Updates from the first day of training camp and more
"I thought the guys have done great," Rambis said about the first day of camp. "We have a lot of new guys to acclimate into our system and what we do offensively and defensively. So it’s a learning day, trying to put in as much stuff as we possibly can as quickly as we can and get everyone on the same page as much as we can.
"I thought the guys worked very hard in both of our practices. There was a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of intensity."
Timberwolves training camp continues today with practices at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Minnesota State. Practices are closed to the public.
The Wolves will hold a free public scrimmage at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at Bresnan Arena.
Jonny Flynn continues to recover from the offseason hip surgery. However, the second-year point guard was walking around without a noticeable limp or any sign of pain. He watched every second of practice and remained in constant communication with the coaching staff and his teammates. In true Flynn fashion, he was upbeat and smiled throughout the two-hour workout.
* Here's how the players were split up for the scrimmage:
Red team: Beasley, Koufos, John Thomas, Hart, Ager.
White: Love, Brewer, Pekovic, Telfair, Hayward.
Black: Ridnour, Ellington, Webster, Darko, Tolliver.
* Newcomer Nikola Pekovic is one big, strong fella. Not really tall or explosive, but thick, mobile enough and quite possibly a mean streak. Love sounded impressed talking about him after this morning's practice.
Wolves first-round pick Wesley Johnson was held out of Saturday morning's scrimmage when his hamstring tightened up after participating in drills.
"I was out there for most of the practice," Johnson said. "It's just a matter of being cautious."
Johnson has been nursing a tender hamstring since he played for the Wolves' rookie team in the Las Vegas summer league. Trainer Gregg Farnam recommended to Rambis that Johnson sit out the scrimmage. Johnson participated in all of the evening drills.
Laimbeer was sent to the Serbian town where Darko Milicic owns a home to work out the center.
He spent about 90 minutes a day drilling Milicic on footwork, post moves and conditioning.
The rest of the time?
"I walked around the town a little bit, I read some books, I worked on some video stuff," said Laimbeer, who also went to Belgrade to watch second-round pick Nemanja Bjelica play with the Serbian national team.
"I don't mind going over there," Laimbeer said.
"Darko will be very instrumental in what we do at both ends of the floor," Rambis said.
Milicic's intensity emerged near the end of Saturday morning's practice. All the players had to run extra wind sprints when Laimbeer announced that Milicic failed to touch one of the baselines before turning around to head back to the other end of the court.
Milicic was the last player to finish the extra sprints, prompting encouragement from teammates. Milicic thought the players were criticizing him and yelled a few obscenities as the players huddled to conclude the practice.
Forward Michael Beasley, who quickly has become one of the team's more vocal players, reached out to Milicic to calm him down.
"It's OK ... we ran with you," Beasley said.
Milicic insisted he touched the baseline, which led to his outburst.
The Timberwolves' 6-11 Nikola Pekovic of Serbia has a long tattoo on his left arm of a Serbian warrior displaying a sword standing proudly over a heap of assorted skulls. Asked what the skulls represent, Pekovic laughed and said, "Nobody."
Also from Walters:
The New Jersey Nets aren't the only team interested in trading for disenchanted Denver Nuggets all-star forward Carmelo Anthony. The Timberwolves — don't laugh — have serious interest in Anthony and have managed their salary cap to be able to afford him if he's still available at trade time in February.
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune: Glen Taylor is expecting progress -- and right now
He said he has never considered and has no interest in selling a franchise that has averaged barely 20 victories a season since Garnett was traded to Boston and that hasn't made the playoffs since 2004, when the Wolves won a playoff series for the first time in their history and advanced to the Western Conference finals.
"I never have, just because in my life and my business I've been through so many ups and downs, that doesn't discourage me," he said. "I just think I appreciate how difficult it is to have a really good team. It just probably makes me have the desire more to get there."
Taylor, 69, the chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, said that he wants to remain a team owner to help guide the league through a new labor agreement with its players and that he wants to come out the other side as "the owner of a team that has endured bad times."
From Luke Byrnes/Hoopsworld: Don't Overlook the Timberwolves
From Sean Deveney/Sporting News: Minnesota Timberwolves: 2010-11 preview