I Heart KG
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/30The Timberwolves site on Al Jefferson and Randy Wittman hosting kids from the Minneapolis Waite House:
The 58 kids and two Waite House staff members in attendance at Wednesday's lunch-in at NBA City and shopping spree in the Target Center's media room were on a school bus when the I35W bridge collapsed...
Jefferson on why he decided to help out:
"Being a young guy, I was real shocked when (the trade) happened," Jefferson said Wednesday. "So I got through that. I got here and I realized this was the best situation for me.
"Then (the bridge collapse) happened and it was just like, 'Wow.' So it was a strange time for me. Then we had to come back and redo the press conference a week later. It was just bad for me. A lot of things were happening in a short period of time. So I knew I had to do something then."
WCCO has video of the event. Other players donated money to benefit the kids and there are also plans to them shopping for winter clothes.
Ted Silary/Philadelphia Daily News on Eddie Griffin's funeral.
From Matt Steinmetz/Examiner.com:
It will be a long season in Minneapolis. It is unrealistic to expect Minnesota will lose Kevin Garnett and get better. Ricky Davis, Al Jefferson and Mark Blount? That’s not good enough.
The Nuggets waived former Timberwolves player Anthony Carter.
Wolves assistant to SacramentoFrom the Sacramento Kings website:
The The Sacramento Kings today added Rex Kalamian to their coaching staff as an assistant coach, it was announced by Kings' President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.
"Rex brings a lot of experience to the job," said Petrie. "Reggie intervied a lot of people and felt he would be the best fit for the remaining vacancy on his staff. We all look forward to working with him and the contribution he can make."
Kalamian, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves, enters his first season with the Kings and 15th year overall in the NBA. He served as an assistant coach for player development for the Denver Nuggets in 2004-05.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Mark Cuban on KGFrom Mike Fisher/Dallas Blog:
“We went after KG hard. But – and maybe I shouldn’t say this – dealing with Minnesota was very tough. They didn’t want to trade him but they knew they had to. I guess we’ve been on the other side of that, with guys we had to trade that we didn’t want to trade. ...
“We thought we were very close on Draft Day. We were waiting for the phone to ring, we were waiting on a call from Minnesota. It was that close. But it never turned out that way. Our goal was to try to make a deal that wouldn’t hurt our roster as it was. You don’t want to go out there with Dirk and KG and three guys named Moe. You’ve got to have a team. We tried, but in the end, we didn’t offer as good a deal as Boston."
Miami turns down "overtures" from T-HudFrom Barry Jackson/Miami Herald:
The Heat declined overtures from point guard Troy Hudson, a proven scorer.
Wolves Updates 8/29Al Jefferson and Coach Wittman are hosting lunch and providing school supplies for the kids from the Waite House, the program whose kids and staff were on the school bus on the I-35W bridge when it collapsed.
Kare 11 has video of Corey Brewer and Chris Richard at the Minnesota State Fair.
From Mike Max/WCCO:
The recently-acquired Wolves player, Al Jefferson has moved to the Twin Cities and is working out with coaches daily.
And did you know first round pick Cory Brewer was offered a scholarship by every SEC team coming out of high school but one? The only one not to offer him one was Kentucky, who then head coach Tubby Smith told Brewer he was not big enough.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site talks to Randy Foye about his offseason. On Brewer looking to him for leadership during the summer league, Foye said:
I've played against Corey before, and he knows that I'm quiet and humble, but I'm an assassin. I'm not the rowdy type that needs to tell everyone what I'm doing. I'm not the type to dunk and look in the crowd; if I dunk, I'll look at my teammates and say, "Good pass." I'm not playing for the crowd, I'm playing for my teammates. Hopefully the younger guys around me see how I act in that leadership role and can do the same thing.
Click here for info on the league's "official secondary ticketing partner" for the October preseason game between the Wolves and the Celtics.
Hassell and Hudson attend Griffin's funeralAlong with Garnett, Troy Hudson and Trenton Hassell attended Eddie Griffin's funeral in Philadelphia.
Mike Jensen/Philadelphia Inquirer on the service for the player.
Gilbert Arenas on Griffin's death:
I heard about Eddie Griffin. Oh man. I didn’t know him personally, but for a guy who was in my draft, you just have to hope he rests in peace and give condolences to his family. When I found out I was like, “What?! Oh my God!” When I called other players it was all the same, everybody was going crazy and just like, “Damn. How’d he get hit by a train?”
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Aschburner gives the team a "C-"Steve Aschburner/SI.com grades the teams in the Northwest Division and gives the Wolves a C-.
Griffin's funeralSI.com on Eddie Griffin's funeral:
Kevin Garnett, his former Timberwolves teammate, former Seton Hall coach Tommy Amaker and former NBA coach John Lucas were among the 200 friends, players and family members who attended the service at First African Baptist Church.
Griffin's sister, Marian Middleton, told the crowd to ignore stories that portrayed Griffin as troubled or spoiled, and that indicated there was anything suspicious about his death. Middleton said Griffin was excited about spending upcoming birthdays with his nieces and nephews and would never waste those opportunities because he loved his family.
"Everything you read, throw it in the trash, like he was so unhappy and it was all planned," she said.
Updates Part IIFrom Britt Robson/On The Ball:
Anyone scanning Minnesota's roster will notice a void of veteran leadership, at a time when the post-KG wake promises to wash up all kinds of pecking order disputes, even as Randy Wittman implements the hard-ass discipline that has been the most frequent justification made for his rehiring. Bottom line, the Wolves need Howard's level head and mitigating demeanor, especially with clubhouse balm Mark Madsen waylaid by a watercraft incident. Too bad for Juwon, who isn't getting any younger and wants a shot at a ring-- or at least a chance to believe his role as lead babysitter will lead to tangible rewards before he retires.
Ryan Gomes "led his team to victory" in the 15th Annual Osgood Shootout.
On the NBA Live Summer Camp in Canada on Wednesday:
Along with Arenas, NBA stars Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics), Josh Howard (Dallas Mavericks), Monta Ellis (Golden State Warriors), Shawn Marion (Phoenix Suns) and Randy Foye (Minnesota Timberwolves) will be on hand to have their go-to moves authentically represented in NBA LIVE through motion capture.
Wolves assistant Rex Kalamian is one of the coaches for the NBA Korea Development camp.
Wolves Updates 8/28Click here to watch Corey Brewer and Fred Hoiberg golfing with WCCO's Mark Rosen and hear the rookie talk briefly about his love for golf.
KFAN's Sludge and Lake talk to Brewer and Chris Richard at the Minnesota State Fair. Click here to listen.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site chats with assistant GM Rob Babcock about the Fiba America's Tournament.
Ryan/Hoops Addict interviews Ballhype's Jason Gurney about the site.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/27From the Tatum Cadmus Blog, Chris Rock on the Garnett trade:
"It's like Dick Cheney and Halliburton,” Rock said. “It makes no sense (for the T'Wolves)…I almost expect to see Kevin McHale announced as the new coach of the Celtics.”
