And that mathematically eliminated Minnesota from postseason contention. Golden State has 38 victories this season, while the best record the Wolves could finish with is 37-45.Now, fans can focus on whether the Wolves will keep their No. 1 draft choice...
Garnett: They say they know what they're doing here
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Wittman and Garnett discussed the forward's playing time and the coach's desire to play Smith, McCants and Foye more down the stretch, which requires a delicate balance because Garnett is competitive and averse to having his playing time reduced...
"I don't prepare every season to play 76, 70 games," Garnett said after Monday morning's shootaround. "If they want me to do that (play reduced minutes), then they'll have to come and ask me that themselves. But whenever I prepare, it's for 48-plus minutes. Nothing more. Nothing less than that. If they want to play the young guys and sit us (veterans) down, then so be it, but tell me that ahead of time and be up front about it."
Garnett believes that those young players would benefit more from having him on the court with them.
"If anything, young guys are going to get better when they play with you versus without you, but hey, they say they know what they're doing here"
Wolves Updates 4/10
From Steve Aschburner & Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune: If Kevin McHale wants to continue as the Timberwolves' vice president of basketball operations, it sounds as if team owner Glen Taylor will welcome him back.That's how the arrangement has gone for years, and a third consecutive season missing the playoffs apparently won't change it. Taylor said Monday that he and McHale won't formally discuss the coming offseason, and the Wolves' plans and personnel for 2007-08, until after this season ends April 18. "It's my assumption that he will be back," Taylor said. "But you know Kevin. That's something we'll talk about."
From Britt Robson/On The Ball:Bottom line, Blount is untradeable but this squad cannot go another season without securing a reasonably good banger, whether or not KG stays. Hassell could fetch a decent player in return, and probably should go, unless Jaric is more highly valued. Finally, a decision has to be made on whether Randy Foye is this franchise's point guard of the future or not.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:Mike James had the best season of his career in 2005-06 for the Raptors, but since then he has had what he calls perhaps his most disappointing season. The change in styles of play has taken a toll...
"Here, I'm mostly a spot-up guy, where the ball basically goes in (the post) and we play off (Kevin Garnett), which there ain't nothing wrong with. But I at least had the ball a few times in my hands (in Toronto), so I can create and make plays, not just for myself but for others."Garnett on some of the team's younger players:"Randy getting better with his mid-range game, Craig getting better on the post, Rashad's perimeter and post games," said the Big Ticket. "I think Randy can even post. I think that's the next aspect of his game that he can improve. It's up to them what kind of players they want to be."John Denton/Florida Today
on Garnett and other NBA stars who will missing the playoffs this year.
for a q&a with Wolves dancer Stacey.
From Desmond Conner/Hartford Courant:The Timberwolves should go do their thing, but let K.G. go a year early so he can do his.
Wolves 100, Raptors 111
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:Yet another fourth-quarter meltdown meant the Wolves' tragic number is one. A loss by the Wolves or a victory by the Los Angeles Clippers will finish any playoff hopes and officially focus everyone's attention on next year.Not that the Wolves aren't already going in that direction. Once again, coach Randy Witt- man gave big minutes to his young players. And the Raptors handed those young players, particularly rookie Randy Foye, yet another lesson.
Team record: 32-45Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press recapAP RecapBox ScorePostgame quotes
Wolves Updates 4/9
From Britt Robson/On The Ball:...the unspoken goals in the remaining games are not to degrade yourself and the game by tanking, not to ruin your short-term chance at a quality collegian by winning, and to feel good about the way you are building for the future. That's a convoluted, occasionally contradictory trifecta, especially for this team, whose better pieces to place around the superstar are kids.
From Stephen Litel/City Pages Sports blog:So, when I entered the locker room before the game and saw how a majority of the players were motivated to achieve victory on this night, it was tough to not want the win. Mark Blount, Mike James, Craig Smith, Justin Reed, Marko Jaric, and Bracey Wright were discussing the playoff race when Wright asked me how far out they were. When I answered, Blount then asked if they were mathematically out of the race and when I informed them that they were not, although they are incredibly close to it, Mike James chipped in with "Man, we gotta get this one."
From Sid Hartman:Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said plans are already being made for next year with Kevin McHale, Jim Stack, Fred Hoiberg and Rob Babcock completing their scouting of the NCAA tournaments. This past weekend they were all at Portsmouth, Va., where a number of the draft-eligible players took part in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. Taylor made it very clear Saturday night that McHale wants to come back for next season, and Taylor didn't say he would stop that from happening.
From the Star Tribune:The Timberwolves are not officially eliminated from the playoff race, but they are a real long shot.
A preview of tonight's game against the Raptors.
From The Associated Press:With 12 points on Friday night against New York, Garnett raised his career point total to 19,011. That makes him just one of five players in NBA history to amass at least 19,000 points, 10,000 rebounds (10,520) and 4,000 assists (4,136) in his career. Others on the list include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain and Charles Barkley.
