Staying in the same London hotel with employees from the company that recently sent you packing may seem odd, but the former Celtics who were packed off to Minnesota seem to be enjoying it...
"It's not really weird," said Timberwolves guard Sebastian Telfair, who played for the Celtics last season. "It's business. It's good to see some of the old guys. A lot of those guys took care of me. I bumped into a lot of the old staff. It's been pretty cool."
In his latest diary post at the Pioneer Press, Mark Madsen talks about Saturday's game in Istanbul and arriving in London.
The setup here is that we're at a Marriott Hotel and the Celtics are here as well. The meal room setup is basically one huge ballroom for both teams with a partition in the middle. And, the partition is a black cloth hanging down from a little cable. So, it will be interesting to see how that works out.
Gerald Green was sitting there for the Timberwolves to draft in 2005. Instead, Minnesota's selection was Rashad McCants while four picks later Boston took Green. Now, two years later, Green joins McCants in the Twin Cities and is the better player with more potential for the future.
At the Downtown Journal, Litel also discusses the game against Efes Pilsen.
From Dime Magazine:
Who the Wolves will start this year has been a question we’ve gotten a lot. Yesterday it was Randy Foye, Rickey Buckets, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson and Mark Blount. However, we think Corey Brewer will crack that five before long and send Gomes to the bench …no comments
During the interview process, the Timberwolves told one candidate that they were looking for a young coach who could specifically help players avoid off-court troubles before they end up on the police blotter.
"The league is backing this in hopes that these guys can prevent problems before they happen," said one Eastern Conference GM. "It's also a way to get former players back into the league. Pinckney's got a real gift for relating to younger kids, and maybe he will help keep them focused on basketball."
Sebastian Telfair isn't going to have an easy time sticking with the Timberwolves. Owner Glen Taylor confessed to an associate that he didn't want the former Lincoln great, but had to take him to get Boston to do the Kevin Garnett trade.
According to Turkish newspapers, Fenerbahce Ulker is interested in signing Serbian NT guard Marko Jaric (198-G-78). Although his signing with Turkish champion is not realistic at the moment, the same source wrote that Jaric is not happy in Minnesota and is looking to come back to Europe.
David Friedman/20 Second Timeout on yesterday's win over Efes Pilsen.
"It feels great. This is like a dream come true," Hudson told HOOPSWORLD. "I've been on a couple of teams in this league that have let me play the way I want to play, but everybody here plays the style of basketball that I was born to play."no comments
Before the game, a few of the players talked about playing a Euroleague team.
Timberwolves forward Mark Madsen said he is progressing well from surgery on his right shoulder and pectoral muscle. Madsen estimated he will return to action in "probably five or six weeks."
In his latest diary post, Madsen writes about the team and the league helping to distribute hearing aids to over 1000 kids in Istanbul.
WD at Canis Hoopus on Greg Buckner's contract and the luxury tax.
Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld with an overview of training camp so far.
From Sid Hartman:
Theo Ratliff, the veteran center who came to the Timberwolves in the Kevin Garnett trade, said he is 100 percent healthy after missing most of last season with the Celtics. "Of course, it's a new day for me, after coming off an injury. I got with a great strength coach, great basketball coach, and I'm ready as ever," he said. "I only played a couple of games last year, I had the herniated disk and then I had to have surgery for it."
You can bash everything about the operation, except this: Kevin McHale has tried goofy things, such as firing Dwane Casey as coach, but he hasn't made outrageous excuses when those have failed. His basic message has been, "We're bad, and that falls on me."
"[Garnett] loves being in Boston, loves his teammates," said Mitchell, the winner of this year's Red Auerbach Trophy as Coach of the Year. "He said if he knew the NBA was like this, he would have wanted to be traded a long time ago . . .no comments
Today's Zaman on Efes Pilsen:
Efes Pilsen is one of EuroLeague basketball's most consistent teams having made the Final Four in 2000 and finishing one step short of the Final Four from 2002 to 2006. The team is often called the “Pride of Turkey.” Efes has won 12 Turkish league titles including four consecutive titles between 2002 and 2005. They are seven-time Turkish Cup winners and became the first Turkish club team to win European silver when they won the 1996 Korac Cup.