Shoals/Fanhouse- "There's a Logjam Up in Minny"
Click here for info on the 25th Anniversary of the song 'NBA Rap'
John Lucas on Eddie Griffin:
"He'd give you the shirt off his back," said John Lucas, the former NBA player and coach who has turned to counseling troubled athletes. "I had two friends put out of their house. Ed took them in. They slept on his sofa. He put blankets on them. A lot of ways, he was selfless to a fault."
From Shira Springer/The Boston Globe:
"When he gets back onto the court for a drill, the intensity level goes up about five notches," said former Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey of Garnett. "If a guy's slacking off, he'll tell a guy, but he leads by example. He'll embarrass guys. He's always the first one to dive on the floor.
"He can't stand young guys not giving their all and working as hard as he does. If a guy matches his intensity in practice, he'll love that."
Ben Bolch/LA Times on O.J. Mayo:
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard has also displayed his considerable skills in pickup games throughout the Southland against an impressive array of NBA players, including Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Jason Kidd, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Sam Cassell and J.J. Redick.
Maurice Draine/Hibbing Daily News on the new Celtics
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/26Eddie Griffin's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.
Jerome Solomn/Houston Chronicle and Larry Mcshane/AP on Griffin's path to the NBA.
Agent Bill Neff said he's been in contact with the Heat about guard Troy Hudson. The 10-year veteran played 34 games last season with Minnesota.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
The Timberwolves report that they have heard from fewer than 30 season-ticket holders who said they would drop their seats because of the trade of Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. The Wolves are trying to get them to reconsider.
Glen Taylor, who has vowed to become a hands-on owner of his Timberwolves this season, plans to accompany the team to training camp in Turkey and Great Britain this fall.
Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld- The Case For Starting Corey Brewer.
Bullets Forever lists Juwan Howard as the 15th best Bullets/Wizards player of all time.
HoopsAddict with "Celebrity-NBA Namealikes- The Musical."
UCLA's Kevin Love on playing against Garnett in pickup games.
Reggie Miller on why he's not making a comeback:
"Um . . . I don't know. I don't know. I've been wrestling with this all day. I'm sure I'll keep wrestling with it. I know I could have done it. And it would have been fun to play with KG (Kevin Garnett). It was hard telling him I wasn't going to do it. I don't know if Boston can win a championship, but I think they're going to be one of the best teams in the East, and they'll definitely have a chance to go a long way.''
Friday, August 24, 2007
Updates Part IIBattle of the Bloggers No. 2 is up at Timberwolves.com.
From Dime Magazine:
The Wolves are going to try and grant Juwan Howard’s trade request. You know it’s a very real possibility that Juwan, C-Webb and Jalen could all end up on the same team? That’d be a perfect way for them to go out.
From My Fox Houston:
Former Houston Rockets star Calvin Murphy was trying to get ex-Rocket Eddie Griffin ready for an NBA comeback in recent weeks. Murphy now says he sensed something was wrong before the 25-year-old Griffin was killed when he drove around a train guard and crashed into a moving train last Friday...
Eddie Griffin's attorney on the player:
"I think it's always hard with anybody who has an alcohol problem, to tell if they turned the corner," Hollingsworth said. "But Eddie appeared to be in good shape, he was coherent, he made all of his appointments with me. Those are things that people who've turned the corner do.
"At the same time, when someone is suffering from alcoholism, it's always hard to tell what's going on in the dark hours of the night," he said.
Wolves Updates 8/24From Judd Zulgad/Star Tribune:
The Timberwolves have reached a multiyear agreement with MNN to continue serving as distributor for the 30-plus-station radio network.
John Lucas talks about Eddie Griffin.
From Sid Hartman:
This is the story of the two Leiweke brothers, Tim and Tod, who respectively played a big part in getting the expansion Timberwolves and Wild started and now have two of the biggest jobs in professional sports...
From Greg Lee/Boston Globe:
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett has been playing pickup ball against current and former NBA players, Los Angeles standouts and college players at UCLA this week. Word is Garnett's team did not lose one game on Wednesday. Several attendees raved about how he dominated easily. On one play, he caught an offensive rebound on the block and jumped and dunked without taking a step.
From Bill Ingram/Hoopsworld:
It appears the San Antonio Spurs are on the verge of signing Troy Hudson, representing their last move of the 2007 offseason. The team had just one roster spot left open after signing Ime Udoka and waiving Vassilis Spanoulis last week, and it seems the Spurs had their sights set on Hudson before he was even waived by the Timberwolves. They were looking for one more back-up point guard, and for whatever reason Hudson fits the bill.
Thanks to Natalie/Need4Sheed for posting the video of Mad Dog dancing during the Lakers championship celebration.
From Charlie Walters/Pioneer Press:
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who repeatedly tried to assist troubled Eddie Griffin, on the ex-Wolf's tragic death at age 25: "You see the potential and you want to help, and you feel so helpless."
From The Star Tribune:
The Seattle SuperSonics added former Timberwolves guard Scott Brooks, Mark Bryant and Ralph Lewis to the coaching staff of P.J. Carlesimo. Brooks, 42, was an assistant coach for Sacramento last season.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Updates Part IIFrom PRWeb.com:
During the 1995 NBA Draft Kevin Garnett became the first player since Moses Malone in 1974 to jump from high school to the pros. He was the 5th pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves. KG now wears the No. 5 for the Boston Celtics.
Kevin Garnett wore the No. 21 for 12 seasons for Minnesota. The numbers 21+12=33. Larry Bird wore the No. 33 for the Boston Celtics. KG and Bird are the only 2 players in NBA history to average 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists for 5 straight seasons.
KG will wear the No. 5 for Boston. His No. 21 in Minnesota minus his No. 5 in Boston comes to 16. 16 is the number of NBA Championships won by the Celtics an NBA record. In 1986 Bill Walton wore the same No. 5 for Boston. The Celtics won their last NBA Championship in 1986 21 years ago. KG wore the No. 21 for Minnesota.
From Scott Stump/NJ.Digitalsports.com:
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Randy Foye, a new Rumson resident, has been working out at Rumson-Fair Haven this summer and helping some of the Bulldogs' players, particularly junior guard Matt Blumel, improve during the process.
From Ted Silary/Philadelphia Daily News:
Though thirdhand, information provided yesterday by one of Griffin's Houston-based lawyers, Derek Hollingsworth, also appears to indicate the crash was accidental.
Hollingsworth said he spoke Tuesday with Queen, Eddie's mother. In turn, he said, she'd received info from the mother of Eddie's daughter.
"Queen indicated the word from Jessica was that she was on the cell phone with Eddie shortly before the time he crashed," Hollingsworth said. "He said he was trying to get home, but was lost. The phone then went dead."
Phil Sheridan/Philadelphia Inquirer on Griffin.
Flea on the Garnett trade (via the Basketball Jones).