Wolves Updates 4/8
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:Establishing a home-court advantage is one of the keys to success in the NBA. The Timberwolves are in serious jeopardy of finishing with their worst home winning percentage since 1995-96.
Stephon Marbury said he wants to play with Garnett again, but not in Minnesota:"I just wouldn't want to go back there," Marbury said yesterday morning's shoot-around. "I wouldn't want to live in Minnesota again. If he came to New York, that would be great. I would love for him to play in New York. I'd love to play with Kevin again."Mark Blount talks
about growing up in Yonkers:"I was a high school kid. What did I know?" Blount said. "You think people are there for you, and you have to learn to make better decisions for yourself. You just have to stay with it. No one says life's going to be perfect. I made a lot of mistakes, and maybe they were supposed to be made so I won't make them now."Coach Wittman on Randy Foye's development:"As a rookie, it's a big adjustment," Wittman said. "I think he's handled it pretty well. We've thrown in a lot of difficult situations. He's started some; we've brought him off the bench. For a rookie to come in, he's learned a lot and proven that he's got a bright future."
Foye, MVP of last year's Las Vegas Summer League
, on whether he'd play this year:I know I don't have to play. But I wouldn't not play just because of that. If they thought it would be good for me or help the team, I think I'd play.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press: Word is the Timberwolves and interim coach Randy Wittman are working on a new three-year head coaching deal.
From Hoopsworld's NBA Rumor Mill:
A highly placed Timberwolves source said they expected Kevin McHale to return next year, and that Randy Wittman was also a strong candidate to return as head coach. It was also said the team is far more likely to make aggressive trades to bring in veterans to surround Kevin Garnett than to trade him...
FSN North decided to add a "K.G. Cam" to their broadcast of last night's loss. For those who didn't see it, Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
provides a description:In addition to a shot of the game, there was a separate smaller picture focused on Garnett throughout the game, including when he was resting on the bench...
Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune points out that yesterday's game may not have been the "best time" for the gimmick because Garnett's double-figure scoring streak almost ended and the player logged only 31 minutes of playing time.
Garnett said he didn't know about camera until after the game:
"They said it's to show my emotion or how I am in the game, or my hard work, I don't know," Garnett said. "I don't do too much work on the bench when I'm sitting down. All my work is in the games."
Wolves 94, Hornets 96
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune: A lot of what happened in Saturday's 96-94 loss to the Hornets at Target Center looked very familiar...
But there was something new.
Wittman and the Wolves have clearly made a decision that it behooves the team to be playing the young players a lot down the stretch. Rookies Randy Foye and Craig Smith and second-year player Rashad McCants have been playing bigger minutes, and have been playing a lot together.Timberwolves site game blogAP RecapBox Score
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:The eighth-longest double-figure scoring streak in NBA history almost came to an end Saturday. Garnett has scored at least 10 points in 397 consecutive games. But he didn't extend the streak until there were just 18.2 seconds remaining...
Wolves Updates 4/7
Garnett on whether he could ever see himself playing for another team:
No. Not at this point, but who knows?
From Chris Sheridan/ESPN:
...after speaking to KG and those around him, I came away a little more convinced that we may never hear him declare "I want out."
Sheridan asks Garnett if 30 is too early for him to
"have started building a legacy":"I don't know. It's all about how you leave the game and how people assess your play and your career, and if you made any impact on the game," Garnett said. "One day I think you guys will do that, but I don't think today is that day."
From Marc Stein/ESPN:The consistent word you hear in GM circles these days is that the Wolves are going to strongly consider trading KG for the first time this summer... However ...If you give the interview a good read, it seems rather clear that Garnett, as ever, doesn't want to leave his beloved 'Sota unless he's absolutely, positively exhausted every last shred of hope. The Wolves, meanwhile, are clinging (at least for the moment) to their long-held policy of not shopping Garnett unless he asks to be shopped, according to NBA front-office sources.Stein
also talks to Mad Dog about Garnett and the team.
From Marc Berman/The New York Post:
At the trading deadline, the Knicks inquired about Garnett, who remained noncommittal on his Timberwolves' future this week. The Knicks again will come knocking this summer, offering up a package starting with Channing Frye.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
The Wolves' Ricky Davis will host Easter dinner Sunday night for 25 children and their families at the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis. It's an idea he initiated on his own, aside from required promotional appearances with the team.
Davis is one of the team's most active players in the community, which goes against his reputation in some circles as a flashy, me-first showboat...
A preview of tonight's game against the Hornets.
Wolves 99, Knicks 94
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:Randy Foye made five three-pointers and scored 19 points to lead the Wolves, who dominated the first half and hung on to beat the Knicks, escaping with a 99-94 victory, their second consecutive road win against an Eastern Conference team fighting for playoff position. The Wolves defeated Orlando 105-104 in overtime Sunday.
Team record: 32-43Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune recapAP RecapBox Score"I mean it's the microcosm of our season,'' coach Randy Wittman said. "I thought the first half was as good a half offensively that we've played all year, bar none, not even close. And then we come out 18 up and we reverted, one pass, shot, which has been our thing. All of a sudden 18 is down.''
