In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports dropped one of his patented “bombs“, which is usually fun, because he (often unexpectedly) reports a big piece of league news. But in this instance, for Timberwolves fans, the Woj-bomb was more of a vague reference to a landmine somewhere along Flip Saunders’ path, which wasn’t much fun to wake up to. Continue Reading…
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Last time we checked, Kurt Rambis still is Timberwolves’ coach but that isn’t stopping Davis Kahn from continuing his pursuit of a new coach apparently. On Monday, the Oregonian newspaper in Portland reported that the Wolves late last week asked the Trail Blazers for permission to talk to Blazers assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff about the team’s still-filled head coaching job. Bickerstaff’s contract with the Blazers expired on July 1 — which is also when the current labor lockout began — but he has been negotiating with the Blazers about a new one. The idea with hiring Bickerstaff — 67 and a head coach with four different NBA teams during his long career when he also was a president and GM — would be to sign him for a year or two while his son J.B. is groomed to take over the job when he’s ready…There’s a couple other reasons this makes sense: J.B. would work cheap and he’ll take the job in an instant.And with the way this debacle has played out, that latter quality might be getting harder and harder to come by. The Wolves’ insistence at dragging this out presumably to save money just makes the franchise from around the league look even more mismanged, if that’s possible.
I have very little to add to this. David Kahn has shown himself to be genuinely skilled at explaining the team’s most puzzling moves (see his long conversation with Bill Simmons). But he and Glen Taylor also seem to be unable to avoid repeatedly giving the impression that their franchise is an tumultuous wreck. And, more importantly, they seem to be blithely unaware that such impressions are almost as important as the decisions themselves. Whether or not your decision to draft Jonny Flynn one spot after Ricky Rubio, say, was actually well-reasoned, it appeared amateurish and incompetent. And those appearances matter gravely.
It what will most likely be their most evenly contested game of the season, the Wolves matched up against themselves on Wednesday night in Mankato. In case you missed it and had money on the line, the Black team beat the White team 77-67. Whites all over Minnesota are reportedly inconsolable. (Check out some pretty dizzying highlights right here).
In any case, Kurt Rambis was pleased with the proceedings, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star-Tribune:
“It was great…Guys got tired, but there were an awful lot of good things on both ends of the floor out there. They were focused. They were trying to run the offense.”
I guess the fact that they “were trying to run the offense” is a good sign? Wesley Johnson was, evidently, particularly impressive. Here’s Ray Richardson at the Pioneer Press:
Rookie forward Wes Johnson, battling back from a nagging hamstring injury, might have been at the top of Rambis’ list. Johnson, the No. 4 pick in the draft, displayed a smooth shooting touch, knocking down several outside shots within the framework of Rambis’ triangle offense.
“It felt really good to be out there competing,” Johnson said. “I hadn’t played in a game since July (rookie summer league in Las Vegas). I’m trying to learn this offense at a fast pace, but I’m getting it.”
Koufos sure looked as if he was trying to impress somebody. Little more than a salary dump when the Utah Jazz included him in the Al Jefferson trade, he was the most lively center in a group that also includes Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic.
It would be really funny if Koufos ended up stealing minutes from Darko this year. Its like when we spent more money than I’d like to admit on a garlic press and still wound up chopping the garlic the old fashioned way. Darko being the garlic press in the analogy, obviously.
Ok, get ready for some other news:
- Salt City Hoops reports (via Truehoop) that our old pal Al Jefferson has compared the Wolves to a Toyota:
I’ve never been more excited to start a training camp. Training camp is always been something that you want to skip but I’m so excited…I go from being in a Toyota to a Bentley. Its a beautiful thing.
That’s wonderful, Al, I’m simply thrilled for you. I’d like to point out that a) the Jazz are hardly a Bentley and b) Toyota’s are fine automobiles indeed. Seriously though, I’m glad Big Al is in a better place.
- The Timberwolves have reported a new “corporate partnership” with Sanford Health which will take the shape of, among other things, a huge billboard on the Target Center. Is it weird to anyone else that a giant regional HMO would want to spend a huge amount of money sponsoring the Wolves?
- Demarr Johnson has been waived. You’re safe for now, Maurice Ager and Jason Hart.