Wolves Updates 8/23From Garnett Tribute, a great video of highlights from KG's career thus far.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
After receiving what was described as a dignified trade request from Juwan Howard, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said he will try to accommodate the power forward, who was acquired in June as part of a three-team deal. Howard initially made the request to Wolves vice president Kevin McHale.
The Wolves are talking to three teams about potential trades in an attempt to deal players with longer-term contracts. But because of contract complexities, a deal could take until training camp in October.
Also from Walters:
With Mark Madsen sidelined after shoulder surgery, look for the Wolves to sign second-round draft pick Chris Richard to a guaranteed contract soon rather than wait and see how he performs in training camp...
Click here for info on Ricky Davis's official YouTube channel.
Meet the new Timberwolves Dance Team. No sign of my favorite, Ginger, but hopefully she's involved in some capacity.
Chris Sheridan/ESPN on Saturday's scrimmage between the national team and Al Jefferson and the select team.
McHale and Griffin's agent on the playerSteve Aschburner/SI.com with a detailed history of Eddie Griffin's stint with the Wolves.
From Roman Augostovic/Star Tribune:
Eddie Griffin was starting to drink again before the Timberwolves waived him March 13, Kevin McHale said during a conference call Wednesday.
At that time the troubled 6-10 forward needed help best available at a rehabilitation center near his home in Houston, said the Wolves vice president of basketball operations. "He was cycling down into a bad, bad spot," McHale said. "In one of the last conversations I had with Eddie, he said, 'I got to go. It's unhealthy for me here.' "
Click here for excerpts from Wednesday's press conference.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
A civil suit filed against Griffin stemming from a March 2006 car crash in Minneapolis remains pending, and Griffin's camp is still involved in arbitration with the Wolves regarding the final season of his contract, Wernick said.
From Howard Beck/New York Times:
Wary of restarting his career under the N.B.A. microscope, Griffin had asked his agent, Jeff Wernick, to find him an opportunity overseas. Wernick had an offer from a Serbian team but never got the chance to present it to him.
Wernick spoke with Griffin last week and said he “was in good spirits, looking forward to trying to reestablish himself.” Griffin leaves a 3-year-old daughter, Amaree, who lives in Houston with her mother.
Contrary to Griffin’s public image, Wernick described him as warm and caring — “a very misunderstood and complex person” who never got over the death of his older brother in 2001.
Moroni at Canis Hoopus and Jon Krawczynski/AP Sports on the player's death.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Agent doesn't expect T-Hud to sign with SpursFrom WOAI.com:
That is true, the Spurs had Hudson here last week, but his agent told News 4, Tuesday, that he does not expect Hudson to sign with the Spurs. Hudson is looking to play a lot and that won't happen with Tony Parker here. He said it was not an ideal situation for either side.
More on Eddie GriffinFrom Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo Sports:
From someone who knew him well Tuesday night, his was a belief there was a "strong possibility" that this was exactly how poor, tortured Eddie Griffin chose to end it all.
From J.A. Adande/ESPN:
But what we do know of Griffin is this: The stream of incidents, arrests and unsuccessful stints in rehabilitation centers allows us to list him as Exhibit A in the argument that just because you can enter the NBA, that doesn't mean you should.
Henry at True Hoop wonders "who's to blame for the sad misdirection of Eddie Griffin?" Henry also talks to Michael Ray Richardson about the player.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Dennis Seddon, Roman's coach, said of Griffin: "This is so sad. I'm really hurting right now . . . If you're trying to play Monday morning quarterback, you'd probably say Eddie's story was too much too soon with too little guidance" in later years.
From NY Daily News:
"It's just terrible," said Nets president Rod Thorn, who drafted Griffin for the Rockets in a deal arranged with Houston GM Carroll Dawson before the 2001 draft. "Eddie obviously had a lot of talent and should have had a tremendous NBA career. He could have had an outstanding career. He was a tremendous shot-blocker. But, obviously, there were things that he could never get control of. You really never knew what was going on in his mind. It's just a very unfortunate thing."
Sam Rubenstein/SLAM Online on the player's death.
Bill Ingram/Hoopsworld on Griffin.
"Milwaukee's Best" repossessedFrom Rick Romell/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Former professional basketball star Latrell Sprewell, who three years ago rejected a $21 million contract offer, calling it insulting and saying he had a family to feed, had his 70-foot, $1.5 million, Italian-built yacht repossessed Tuesday.
Armed with an order from U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Callahan Jr., a federal marshal seized the vessel in Manitowoc, where it sat in storage.
Callahan is presiding in a court case filed by a New York bank that claims the yacht's owner, a company run by Sprewell, has defaulted on a mortgage loan...
On Eddie GriffinDon Shelby/WCCO with a (video) report of the crash.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Griffin was living with his girlfriend and daughter in Houston, Lucas said. Lucas had heard that Griffin had begun to work out in hopes of playing basketball again, perhaps in Europe.
From Britt Robson/On The Ball:
Despite all the stupid, wrong-headed things Griffin did to sabotage his basketball career, not to mention his life, over and over again, I never heard one of his teammates or basketball bosses speak of him in anger, only sadness and concern, or, when he was really going well a couple years back, guarded optimism and a sense of quiet but fierce protection.
Jonathan Feigen/Houston Chronicle comments on Griffin's death.
Click here for Kevin McHale's statement.
Mark Madsen and Trenton Hassell talk about the player.
Dwane Casey on Griffin:
"Everybody tried to help him from the top to the bottom of the organization," said Casey, who coached Griffin for 1 1/2 seasons. "He just couldn't get it straight. It's a tragic ending for a beautiful kid. He had a beautiful heart."
A Philadelphia high school coach on Griffin:
"He was one of the best to ever play in Philadelphia. I'd have to put him up there with the great players in high school basketball history. But he got into so many things. Something had to be wrong for him to do what he did. I feel sorry for his family."
Shoals/Free Darko on the player:
Len Bias is a tragedy because of what he could've been; Griffin, on the other hand, was doomed from the beginning. In some ways, he might as well have never been an NBA player. His demons were going to run him down sooner or later, and that wondrous game of his? In the end, it existed only to remind us all how little it actually mattered.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Eddie Griffin dies in crashFrom Lindsay Wise/Houston Chronicle:
The Harris County Medical Examiner's office has identified former Rockets power forward Eddie Griffin as the man who died when the SUV he was driving plowed into a moving train in southeast Houston last week.
Officials said Griffin, 25, drove his SUV through a railroad crossing barrier, past flashing warning lights and into a moving train in the 5300 block of Lawndale about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 17.
Griffin's vehicle burst into flames on impact, burning his body so badly that investigators had to use dental records to confirm his identity Tuesday.
Chris Duncan/AP sports also has an article on the accident.
Update: Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld on Griffin's death.
My thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.
Craig Smith interviewMike Trudell/Timberwolves site talks to Craig Smith about the dance team auditions, pilates, and his new teammates.
Wolves Updates 8/21Steve at Taking It To The Rack hosts Crashing the Party, Carnival of the NBA #48.
