Wolves training camp starts today in Mankato, Love wants to bring Team USA experience to the Wolves, Beasley entertains at media day, Flynn to miss at least first week of season, Johnson hampered by hamstring injury and more
Taylor’s team begins a five-day training camp with two practices today at Minnesota State’s Bresnan Arena. The team practices twice each day — they are not open to the public — before holding a scrimmage Wednesday night. Training camp starts a month early because the team will make a preseason trip to Europe.
Taylor plans to attend the practices, getting to know some of the new players. His team will make appearances around town over the next five days as he hopes to connect with the community as he rebuilds the franchise.
"We’re taking some risks, and that part is exciting," Taylor said. "Winning is important. I’m a fan, and I want to win. If there’s a game I think we should win and we don’t, it’s very upsetting."
From the Timberwolves:
The Minnesota Timberwolves today signed unrestricted free agents Maurice Ager, Jason Hart, DerMarr Johnson and John Thomas, finalizing the training camp roster at 18 players.
Kevin Love just told me he will be on twitter in 1 month & you can quote him #Twolves
Love averaged 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds in nearly 9 minutes a game off the bench for a reconfigured American national team that went undefeated with youngsters Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose leading the way.
"That whole experience was tremendous for me," he said. "Hopefully, I'll bring that same attitude to this team."
He returned to the Wolves for Friday's annual media day looking fit and promising to parlay his winning international experience and "positive energy" he accumulated into an upcoming season where he will lead more and complain less about his playing time and role.
Any traces of a tense battle between Love and Beasley might have disappeared during informal scrimmages the past two weeks at the Wolves' practice facility at Target Center. Several scrimmages showcased Love and Beasley playing together up front. Beasley quickly put to rest any notions that he and Love would have trouble coexisting on the floor. Similar concerns about Love and Al Jefferson ultimately led the Wolves to trade Jefferson to Utah.
"If you had been in the gym the past two weeks, you wouldn't be asking that question," Beasley said of his pairing with Love.
"Me and Kevin play together just fine."
Fans, expect Beasley to be entertaining, both on the court and in interviews. I already like this guy. He showed up Friday refusing to back down from earlier statements that the team can contend for a title. Call it brash, but I call it fun. Here is a short list of entertaining quotes from his short media session:
1. When asked if coming here was a fresh start: "I don’t want a fresh start. Everything that has happened in my life made me what I am."
2. On whether he has a chip on his shoulder (the short answer: yes): "Always. I feel some people have counted me out." Beasley noted his averages of 15 or so points and six rebounds from last year weren’t bad, but promised more. "We’re going to have fun this year. I have a lot of motivation built up. Not against a particular team or person, but I think a lot of people think I can’t play basketball." Beasley said he hopes to prove those folks wrong.
New #Timberwolves F Michael Beasley when asked how good Miami will be: "I don't know. I haven't got back from the future yet."
Timberwolves point guard Jonny Flynn will miss at least the first week of the season while recovering from hip surgery in July, Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said Friday.
Flynn, who participated in the Wolves' media day activities Friday, is recovering from a labral tear in his left hip, a cartilage that connects the hip joint. He suffered the injury in the final week of last season as a rookie and aggravated his hip while competing with the Wolves' summer league team. Flynn underwent surgery July 27 at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo.
"I'm going back out there with Jonny on Oct. 18 when he's re-evaluated," Kahn said. "We'll know more then, but Jonny is progressing well."
From the Associated Press:
Rookie forward Wes Johnson has been hampered by a hamstring injury for most of the summer. Johnson was hurt in July and aggravated the injury earlier this month.
Coach Kurt Rambis says Johnson will likely be limited to one practice a day early in training camp, which begins on Saturday.
• Assistant coach Bill Laimbeer traveled to Serbia, worked out center Darko Milicic for two weeks this month and filed daily reports back to the office. Milicic said he has lost 10 pounds since last season.
• Corey Brewer just got back from L.A., where he has a part in a short film by actor Terrence Howard about a 1959 game pitting an all-black team against an all-white one. "Got lucky enough to be in it," he said.
No trades or signings for an executive who has gained a reputation as a wheeler and a dealer in his relatively short time in charge. No extensive quotes on the Internet or in newspapers for the former reporter who was always approachable. And no more radio interviews since he got into a little hot water in July for some comments he made on the air about new forward Michael Beasley's past drug use.
The transition from the spotlight to the shadows has been part of his plan all along, Kahn said on Friday at the team's media day, a telltale sign that some sense of stability was finally being established in one of the league's most unstable franchises.
"I hope I can start to recede even further," Kahn said. "When you're in my position, the time to be seen is when times are not healthy yet. It's an attempt to take the pressure off the players and coaches.
So how do you think Michael Beasley is going to do with a fresh start this season? "Kaaaahhhhnnnn!" Any chance Ricky Rubio is playing for these guys before 2012? "Kaaaahhhhnnnn!" How much salary-cap space will Minnesota have next offseason? "Kaaaahhhhnnnn!" Then the two geniuses nod knowingly at each other, giggle and part ways, content with their analysis.
What this catchphrase dismissal fails to acknowledge -- unless maybe it's some reverse, roast-style tribute -- is that A) it is Kahn's plan, no one else's, and B) he and the team will rise or fall with it. OK, maybe not fall -- there is little downside left when a team goes 15-67 in what, by most quantifiable and qualitative standards, was the worst of the franchise's 21 seasons. But if Kahn's first 15 months -- during which he made 15 trades, by the way -- don't translate soon into visible and real improvements on the court at Target Center, we can expect more of the same.
Until he and the catchphrase go the way of "Where's the beef?"
"I'm spending very little time on blogs these days," Kahn said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is local sports' wealthiest owner, according to Forbes' new valuations, at $2.2 billion.
Taylor ranks tied for No. 164 on the financial magazine's 400 wealthiest Americans list. Taylor is wealthier than Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones ($2 billion, tied for No. 182).
There are few teams in the NBA that are as hard to predict as the Minnesota Timberwolves. Sources close to the team tell HOOPSWORLD that internally there is a broad range of expectations for the 2010-11 season. Some believe they'll be just as bad as last year, while others think compiling 35 wins is a realistic expectation. When a team has had as many changes as the Timberwolves have had, it's simply impossible to accurately predict what the team will look like when they're 15 or 20 games into the regular season and things start to come together.