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Haberstroh: Wolves, Culver get creative

Jarrett Culver worked with the Timberwolves to find an in-home gym.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

I know we’ve all been wondering what players have been up to since sports ended, and Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports put together a great feature on Jarrett Culver. Here are a few of the snippets.

After being stuck in his downtown Minneapolis apartment by himself for just two days following the NBA’s March 11 shutdown, Jarrett couldn’t take it anymore. He decided to rent a house on AirBnB — most importantly, one with an indoor basketball court. Do they even have those, he wondered. Jarrett called up his agent Chris Emens and Minnesota Timberwolves VP of basketball operations Gersson Rosas to put in his request. “I was going crazy the first two days without shooting a basketball,” Culver said. “I was just bugging everybody, like, ‘I want to have a basketball court. I need to have a basketball court. I need to shoot.’”

Before getting into anything else, I do love the attitude and drive of Jarrett Culver. Sure, he struggled quite a bit as a rookie, but you can tell that the guy just really loves basketball.

Sikka, along with Rosas and Culver’s representatives, worked together to solve the problem. They were joined by Rachel Saunders, manager of team services and sister of head coach Ryan Saunders. For the past six years, Rachel has helped facilitate the relocation, moving and travel for NBA players and their families. This is her wheelhouse. The task force’s first rule was absolutely no hand-to-hand transactions. Next, the house had to be furnished in order to reduce the need for in-home visits. It also had to be empty for weeks prior to ensure safety from the virus. Furthermore, Culver and his brothers would have to go under strict lockdown for two weeks inside the home rather than quarantine separately, which, in the team’s eyes, was best to ensure compliance. The company of his siblings was critical to manage Jarrett’s stress levels. “If you are going to quarantine, you’re going to quarantine with your brothers,” Sikka said. “The mental health aspect of it is really, really critical.”

The lengths the Wolves have shown they’ll go to to take care of their players in Gersson Rosas short tenure has been really impressive. It’s awesome to see them making the mental health of their players a priority, especially in a time where many of us are either down in the dumps or going a little stir-crazy.

Unfortunately for Culver, Garnett’s former digs weren’t on the market. Moss’ old home was empty, but the monthly rent on short notice was out of Culver’s price range. Plan A quickly turned into Plan G. Eventually, they landed on a house for sale in Eden Prairie, just 12 miles south of the Timberwolves’ arena, which featured an enclosed half-court basketball gym that now adorns two Minnesota Timberwolves logos. This week, Culver shot two instructional workout videos inside the gym, one for Jr. NBA and another in partnership with Degree on his Instagram Live. For his dribble instruction, Jarrett showed the youth audience how to do a Dribble Over The Line Drill. The problem? The indoor court had no lines on it. So Culver improvised with an 11-foot light bulb changer rod he found in his new rental.

Honestly, it’s impressive the Wolves were able to find a place that both had a home gym and fit all of their requirements safety wise. Kudos to Culver and the Wolves for finding a way to make this work!