From CelticsBlog, a note from ESPN The Magazine:
Trading Kevin Garnett and his monster contract should have at least earned some financial freedom for the Wolves. But no. Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes, the two key pieces in the swap, will be restricted free agents next summer and VP Kevin McHale had better keep them if he hopes to salvage any face. That gives both players huge leverage. "It's a killer," says a rival GM.
Agence France Press on the league's new London office:
It is planning to run several events in the coming months, the first one dubbed "NBA Madness", set for the first week of September in southeast London's O2 Arena -- the site of an October 28 pre-season game between Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves, a game which Goldschmidt said sold out before marketing even got under way.
"We were very pleasantly surprised ourselves, and that really underlined the potential of even the popularity that's already here that people aren't aware of," she said.
From Dime Magazine:
So what makes guys like Damon and Juwan Howard and Marko Jaric feel like they should be publicly calling for trades? It’s a little different with someone like KG (who never actually said he wanted to leave Minnesota), who’s given a lot to the franchise and could never get over the hump due to bad management (and, to be fair, his huge contract). What have Damon, Juwan and Marko done to where the Grizzlies/Wolves owe them? You have your team, so play for that team.
Corey Brewer and Chris Richard will be signing autographs at the Wolves booth at the MN State Fair.
Stephen Litel and Jessica Camerato/Hoopsworld discuss the players acquired in the Garnett trade.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Troy Hudson, whose Timberwolves contract was bought out for $10 million, the other day worked out for the San Antonio Spurs, who were the first to call after the point guard became a free agent.
Former Timberwolf and Gopher Walter Bond has been a big hit as a motivational speaker for the Gophers football team in training camp.
Brad Rock/Deseret Morning News on Mad Dog's jet ski accident:
Official reports say he had to dive off the craft into the water, injuring himself in the process. But Rock On sources say he actually got hurt trying to groove his way through K.C. and the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way I Like It."
Monday, August 20, 2007
Updates Part IIFrom Jonathan Givony/DraftExpress:
#41 pick Chris Richard is caught in a numbers game, as the T’Wolves already have 14 guaranteed contracts in addition to one partially guaranteed contract of a player who is a lock to make the squad—Craig Smith. They already bought out Troy Hudson to save a spot (bringing them down to 15), and now will have to choose between waiving Theo Ratliff’s very valuable ending contract, and signing their second round draft choice Richard (currently projected as the 4th string power forward on the depth chart). Our guess is they hold onto Ratliff and see what’s being dangled around the trade deadline. Richard is reportedly already working on his third agent in as many months.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site chats with True Hoop's Henry Abbott.
HoopsHype on Ryan Gomes' non-profit organization, Hoops for Heart Health.
Shannon Booher/SLAM Online on Saturday's scrimmage between Team USA's Senior Team and its Select Team:
The Seniors tried to step it up on both ends, highlighted by a LeBron drive-and-foul (though he missed the free throw) and a strong block by Kobe on Al Jefferson. Jefferson tried to put up a baby hook, and Kobe was right there to stuff it before it left the new Timberwolve’s hand. Sick.
You can read more on the game here.
Wolves Updates 8/20Craig Smith on playing with Garnett:
"It was a blast to play side-to-side with a Hall of Famer and go against him every day in practice," said Smith. "He taught me so much in my first year that I think I'll be able to handle a little bit more by myself this upcoming season. I tried to steal everything I could from footwork to the way he handles different situations, the focus he brings to the game. He's going to try to take your head off [in practice], so be prepared. He's only trying to make you better. So, at the same time, step up to the challenge. Do the best of your ability and you'll earn respect that way. The Kevin Garnett you see on the court is the same Kevin Garnett you see in practice."
Roman Augustoviz/Star Tribune on the Lynx finishing the season 10-24:
The Lynx youth movement mirrors what the Timberwolves have done. Which is OK with Glen Taylor, the owner of both teams.
"Everything is a gamble, nothing is for sure," Taylor said. "I still like what I saw out here. Now we are not done. I know this team has got to get to better."
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/19From Sid Hartman:
Glen Taylor, owner of the Timberwolves, admitted the club received a phone call from Juwan Howard, who was acquired from Houston for Mike James and Justin Reed, saying the reason he approved the trade was that he was looking forward to play with Kevin Garnett. Now that Garnett is gone, Howard says he wants to be traded because, at 34 years old, he doesn't have too many seasons left to play and he wants to finish with a winning team. Taylor's answer was that if the Wolves could get equal value for Howard in a trade, he would make a deal. Otherwise, he felt the veteran presence of Howard would be a big plus for the team.
From Dime Magazine:
Team USA didn’t lose to the select squad of NBA youngsters (Andre Iguodala, Al Jefferson, etc.) on Saturday, but they didn’t beat ‘em either. Split into four separately-scored quarters, the scrimmage was a tie: the kids won two quarters and the grown-ups won two.
Lonnie White/LA Times says that Jefferson has "battled well inside."
Marko Jaric on playing for Serbia in EuroBasket 2007 in Spain:
"I know just one thing: I came here to be victorious," he said.
From Oly Sandor/Hoopsvibe:
After Mark Madsen’s jet-skiing accident and Vlad Radmanovic’s snowboarding injury, franchises must be praying players return to making hip hop music. Both Madsen and Radmanovic were lucky not to have their contracts voided.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Former Gopher Rick Rickert leaves today to play basketball in New Zealand.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/18From John Vomhof Jr/Mpls St Paul Business Journal:
The Minnesota Timberwolves will give their season tickets a trading-card-style look next season under a sponsorship deal with Topps Co. Inc.
The tickets will feature a different Topps basketball card for each game, with an average of three different cards for each Wolves player over the course of the season.
Along with Garnett, Corey Brewer and Sebastian Telfair are spending part of their offseason training at Abunassar Impact Basketball in Las Vegas.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Mad Dog undergoes surgery, out for 3 monthsFrom Mark Wollemann/Star Tribune:
Timberwolves forward Mark Madsen, injured in a personal watercraft accident on Monday, underwent successful surgery on his right shoulder pectoral muscle Friday, the team said in a statement.
Madsen, entering his eighth NBA season and fifth with the Wolves, is expected to be sidelined for at least three months, meaning he won't be available until after the season begins in early November. The accident occurred on a Twin Cities-area lake.
For more info on the surgery, click here.
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press writes that the accident took place on a jet ski.
From Jon Krawczynski/AP Sports:
Madsen was using the watercraft Monday and was hurt after he had to bail off the machine and dive into the water, a team spokesman said.
Battle of the Bloggers: Week IMike Trudell/Timberwolves site hosts the Battle Of The Bloggers. The first task was to address whether or not Al Jefferson will be an All-Star this year.
Wolves Updates 8/17Jon Vomhof Jr/Mpls St Paul Business Journal on the team's post-Garnett marketing plans:
Then team officials began planning for the weeks and months ahead, looking at other similar situations around the league. The Timberwolves expect to build a marketing plan similar to the one the Chicago Bulls used after Michael Jordan retired, which highlighted the team's young talent and its plan for rebuilding into a title contender.
