Timberwolves Media Day has been fun each of the 4 years I’ve attended, always for various reasons. Whether it was Mo Williams schooling Gorgui Dieng on offensive principles, JJ Barea dropping a slew of “Oh, no question” prefaces, or Karl-Anthony Towns just being pleasant, there’s always something that sticks out.
Media Day was held this year at the Mayo Clinic Square, with players and coaches speaking to the media in the coaches’ “classroom”. Here’s what happened, and stuck out in my mind.
Best Quote: Jordan HIll – “I’m here to play ball, not go outside and make snow angels.”
With Kevin Garnett retiring Jordan Hill may see more playing time than Thibs had originally planned (unless Thibs expected a KG retirement). Hill was commenting on the cold weather,and how used he is to playing in cold cities. Hill was drafted in the top 10 by New York, and spent last season with Indiana. He’s also played with Kobe Bryant, who has been known to be cold in his own right.
Most surprisingly engaging presser: Cole Aldrich
I would normally say “He’s from Minnesota, he’s just comfortable here.”, but Tyus Jones’ conflict-free cliche answers (which is 100% how I would handle the media if I were an NBA player) stop me from doing that. Aldrich was having fun with old friend Kevin Lynch in the front row, giving long, detailed answers, and clearly having fun with it. He’s also very excited to not be a “young guy” on the roster anymore, like he was with the Clippers. He said he and Brandon Rush are getting some rookie treatment-related plans together for Kris Dunn. Though, we’ll have to wait and see on that.
“He may get off easy,” Aldrich said.
Biggest trooper: Ricky Rubio
Sid Hartman was relentless. Here is the conversation as a whole:
Sid: “Do ya still wanna be traded?”
Rubio: “No (smiles). You haven’t changed, huh?”
*Sid clearly doesn’t hear him*
Sid: “Do ya still wanna be traded?”
Rubio: “I didn’t say I want to get traded.”
Sid: “There was *inaudible* saying you wanted to be traded.”
Rubio: “I want to play with a winner, but I think we have the right mentality. It’s changing [here].”
*A few questions were asked, then Sid gets right back in it*
Sid: “How come you couldn’t convince Gasol to come here?”
Rubio: “I tried, and I tried hard. He was looking for a different thing, and it was a shame he couldn’t come here because he really is one of the best in the game. He would have helped us a lot to get where we want to be.”
^That last part surprised me. I didn’t expect Ricky to give Sid that nugget about him doing some summer recruiting. His patience throughout the whole thing was pretty incredible, though. Kudos to Ricky.
Most impressive quote: Kris Dunn
I didn’t even notice this as it happened, but then Myles Brown (formerly of AWAW fame, OF COURSE) pointed it out on the Twitterverse.
"Do you think youre an NBA level defender right now?"
"Cant answer that right now. Defense is about learning tendencies"
I like Kris Dunn.
— Myles Brown (@mdotbrown) September 26, 2016
Love this. Love it. So much.
Kris Dunn has sense for the fact that he isn’t going to be a lockdown defender right from the get-go. He has lots of defensive potential, but he also acknowledges the fact that there’s too much to learn to be an instant star on that end. He could get there, just not in November.
Most improved interviewee: Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins has made a name for himself for his, ability to keep his answers short. This year, his answers weren’t just longer, they were more informative than ever.
Wiggins will always be the shy one in the KAT-Wig-LaVine trio, but if he’s able to give the media answers like these more often, I know quite a few writers and reporters that will be very happy.
Best Photo: Zach LaVine
Dude wore the classic KG 3s from his Nike days. What a great tribute. I 100% had a pair of these in my “playing days”.