Wolves Updates 4/6
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas on Garnett:"I've always had great respect for Kevin," Thomas said. "He's a throw-back kind of guy because he's a guy who has really taken responsibility of wanting to do it for the team he plays for. He's not looking to hitch his ride to a championship. He wants to do it on his own, and there have been a lot of great players who have tried to hitch their rides to get one and haven't been successful at it.
"So, you've got to admire his loyalty to his teammates and the organization, and he always leaves it up to the organization to make the decision, rather than him making the decision."
From Sid Hartman:Even if the Wolves finish with one of the NBA's 10 worst records, they still could end up giving the Clippers their No. 1 draft choice stemming from the Marko Jaric-Cassell deal. It's not where they finish in the league, but where they end up picking that matters. If a team jumps ahead of them in the draft lottery and the Wolves end up picking 11th or lower, they forfeit the pick. If they draft 10th or higher, they keep the pick.
The above picture of Trenton Hassell, owner Glen Taylor, and KG is from the recent Taste of the Timberwolves event.
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:Trenton Hassell didn't want to talk Thursday, but he spent his time during practice speaking volumes. He worked hard, ran hard, tried hard to show coach Randy Wittman that he's still in the game, mentally, even if he's out of the starting lineup.This is exactly what Wittman is hoping to see.
From Dan Barreiro/KFAN:TV ratings from Tuesday night: Twins (with Boof Bonser pitching), 11.9; Wild (with playoffs already clinched), 2.5, Wolves (with LeBron James in the house), .2.Not 2.0. Two-tenths of a point.
Judd Zulgad/Star Tribune
reports on the overall tv ratings for the Wolves and other local sports teams. He also mentions the following:"NBA Access" with Ahmad Rashad will focus its entire half-hour show on Wolves forward Kevin Garnett at noon Saturday on KSTP (Ch. 5).
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:Asked if all-star Kevin Garnett might be mentally tired, Wittman said: "We're all a little mentally tired with where we're at. He is, too."
A preview of tonight's game at the Knicks.
Wolves Updates 4/5
John Denton/Florida Today
describes Orlando's Dwight Howard as "part heartbroken, part frustrated, and part realistic" about Garnett's recent critique of the young player. One of the comments Garnett made was that Howard "has to do his homework to evolve his game."
From Dave Campbell/AP Sports:Wittman was asked whether the opportunity has arrived to start Smith, Foye and second-year guard Rashad McCants, but he pointed out that the young trio of recent draft picks has already been receiving significant playing time. Wittman also stressed that he prefers Smith and Foye in reserve roles to avoid negatively altering their rhythm.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
:The Timberwolves will have a full staff at the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational today, evaluating prospects in preparation for the NBA draft June 28.
From Steve Aschburner/Star Tribune: Everybody's evaluating everybody.
That li'l kernel of homespun Tennessee wisdom came courtesy of Timberwolves guard Trenton Hassell after practice Wednesday. He tossed it off with a shrug to describe the state of affairs within the team, the locker room and the organization. And simple as it sounds, it is the mode into which the Wolves have thrust themselves.Dime
is putting out a Chinese translation of the magazine and the inaugural issue features Garnett on the cover.Charles Hallman/Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder
on Spike Lee being the featured speaker at the Target Center before Saturday's game:Bringing in Lee — a writer-director, actor, producer, author and philanthropist — serves a two-fold purpose: It makes African-American Night the most successful ethnic-themed night in franchise history, and it attempts a reconnection with the local Black community.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press: Pssst: The Gophers missed out on hiring Flip Saunders because of a timing issue with the NBA playoffs, but don't think the Detroit Pistons coach couldn't be enticed to return to the Timberwolves if he were given dual responsibilities of coach and general manager.
From Dan Barreiro/KFAN:By the way, Garnett continues his curious transition to chippy, full-fledged drama queen. It doesn't get talked about much, but watch closely: Nobody acts more aggrieved or victimized when an opposing player happens to take a hard _ but legitimate _ foul on him. No star on a mediocre team jabbers more incessantly than Garnett...
Marc Stein interview with Garnett
Marc Stein /ESPN
has a great interview with Garnett in which he asks the player about the team having another losing season, the Wolves being convinced that Iverson was coming to Minnesota, and his reaction to people like Charley Barkley and Reggie Miller saying he needs to ask for a trade:I was telling some friends the other day, my analogy is a house. I've helped build a house or I've built a house [in Minneapolis]. It had old wood in it and I replaced it with special wood and it became a beautiful place. But now because things aren't working right, now you ask me to move out of something that I helped build. That's hard...
On being asked about the local sentiment that "the end is near for the Kevin Garnett era in Minnesota," KG says that he's going to finish the season off "110 percent" and then "assess" what he's going to do.
Stein also asks KG if he thinks the team will make "major changes" even if it doesn't trade the player:There's got to be. F--- yeah. I think [head coach] Randy Wittman would echo that, so it's not just me.