The Wolves' new campaign should launch in early October, about a month before the season starts. It will focus on the team as a whole, not just one superstar, Wright said.
Vomhof writes that the team's new campaign could involve getting new uniforms at some point.
On measuring public reaction to the trade:
The local market was pretty evenly split on whether or not to trade Garnett, according to the Timberwolves' internal research.
Via MNspeak, an article in which Garnett spoke about Joe Abunassar's training program for basketball players.
Boston's Kendrick Perkins on Al Jefferson's reaction to the trade:
According to Perkins, Jefferson struggled in the days after the deal.
"He didn't take it too good," said Perkins. "I think he's doing a little bit better with it now. After he talked with the personnel, owners, and stuff in Minnesota, he was more comfortable."
"I saw in [Danny Ainge's] eyes when he made the trade that it hurt him to give up Al. I was right here when we all put in a lot of time to see [Jefferson] develop. He's still my boy no matter what, but we're on separate teams."
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Updates Part IIBill Simmons categorizes sports trades:
The Herschel Walker. Remember when the Cowboys famously soaked the Vikings for a potent package of youngsters and picks? We'll never see a contender overpay quite so badly again. But GMs still love multiplayer rebuilding trades because they can't be judged for years, and that buys them time, during which they keep getting paid. One funny side effect: A frustrated fan base bristles as its incompetent brain trust spins something like the KG trade without acknowledging the elephant in the room -- namely, that the same incompetent brain trust that drove KG away remains in charge of the post-KG rebuilding effort. Now, that's comedy. Well, unless you're a Wolves fan.
From Bill Zwecker/Chicago Sun-Times:
White Soxer Scott Posednik and his wife, Lisa, were spied dining at Il Mulino Chicago on North Dearborn. Ditto for NBA star Juwan Howard and veteran travel guru Burt Wolf.
Jon Laging/Albert Lea Tribune with a belated farewell to Garnett.
McHale helps start the HMH FoundationFrom PR Newswire:
Kevin McHale is one of five board members to start the Help Me Hear Foundation ("HMH"), a non-profit organization incorporated in Saint Paul, Minnesota. McHale will also act as the spokesperson. HMH was created to gift cochlear implants to impoverished deaf children who would otherwise never be able to obtain one...
Because of the prohibitive cost, it is estimated that only 1% of the world's deaf population will ever receive a cochlear implant. HMH hopes to change that statistic by raising funds to provide impoverished deaf children with cochlear implants.
Click here for the Help Me Hear Foundation's website.
Wolves Updates 8/16Loy's Place has a recap of Garnett's appearance yesterday on the Dan Patrick show.
Via True Hoop, an amusing take on the Garnett trade from a Minnesotan fan of the team living in Boston.
Mike Trudell at the Timberwolves site is hosting a battle of the bloggers.
From Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune:
The amount of sloppy kisses we deliver to sports entities in the weeks leading to the start of their seasons never fails to amaze...
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/15Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune on the team's preseason schedule.
Dime Magazine on the shortage of bigs on the US Basketball Team:
Is Collison really the best option? Our instinct said “Of course not,” but when you go through the NBA rosters and consider who’s available, he’s not too far off. Unless you wanna go with a really young guy like Shelden Williams or Tyrus Thomas, your best bet next to Collison would be Emeka Okafor. Why not Al Jefferson, though? We’re assuming he’s not being considered because he’s on the team of young guys being used to give Team USA a tune-up, but couldn’t he still practice with the senior team and just scrimmage as part of the young team?
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Updates Part IIClick here for the team's full preseason schedule.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site chats with the team's new dance team director and the team's in-arena host about the final dance team prep class.
Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld on Juwan Howard and Marko Jaric reportedly wanting off the team.
Wolves Updates 8/14Sean Deveney/Sporting News writes that of all the remaining free agents, "there's none quite as intriguing" as Troy Hudson.
Bob Finnan/News-Herald on Cleveland's newly filled lead assistant position:
Another coach in the running for the position was ex-Minnesota coach Dwane Casey. A source said the Cavs talked to him twice, and he was interested in coming to Cleveland.
Erin and Jason of Ballhype hosted a small local blogger gathering on Monday.
Lakers' Maurice Evans on KG as a Celtic:
Yeah. Obviously, with him being a Timberwolf for so long, I think everybody's going to have to ease into seeing him in green and white. But they've done a total makeover. Ray Allen added. KG. And having a great player in Paul Pierce.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Updates Part IIClick here for the Wolves preseason schedule. October 10 is the day the Wolves face the Celtics in London.
Mark Blount took part in the NBA Fair at the Illinois State Fair last weekend.
Blount also participated in NBA Stance, the NBA Fair’s rendition of Simon Says.
He said the NBA Fair is a unique opportunity for children to interact with NBA players instead of just watching them on T.V. or seeing them courtside. And, it’s a good opportunity for him “to be honest and have fun,” Blount said.
Check out the new "Who Shot Mamba?" website.
Oly Sandor/Hoopsvibe on Juwan Howard:
Howard should prepare to stay in
Wolves Updates 8/13In an interview with Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press, Al Jefferson talks about wanting to see real dinosaurs, stealing a ninja turtle as a kid, his love for the show "Martin," an online class called "Decision-Making and Finance" he took last year, and how he wants his epitaph to read: "Here lies Al Jefferson, who was a hall of famer in the NBA."
According to a new T-Hud myspace page, the player is releasing an album with T.Q. called "Mid-West."
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Updates Part IIMark Murphy/Boston Herald on Gerald Green:
In addition to Green’s usual workouts in his hometown of Houston with John Lucas, he also trained with two other fitness gurus, including one who trains Tracy McGrady, in an attempt to get ready for the games in Vegas.
“He was trying to build strength in his legs - that’s what he really focused on - and that threw off his shooting once he started playing,” said Green’s father, Gerald Sr.
From Shira Springer/Boston Globe:
With the acquisition of Kevin Garnett, interest in all things Celtic has dramatically increased. The league reports that Garnett's new No. 5 Boston jersey has been the No. 1 seller since it became available online Aug. 1. The Celtics have seen spikes in season ticket sales and sponsorship interest. Individual-game ticket prices could be the next thing on the rise.
According to team president Rich Gotham, the Celtics' season ticket base has grown by more than 50 percent since the Garnett trade and more than 60 percent since the end of last season...
From Scott Howard-Cooper/Sacramento Bee:
The pressure of building around superstar Garnett has been replaced by the patience of waiting to see what develops from a lineup that could immediately include rookie swingman Corey Brewer, second-year guard Randy Foye and fourth-year power forward Al Jefferson, the headliner that came in return for KG. Even the coach, Randy Wittman, will be in his first full season with this group, having replaced Dwane Casey in January.
From Bob Finnan/News-Herald:
Free agent point guard Troy Hudson's agent, Bill Neff, said his client is interested in joining the Cavs. It's unclear how much interest the Cavs have in Hudson.
