I have been absent for a while now when it comes to writing the Morning Pickup here at Canis. Sorry for that. This column used to happen more often, mostly on Wednesday’s, but life gets in the way sometimes. Enough excuses though. I’m back for some fun. Truth be told, this is probably the most interesting time in Wolves history since ... well, why don’t we look forward instead of backwards for the sake of happiness. The details aren’t important at the moment. It’s time for some Morning Pickup.
Lace ‘em up, get a good stretch in, and...
Here is all of the #content across the web that has kind of, sort of, maybe, at least somewhat, caught my eye recently:
Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa
Gorgui Dieng is such an admirable individual. When I think about G—his nickname in case you didn’t know—one of the first things that comes mind, besides that cash money bank shot, is the consistent effort he makes to give back to his community. I always think about how many kids in Senegal, and throughout Africa, that have probably been inspired by his journey to the NBA. Gorgui gives back to hospitals, schools, and his community with the money he has made throughout his NBA career.
Dieng consistently gives back through basketball camps; he teaches the youth hard work and determination, as well as what it takes to pursue their dreams. He shows kids the path that led to his individual success, which means something much larger than his on-court production. To me, this is an incredibly valuable person to the Wolves franchise and it’s important not to lose sight of the man Gorgui is, in addition to the player. He cares about his country and developing the youth. That always inspires me.
Soon enough, Dieng will participate in the 15th edition of Basketball without Borders Africa before playing in the second annual NBA Africa Game on August 5 in Johannesburg (h/t Alex Kennedy).
If you have Instagram, give G a follow. His last post is a video of a recent workout that surely would leave me exhausted and likely passed out on the floor gasping for oxygen.
Alex Kennedy (another h/t) had Crawford on his recent podcast. JCrossover is making the rounds after signing with the Wolves. He was also on Darren Wolfson’s Scoops podcast a few weeks back, and has been many times before. I thought this was the best part of his conversation with Kennedy:
Then, with Minnesota, it was seeing that they have the young pieces, they have a role for me that I feel I can fit into perfectly and they have Coach Thibs. I’ve always been a fan of Thibs, even going back to his Chicago days. I almost went to play for him [in 2011] before I went to Portland. It really came down to Chicago and Portland and Sacramento at that time; I’ve always been fond of Coach Thibs. I also know some different people in Minnesota. And I just saw how they got really good, really fast. At first, it was like, “Oh, they’re going to be good one day. They have those young pieces in Karl-Anthony Towns and [Andrew] Wiggins.”
Well, then here comes Jimmy Butler. Then Taj Gibson signs. Then Jeff Teague signs. And it’s like, “Oh, they’re serious right now.” It became intriguing on a lot of different levels and just made sense to me. If you look at it, I think were 28 games last year where the Wolves went into the fourth quarter with a lead, but they couldn’t close it out. I think with myself and Jimmy and Taj and Teague—along with KAT and Wiggins and [Nemanja] Bjelica and Tyus [Jones]—we’ll find ways to win those games. It’s just a matter of knowing what to run, what to call, who to get the ball to, how to stay calm and execute in those situations. And at the end of the day, like I’ve said before, teams like Cleveland and Golden State already know what it feels like to win, to go through that process [of becoming a title contender]. I wanted to go through that whole process with the Timberwolves.
Ricky Rubio: "El traspaso es bueno para Minnesota y para mí"
The former (oh that hurts to type) Wolves point guard recently did an interview with MARCA. Google translate: The transfer [trade] is good for Minnesota and for me.
I ran the entire interview through google translate to see if there was anything interesting said, though to be fair these interviews don’t always translate very well. Still, here’s some stuff from that (h/t MARCA for catching up with our long-time Unicorn):
What were your feelings just knowing that you were going to the Utah Jazz?
I had been talking about how they could change me, in fact I had to live two years between rumors of transfer and even during the Draft we were waiting for it to happen. After so much time in Minnesota, they had to spend two or three days to believe it and to value the equipment to which it went.
Have you been disappointed in Minnesota's attitude and been so often in rumors and possibilities of transfer?
In this league, we know that we are professionals and that the feelings are left to one side. This is a team in which I have been very comfortable but to which have come three or four coaches and so it is very difficult to maintain the constant. In the end I think this transfer is good for both parties because it had been six years there and things did not work. I do not blame them.
Does it feel bad to leave the team just when it looks like they're going to play the playoffs?
It is true that they are joining a team that could be in the postseason, but I'm going to another who played it last year and trust me. I am happy.
A Quick Trip Down Memory Lane
Remember when Jimmy and Kyrie did that cover of Vanessa Carlton’s A Thousand Miles on the Team USA airplane, while Carmelo Anthony looked miserable having to experience the moment? No? Well here it is. (Lighten up, Melo.)
Speaking of memories ... We will never forget you, Zach.
I don’t know how my dad keeps doing this, but Scott Meyer has been sending me all sorts of stuff this summer before I’ve seen it. He’s basically the Woj of my text messages right now. He let me know on Monday night that Zach LaVine was starring in a new Sonic commercial.
The King (sort of) Speaks
SLAM magazine published a short article citing a report from Cleveland.com about LeBron being eager for the Cavs to fulfill Kyrie Irving’s trade request after Cleveland agreed to a one-year deal, $2.1 million veteran minimum contract with Derrick Rose.
The King wasn’t having it.
Some Other Tweets
The Wolves and a class of season ticket members have settled the Flash Seats Lawsuit.
Britt is on point, as usual...
Wiggins goes w/Lebron a lot better than Kyrie goes w/KAT. Imagine going from Rubio to 6 weeks of Teague to Kyrie while Taj on yr ass abt D— brittrobson (@brittrobson) July 25, 2017
Anthony Brown was signed to a two-way deal by the Wolves. David Naylor wrote more on the move yesterday.
Free agent guard Anthony Brown has agreed to a two-way deal with Minnesota, a league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 25, 2017
We also have a lot of new numbers in Wolvesdom.
Jersey numbers for new #Twolves this yr:— Timberwolves PR (@Twolves_PR) July 25, 2017
Bjelica will also switch from #88 to #8.
GOOD MORNING, KAT. Good shot!
Splash! Karl-Anthony Towns drained a half-court shot to win a pair of shoes for a camper. pic.twitter.com/GB5oIIyVBc— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 24, 2017
Musical Guest: Toro y Moi "Boo Boo" (album stream)
Time for some music to end this edition of the Morning Pickup.
Have a good Wednesday! Be kind. Make someone smile if you can.