From the Turkish Daily News:
Meanwhile, the NBA's crusade in Europe is not all about playing, but also in line with the league's social responsibility policy. The cooperation by the NBA Cares institution and Adidas resulted in the opening of a couple of new basketball courts in Istanbul. One of them was in Fındıkzade Educational Park and was opened with the participation of Ryan Gomes and Theo Ratliff.
"I know the pleasure of playing at a brand new court," said Gomes. "Hope you enjoy it, too." The forward advised young players to work hard in order to realize their dreams and then, alongside Ratliff and former NBA stars BJ Armstrong and Fred Hoiberg showed a handful of basketball moves to them.
Ryan Gomes updates his diary at the Star Tribune.
Also from the Star Tribune:
Third-year guard Rashad McCants participated in Friday morning's workout -- the team's only practice of the day -- but he is not expected to play tonight as a precaution. He has been bothered this week by cramps and a sore hamstring.
Randy Hill/Fox Sports on the possible outcomes from offseason moves.
The Minnesota Timberwolves trade Kevin Garnett for Al Jefferson and Gerald Green
In one fell swoop, the T-Wolves bagged someone who'll at least be pretty good for many years and another kid who may provide some cred in the slam-dunk contest.
Green, the reigning NBA Slam Dunk Champion, has been one of the most requested players for interviews while here in Turkey.
"It ain't a big deal for me to get traded," said Hassell, who is as down-to-earth as they come. "I'm just one of those guys who can help a team defensively with energy. I'm not one of the players that you might read about or talk about all the time. For Garnett, that shocked me because ... all that I know about Minnesota is Big Ticket."no comments
Jeff Clark/CelticsBlog has organized the second annual NBA Blogger Previews. Check out the links below for previews of the Atlantic Division teams.
CelticsBlog NBA Page
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Rashad McCants practiced the majority of the morning practice but one of his hamstring's became sore again, and he was forced to sit out. It's hard to say, Wittman said, whether McCants will play during Saturday's exhibition game against Turkish team Efes Pilsen in Istanbul. But the coach didn't sound optimistic.
I knew from watching Corey Brewer in college at Florida that he was a great defensive player, but he has really shown that here in camp. He probably stood out the most in our scrimmage tonight...
Also from the Star Tribune:
Smith, recovering from a sprained ankle suffered last week in preseason workouts, is working out on his own enough that Wittman now says he thinks Smith might return to participate in practice when the team reaches London next week.
During a media conference call, Coach Wittman talked about the differences between Craig Smith and Chris Richard:
Totally different players. Craig is a more skilled player offensively. He's got more swagger to his offensive game. Chris is more of a banger, a guy that's going to get to where he wants to get if he has to run through a wall. Craig can beat you and deceive you with moves and different things. That's the main difference. Craig can put the ball on the floor I think a little bit better right now than Chris, but Chris takes up space and from a defensive standpoint has been really good.
It really made us feel good to give back of our time to this community here, and hopefully this is the first of many trips to Turkey. Hopefully the NBA can return to not only Istanbul, but also Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Hopefully we can get over to Saudi Arabia, and hopefully if things stabilize we can get over to the Pakistan/India area. I think it would be great for the game.
Via Mavs Moneyball, a short Q&A with Trent Hassell in which the player says about his new team that he's "just happy to be here in this situation on a great team."
Dwane Casey, the former head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves and longtime assistant to Nate McMillan in Seattle, stopped by the Trail Blazers practices the past two days.
But McMillan and general manager Kevin Pritchard said there is nothing to read into Casey's presence other than a friend stopping by to watch some basketball.no comments
In the latest installment of the Rhino Diaries, Craig Smith talks about how he got his nickname from the team's "Name The Rookies" contest last season. Smith also reports back on some of the team's recent activities:
During the bus-ride back to the Istanbul castle that we're staying in, Al (Jefferson) and Gerald (Green) had their joking session on each other, in which Gerald said Al's nose is so big he could smell a thousand miles away. Al came back by saying Gerald looks like Juvenile (the rapper who used to be with Cash Money Records ... If you don't know who he is or what he looks like Google him, it's funny).
From the Associated Press:
People in the Midwest are a typically patient bunch, but there isn't much willingness to wait for Minnesota's teams to turn around their struggles and perform at a consistently better level.
The Old Timberwolves Logo - Giving Foye A Shot
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site posts video of an interview with Randy Foye from media day.
The Wolves come in last in John Denton/Hoopsworld's power rankings.no comments