Wolves Updates 8/12David Aldridge/Philadelphia Inquirer ranks every team based on offseason moves and places the Wolves last on the list.
It's not that the Wolves traded Garnett; it was time. But how did they not get the guy they really wanted - Rajon Rondo - from Boston? Rajon Rondo was a deal-breaker for one of the league's top five players? It's another example of how brain-dead this franchise has been for a decade.
SI.com lists Al Jefferson at #3 on its list of players on the verge of stardom.
The centerpiece of the Kevin Garnett deal for Minnesota, Jefferson's advanced low-post skills will be put to good use next season. The Timberwolves are likely to run their offense through the 22-year-old power forward, who averaged 19.8 points and 11.5 rebounds in 25 games after the All-Star break last season for Boston.
Celtics assistant coach Armond Hill on Al Jefferson:
"That was the toughest part about getting Garnett, losing Al. He was a great kid, who really worked to improve his game. He is going to be a very good player in this league. I know he loved playing for the Celtics and the fans loved him. Sometimes you have to realize this is a business, first."
on Ryan Gomes:
"I am really going to miss him (Hill attended his wedding on Friday night). He worked on fundamentals as much as anyone. They don't make better people than Ryan. If I had a son I would wish it was him. Again, this is a business. He really improved his game and is going to be around the NBA a long time. I will miss Ryan a lot."
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
-Former Timberwolves coach Dwane Casey is headed to Brazil to conduct instructional basketball clinics.
-The Timberwolves' Randy Wittman, asked what it will be like coaching against new Celtic Kevin Garnett this season: "Different. But he knows us and we know him."
-Timberwolves public address announcer Rod Johnson won the Wisconsin State Auctioneering competition in Milwaukee the other day.
-By buying out guard Troy Hudson for $10 million, the Timberwolves saved $1 million on luxury tax for the coming season.
-Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman, who acquired, aside from Al Jefferson, four nondescript players from the Boston Celtics for Kevin Garnett, asked if he's a patient coach: "We're going to find out."
From Jim Souhan/Star Tribune:
Given the events of the past two weeks, could we reach the once-incomprehensible conclusion that the Timberwolves, among the three local pro teams with games televised on major networks, have concocted the most sensible plan?
From Sid Hartman:
Taylor realizes there is going to be criticism by fans because of the Garnett trade with Boston, but he is willing to take it.
"I'm really willing to take the chance, to step backwards a little bit, so that we can go build with these guys," Taylor said. "... I guess some people rip me, and it's part of leadership. ... When things don't go well, you're going to get criticized. And that's the way I take it, I understand that. I don't know, well I know I don't always agree that's justified, or that it's fair, or that people have all the information. But I do understand the world and that's the way it is. I mean it's just like Terry Ryan is getting criticized now and certainly he's done a great job on a lot of things, you know?"
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Sid Hartman: Howard asking for a tradeFrom Sid Hartman:
Juwan Howard, whom the Timberwolves acquired from Houston in the trade for Mike James, has been on the phone with the Wolves asking that he also be traded now that he won't get the opportunity to play with Kevin Garnett. But at present, the Wolves don't have any plans to trade the former Michigan standout, even though owner Glen Taylor said that some of the veterans might be traded away as the team goes young.
Wolves Updates 8/11Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site chats with assistant GM Rob Babcock.
The team's site also has video of "Wolves dance team veteran" Erica sporting a Pistons/Billups jersey while interviewing an auditioning dancer.
Some People's Kids on the team- Too many MCs, not enough mics
The Basketball Jones with video of the NBA Rookie Dance Showdown.
Tom Ziller/Fanhouse on the corporate sponsors of NBA Europe Live, the league tour which will send the Wolves to Istanbul and London in the preseason.
From Brandon Glover/The Demopolis Times:
The Theo Ratliff Center, which was started as a way for the community to access facilities that they would otherwise not have, has been embraced by individuals of the area and it programs continue to grow. Ratliff said he has stayed involved with the center he helped create and is not surprised by its success.
Bill Simmons answers a few Wolves related questions from readers, including the following:
I'm wondering if per your rules of being a true fan, am I allowed to drop the Wolves in favor of the Celtics? I want to be a real fan, but I have so much respect for KG and very little for the Timberwolves organization. Can I switch teams without being a fraud?
Friday, August 10, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/10Check out BigAlJefferson.com for a classy letter on the player's excitement over being on the team. (Via Rubechat)
Torii Hunter on Garnett's departure:
"It's going to be weird to see him not in a Timberwolves uniform, but it's tough for one player to stay with one team, especially when they're trying to rebuild," said Twins center fielder Torii Hunter, a good friend of Garnett's and a candidate to leave the area soon as well. "He would never be the Kevin Garnett that he wants to be, as long as he stayed with the Timberwolves. He moved on, and hopefully he can get that title he's looking for."
Adena Andrews/ESPN on Corey Brewer and others in the 2007 draft class at the NBA Rookie photo shoot.
Chad Courrier/Mankato Free Press on the team's long-term plans:
Another flaw in the plan is that when some of these bad contracts start expiring, no valuable free agent is going to want to play here. When the top-level free agents start saying “no thanks,” that’s when you start taking gambles on marginal players, such as Mike James, and end up with more bad contracts.
Dave Campbell/AP Sports writes that the Wolves are the local sports team that "did the best job of producing a realistic self-evaluation and using that as a guide through the summer."
Hoopsworld gives the Wolves a couple awards for worst offseason moves.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Updates Part IIVia MNSportsFans. a short video of Ricky Davis at the LA Stars Charity All-Star Game talking about being a mentor to the younger guys on the team.
From Jarring.it via Hoopshype:
Marko Jaric: "I'm not happy with the Kevin Garnett trade. We're not expected to win and I want to be with a team that fights for the title. If it's not the Wolves, it must be another team."
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site on losing Garnett and the team's future.
Cool. But what does this all mean in real NBA terms? You can think of it, to an extent, as the Chicago Bulls model: stockpiling a lot of high draft picks, working hard to develop them collectively, and eventually bringing in a few established veterans with the cap space and picks as the final pieces to the proverbial pie. The Wolves can now, realistically, do just that; there is light in the Minnesota sky.
From Chris Clarke/End Of The Bench:
In a move that has sent shockwaves through the NBA, former Celtics Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale jointly announced today that they are each contemplating comebacks with the Celtics for the upcoming 2007-2008 season.
In a chat on ESPN, David Thorpe replies that it's "simply unknown at this point" how Rashad McCants fits into the team's plans.
Update: Thanks to commenter Carlos for pointing out another Wolves related question posed to Thorpe.
Shawn (Rochester, MN): Hi David. Who will be the starting SG for the Wolves in a year or two? Green, McCants, or Brewer?
David Thorpe: Brewer is simply not a 2.
