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Chinstrap: Great beard? Or GREATEST beard for looking kinda douchey?

Did you hear the one about Stephon Marbury being crazy a human conundrum? His cousin and sometime-NBA player Jamel Thomas is releasing a book in which he claims Steph messed up Thomas's opportunity to hook onto the Wolves. According to him, KG even told Thomas that he was pulling for Thomas to be signed, but Steph's handling of the situation prevented it. Thanks a lot, cuz.

Charley Walters had a bit buried in his notes last week about Katie Couric not mentioning the Wolves on national television, after mentioning the Twins, Vikings and Wild. "The calculated publicity value of the mention in front a Nielsen audience of 5.48 million was $1.275 million, or the equivalent of $75,000 for a 30-second ad." What!?!? I'm no marketing major, but I just don't get that. How is that calculated? Isn't it the kind of thing you'd source?

And, while I'm whining about the Wolves coverage at the Pioneer Press, tell me what sticks out at you when looking at http://www.twincities.com/timberwolves. Actually, skip it and I'll tell you: the last story posted was on June 20, 2008. The PiPress Wolves blog was updated on July 22. Really? Either their coverage really is that poor, or their website content management is farkakte.

CelticsBlog talks about what Al's 5th year in the league holds for him. This phrase gave me shivers: "When a guy is the future of your beloved franchise for three seasons - and particularly when his development is the one highlight among a season of nearly unmitigated misery - it's hard not to maintain a lingering affection even after he moves on."

Preseason Predictions at HoopsWorld:

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies will regret the trade they made that swapped O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love. Each will have what their former team is going to need by the end; the trade will likely work out in the long-run since both teams are in rebuilding mode, but the players could have done more for the teams they were originally drafted by. Unless, of course, Memphis finally acquires Zach Randolph and moves Javaris Crittenton for something of value.

I honestly don't know what point is being made here. They'll both regret it? But it will work out eventually? But it would've been better in reverse? Unless a rumored trade happens? I haven't liked anything HoopsWorld has written abou the Wolves lately. Anyone else feel similarly, or am I just being a snob?

BleacherReport has a list of the Top 30 small forwards for a championship team this year. Ryan Gomes snuck in at #30. List of guys I think Gomes is better than in this context: Kapono, Moon, Harpring; i.e. the three guys ahead of him. Gomes is a better all-around player than Kapono, more experienced than Moon and more healthy than Harping.

Two hat-tips to TWolvesBlog:

RotoEvil has a fantasy preview of the Wolves up. The big concern expressed here is the effect of better teammates on Al's production. Fair from a fantasy perspective, but If Al dipped by a couple points or rebounds, I'll take the tradeoff as long as Miller, Foye and Love are playing well. Round-by-round roundup:

  • Jefferson: Late 3rd - 4th
  • Miller: 5th - 6th
  • Foye: 8th - 9th
  • Love: 9th - 10th
  • Gomes: 11th - 12th

Dime has a story on some rookies being asked for their opinions on the Presidential election.

  • Obama: Derrick Rose, Joe Alexander, OJ Mayo, Greg Oden, Anthony Roberson, Joey Dorsey
  • McCain: None
  • Undecided: Kevin Love

"I don’t know. I really haven’t ever been that political, but now that I’m making money I guess it affects me. I guess whoever’s not going to tax us the most. That’s tough – I’m not big into politics, but that’s where I’m at."

Ugh... It's not the stance he takes, or the candidate it implies (none of the other guys provide informed reasons for supporting Obama), but to take a self-interested perspective on a single issue as your political opinion is not that cool.

K-Love: Call me. We'll get some beers (you can get Mich Golden Ultra, I'll have the Gusiness) and rap about politics.

Since I'm griping a bit, how's about one for the Wolves' marketing team? If you surf on over to the official site, you'll see a shiny new #4 jersey in the upper-right hand corner. "Sweet!" you exclaim from your Villanova dorm room. You gots to have it, right? Not so fast Holmes, 25, 33 and 42 are the only jerseys that appear to be up for pre-sale. Sadly, there's no more custom jersey option so my hopes for a Calvin Booth jersey are dashed.

Also over at the official team site, Mike Trudell just posted an interview with Big Al. The first two things he says he wants to do this year? Be a better leader and be a better defender. Say what you will about Al's gam, but his work ethic should never, nivenvoin, neverinero be called into question. He also talks a bit about K-Love and whether Al's a 4 or a 5 on offense and defense.