Wolves Updates 8/9From Steve Aschburner/SI.com:
It is a different Al Jefferson who joins the Minnesota Timberwolves now. He's older, more established and more clearly the cornerstone of whatever the Wolves can put together in their rebuilding plan than he was in Boston. So however uneasy the reunion gets for Davis and Blount, however tempted they might be to pull what little locker-room rank they think they have as veterans who knew Jefferson when, they need to get over it right now.
Al Jefferson figures to be around a lot longer than Davis or Blount, whether the duration is measured in seasons or months.
GetGarnett.com introduces GotGarnett.com.
Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press talks to Kevin McHale about his reputation, whether Jefferson will have the same impact here as Garnett, and what kind of record the team will have next season.
Click here for video of Mike Trudell's post press conference interview with Gerald Green.
Trudell also talked to Theo Ratliff. The player says that he is "trying to get ready, back for this moment, to be able to get back on the floor."
From Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld:
To a certain degree, it is as if all the frustration this team has caused throughout the years is being taken out on the young men who just arrived in town, however misplaced that may be.
Dime Magazine on Tuesday's press conference and the team's potential starting five.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Wolves Updates 8/8From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:
McHale said he has had preliminary discussions with Jefferson's agent about a contract extension...
According to Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press, Al Jefferson says he "would love to sign a contract extension here" and " would love to do it this summer, get it out the way and know that I'm going to be here. I'd love to be here (long-term)."
Click here for stats on the new roster.
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Still, Taylor insists McHale is the right person for the job and that the Wolves made the right decision to trade Garnett because it gives them a fresh start and was the best way to improve long term. And he said most season-ticket holders he has spoken with understand that.
He said McHale absolutely could steer the team through the rebuilding process. With help.
"I don't think I would rely on one person to do that," Taylor said. "I think we've gone to, at least for now, more of a group concept..."
Charley Walters/Pioneer Press on Glen Taylor:
For instance, he said, "Let's say we have some guys who aren't working hard enough; that's not going to be enough for me. I'm going to be keeping an eye on it, I'm going to be even more involved, I'm going to be asking questions."
Jack McCallum/SI.com on the "NBAsuperstarus":
Yet despite the Celtics' rebirth and an accompanying outbreak of civic pride, it is quite likely that next summer the league's latest Big Three will come up ringless, just like other Terrific Troikas of the past.
On Tuesday's press conferenceClick here for a transcript of yesterday's press conference.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site has a follow-up with Kevin McHale.
From Brandt Williams/MPR:
Timberwolves Vice President Kevin McHale says it was a hard decision to trade Garnett, but he says it was apparent that the team and Garnett were going in different directions.
"He really wanted to play -- at this stage in his career -- with older guys that had a chance to win a championship. So if we were going young I'm not sure our paths were on the same path."
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:
"When people say young, they mean we're supposed to lose," said Al Jefferson, the fourth-year power forward who was the centerpiece of the trade. "I don't agree with that at all."
A report out of Boston when the trade was finalized suggested Jefferson was devastated that day.
"It wasn't that I took it hard," he said. "I just had never been traded before. The trade was more of a shock, but now I think it's a great opportunity for all of us. ... It's a compliment for all of us to be traded for KG, one of the best players in the league. I don't feel any pressure."
From Jon Krawczynski/AP Sports:
The word "potential" was thrown around plenty on Tuesday, par for the course when four of the five players acquired for the franchise icon are 25 or younger.
"Potential doesn't mean much until you realize it," McHale said. "These guys all can play, but can they win? Can they go out and help the team win, that's what our league's all about. They have a lot of challenges ahead of them."
From Todd Sikorski/AHN:
The man who gave the thumbs up on the deal brushed aside the questions reporters asked about the Boston connection.
"If all these guys had played in New Orleans and were the same type of players, it would have been the same thing," McHale said. "It's the players you're getting and not where they played. That has no bearing whatsoever."
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Forward/center Theo Ratliff said his surgically repaired back is feeling well and that he's looking forward to contributing to the Wolves next season. Ratliff was limited to two games last season because of a bulging disk...
-Jefferson will wear No. 25, Sebastian Telfair No. 3, Ryan Gomes No. 8, Gerald Green No. 15 and Ratliff No. 42.
Jim Souhan/Star Tribune writes that Sebastian Telfair made a "good first impression" at the press conference.
I asked him about being stopped with an expired driver's license and a firearm he didn't own being found in the car, and about the time he carried a loaded firearm onto a Blazers charter.
"I have not been charged with anything," he said. "I've been in some unfortunate situations where I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time. I fully take responsibility for that. I grew up learning how not to be in those situations ... and now I've taken myself out of New York City and moved to Vegas so I can concentrate on basketball."
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Updates Part IIAdrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo Sports declares the Celtics an offseason winner while naming the Wolves one of this summer's losers.
Again and again, McHale failed to make Garnett the cornerstone of a contender. Now, he has gutted a lottery team in the Eastern Conference and made it his own. Despite his stature as a beloved son of Minnesota, it's hard to believe Wolves fans have much patience left with him.
According to Mavs Full-Court Press , Mark Madsen is one of the player participating in the NBA Players' Association 2nd Annual Business Opportunities Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
From Brandon Glover/Demopolis Times:
With all of this Ratliff has still found time to contribute to the betterment of his hometown, helping to start the Theo Ratliff Center to encourage community activities. Ratliff has more recently been involved in work to expand the existing center, something he said has been in the works since the idea of a center first came about.
The Gold Seat takes a look at Al Jefferson.
Celtics Carnival of Blogs, a compilation of posts from Celtics blogs looking at the Garnett trade.
David Berri/Wages Of Wins Journal says that the Wolves are "not much" worse off without Garnett.
Hartman interview with Glen TaylorGlen Taylor was on KFAN with Chad Hartman following today's press conference. You can listen here.
Below is a summary.
On trade talks with the Wolves and Celtics:
When he talked to Garnett after the season, they talked about going younger and initially, KG said he wanted to be part of that. Then Taylor said reality set in for Garnett and the player wondered if that was what he wanted to do. Taylor said they "moved ahead on that together" and started to explore trade opportunities.
On whether there were legitimate talks with other teams regarding Garnett:
Taylor said he talked about Garnett with the owners of at least six teams. He was looking for young players, draft choices, and cap room. For a number of reasons, he said, these deals didn't work out. Taylor did say there were a couple times, judging by the team's initial enthusiasm, that Garnett could go to teams other than Boston.
On whether he is frustrated with Garnett's initial refusal to go to Boston because the team could have had the Celtics #5 pick:
Taylor agreed that deal would have been a better one than the deal it ultimately received.
On whether it matters if a player doesn't want to be traded:
The owner said you have to do what is best for your particular team. If there's a conflict, you still have to make that decision.
On whether he feels the organization failed Garnett:
Taylor said collectively they all didn't reach their goals and that KG was both part of the solution and part of the problem.
On particular moves made by the team that he regretted:
Taylor said the long-term contracts with mid-level players didn't produce the expected results and that the players signed didn't show any growth.
On conversations between Taylor and Garnett this summer about the player's contract:
Taylor said he did talk to KG and McHale talked to his agent. The owner said Garnett's side wanted a 3-year, $60 million deal. When asked if they were willing to take less, KG/his agent refused. The owner said that type of money paid over 5 years was going to cause problems with finding people to put around Garnett.
On convincing Wolves fans it's worth it to pay attention to the team over the next couple years:
Taylor talked about the excitement that comes from putting together a young group of players and watching them grow and develop in front of your own eyes. He said the team wants to put together a group of people who are "we" players because last season there were too many "me" players on the team.
Tuesday's press conferenceKFAN provides a link the press conference which you can listen to here.
Update: Kare 11 has video.
The organization invited some season ticket holders to today's press conference introducing the players acquired in the Garnett trade. One week after the trade that sent Garnett to Boston, any chance to get excited about these players seemed like a good one so I decided to attend.
Unfortunately, it didn't pan out the way I'd hoped. Based on the looks on the players' faces, I thought I'd walked into the waiting room of an ER. That changed after a few minutes when they instead began to exhibit merely a lack of excitement and slight boredom. In contrast to the celebratory Celtics press conference last week, this one was, for the most part, uninspiring. Though the session was geared towards the media and came in the wake of last week's bridge tragedy, there were plenty of fans in attendance, watching on tv, or listening to it on the radio so it would have been a convenient opportunity to get the skeptical ones hyped up about the trade.
MPR has a recap of the press conference.
Press Conference coverageAccording to Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site, today's 2pm press conference will be covered live by FSN North, NBA TV and KFAN 1130 AM.
Wolves Updates 8/7The team's news conference to introduce the new players is today at at 2pm.
Owner Glen Taylor is scheduled to be on the air with Chad Hartman at KFAN at 3:30pm.
The Journal-Standard talks to Troy Hudson about the events of the last week:
It's definitely been a hectic week. For me it's been a blessed week as far as my contract is concerned. I got bought out, and I think that was in the best interests of me, the best interests of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the best interests of my family, and I think God has put me in the position right now that has turned out to be great for me. So that was sweet. But the bitter came with the bridge falling down and a lot of people in that community being killed...
On the Garnett trade, T-Hud said "It wasn't a shock at all" and that the move was "overdue."
Hudson also says he's going to work out for San Antonio and "see what the opportunity is there."
From Desmond Conner/Hartford Courant:
Letting Gomes go was more difficult for the Celtics than you might think. He had shown potential as an inside/mid-range threat, was a great ambassador for the organization off the court and he could have thrived next to K.G. in the post.
Gomes on joining the Wolves:
"I'm still going to work hard, and I'm still going to do things in the community in Minnesota," he said. "That's just who I am, no matter where I am."
From DLIC/Free Darko:
The only real benefit that I can discern from the KG trade is a crucial step on the path first braved by Gilbert Arenas, and aided by Baron Davis' bullet Fedora. A watershed moment for the League Of Stars onward march. That is: The recognition of pure CELEBRITY on smaller market/non-contending teams.
Russ Bengtson/SLAM Online on a quest for a KG Celtics t-shirt in NYC.
From Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press:
Folks would feel better about the trade if it had been someone other than Wolves Vice President Kevin McHale who made the deal. McHale has been cited as the primary source for the Wolves' ineptitude. As a player, McHale was popular and a larger-than-life figure, like Paul Bunyan, in Minnesota. Nowadays, he's about as popular as a bunion. I'm not as down on him as others, but he has made some lousy decisions. Trading Garnett isn't necessarily one of them. By dumping Garnett's salary, at least the Wolves will have some money to work with and a chance to start building around young players.
Monday, August 06, 2007
Updates Part IIShoals at Free Darko on the Garnett trade.
Mike Trudell/Wolves site chats with Sebastian Telfair.
From the Boston Globe:
Looking a bit like the Silver Surfer, Paul Pierce was a dancing fool at a star-studded LA fund-raiser over the weekend...The fun continued yesterday with a charity basketball game featuring NBA stars Rashad McCants, Cuttino Mobley, and Deron Williams.
From Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh:
"The Boston-Minnesota trade was being talked about before the draft, during the draft and obviously after the draft," he said. "There were a lot of teams that were interested in a player like Kevin Garnett. Most of those teams fell by the wayside early in the process and that's what made this Boston-Minnesota trade somewhat of a surprise."
"There may be one or two teams that felt they had a chance to get Garnett that will continue to search for that kind of trade but there's really no way of knowing that. So it's really up in the air as to whether this is going to shake loose teams that are going to continue to search for major trades – but it's a possibility."
Jefferson named to USA Basketball Men's Select TeamFrom the Timberwolves site:
USA Basketball today announced that Timberwolves forward Al Jefferson is one of ten young NBA players named to a USA Basketball Men's Select Team that has been chosen to help prepare the 2007 USA Senior National Team for the Aug. 22-Sept. 3 FIBA Americas Championship that will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Other players named to the USA Basketball Select Team include: LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazers); Aaron Brooks (Houston Rockets); Monta Ellis (Golden State Warriors); Channing Frye (Portland Trail Blazers); Jeff Green (Seattle SuperSonics); Devin Harris (Dallas Mavericks); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Jason Kapono (Toronto Raptors); and David Lee (New York Knicks).
Wolves Updates 8/6Using "league and team sources," Shira Springer/Boston Globe describes the events leading up to the Garnett trade. Springer refers to it as "a study in the ups and downs, starts and stops of deal-making in the NBA."
Springer also notes that Garnett's choice of #5 was "symbolic of being the fifth pick in the 1995 NBA draft."
From Mitch Lawrence/New York Daily News:
What Garnett didn't reveal was that during those talks with Taylor, he reiterated that he did not want to be traded. According to people who spoke with Taylor, the fiercely loyal Garnett told the owner he wanted to re-sign with Minnesota next summer when he had a chance to opt for free agency. But Taylor informed Garnett he would only re-sign him if Garnett agreed to take a pay cut.
From a letter sent to the Star Tribune:
Retire No. 21 right now. Retire it to serve as a reminder of the qualities we admire in sports stars and public figures. Retire it to acknowledge that nobody as good will ever wear a Wolves uniform. Retire it to thank KG.
From Peter May/Boston Globe:
Ainge has dumped nine players on McHale in the last 18 months. Nine! And we're not talking the '71-72 Lakers roster. ("They ought to retire his number again," e-mailed one reader.) Three of the four players Ainge got in return were top-six draft picks. None of the nine he gave up was a top-12 draft pick. He got McHale to take clubhouse problems Mark Blount and Ricky Davis, and then pried Kevin Garnett away with the potential of Al Jefferson and four other maybes, one of whom has an unfortunate history with firearms.
Matt Kamalsky/Draft Express lists Randy Foye in his All-Summer League: Honorable Mention category.
David Berri/Wages Of Wins journal on how the "Super-Star theory" relates to Garnett.
From Frank Haataja /Mesaba Daily News on the trade.