Minnesota Timberwolves

Recent Articles

Heat set franchise record

 

 

Suddenly there’s no stopping the World Champion Miami Heat. Being around this group after they dismantled the under-manned Minnesota Timberwolves 97-81, it’s apparent their main objective Monday night at Target Center before 18,391 fans was to win and not get trapped in a snowstorm. “We saw the forecast,” said Dwyane Wade, who scored a game-high 32 points and 10 assists. “We heard it might be coming.”

The defending NBA Champions did not play their best game, with 23 turnovers; but with the Timberwolves’ injury issues, having three starters out, the Heat had to be ready for a fight. A frustrated J.J. Barea, who was just one of 11 from the field, finally lost his cool in the fourth quarter. Continue Reading →

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Another strong-arm tactic to divert taxpayer dollars to franchise owners’ bottom line

 

 

Short of a new building, local taxpayers should pay for improvements to the downtown arena where the Minnesota Timberwolves play, according to NBA Commissioner David Stern. These “Stern comments” came a couple of weeks ago prior to his meeting with City officials “just to talk about where things stand in respect to centering back to the great building it was,” said the league commish of the publicly owned arena. “When you think about the [proposed] new scoreboard, the signage, the seats, the clubs, the restaurants, everything really takes the ambiance of the building…and brings it really into the 21st century,” he suggested. In other words, here comes another strong-arm tactic, subtle or otherwise, that league commissioners typically employ whenever franchises can’t get what they want. Forbes Magazine’s NBA Team Values list of the 30 franchises reveals that every team increased its value since last year, including a 34-percent increase for the Wolves, who rank 26th in current value ($364 million). Continue Reading →

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Wolves asst. coach credits good timing for his coaching career

 

An NBA assistant coach’s job is more than just keeping the bench leveled as the head coach continually stalks the sidelines during games. “Every day before practice, we meet [as a coaching] staff and formulate a practice plan,” explains T.R. Dunn, one of five former NBAers on the Minnesota Timberwolves staff, including Head Coach Rick Adelman, Terry Porter, Shawn Respert and Jack Sikma. “We all have input, and obviously he [Adelman] has the final decision on what goes down on what we do. We all have roles in instructing a particular player or group of players, and we oversee the practices. During the course of practice, if we want to make a point, we can do it right there.”

Each assistant coach is in a regular “game prep” rotation: “We do the game prep and watch film of the [opposing] team and try to prepare ourselves and our team for who we are going to be playing next,” explains Dunn. Continue Reading →

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Just the facts! A lack of diversity in Minnesota sports

I hope you had a great Christmas. This time of year grips me like you cannot imagine. It’s a time of joy and reflection. I have taken to social media at FitzBeatSr., my Twitter handle. No Facebook for me. Continue Reading →

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Twins outdo Wolves as Whitest pro team in Minnesota

 

Unless things change, the Minnesota Twins won’t have a single African American player on its opening day roster for the 2013 season. In the span of a week — no pun intended — the team unloaded its last two Black players, outfielders Denard Span and Ben Revere, to National League teams. Soon after last season ended, longtime first-base coach Jerry White was let go as well. Up to this point, no one has openly criticized the moves until now: the Twins’ “hot stove” moves left Bernard Walters, MSR’s go-to fan expert, with a cold feeling. “When I looked at the records of these pitchers, only one has a winning record,” he noted after analyzing both the trades. The only result we can be sure of is a Hall and Oates moment for Span (2002) and Revere (2007): They’re gone. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Timberwolves: The ‘Whitest team in the NBA’ has an even Whiter front office

 
Director of basketball operations counts coaching staff as front-office staff to claim diversity 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The National Basketball Association for years has been graded as “the most racially diverse group of players of the major professional sports” by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). Seventy-two percent of its players are Blacks and 82 percent of its players are people of color. This racial diversity has not yet found its way into the local NBA team, however, as a Star Tribune article recently pointed out with respect to the players, without even mentioning the club’s all-White front office. According to the 2011-12 “NBA Racial and Gender Report Card” by TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, 13 percent of team presidents/CEOs, 23 percent of GMs, 10 percent of vice presidents, 13 percent of senior administrators, 14 percent of professional administrators, five percent of team physicians and 21 percent of head trainers are Black. However in contrast, the Minnesota Timberwolves has no Blacks in any of the aforementioned positions: Since Billy McKinney, its first-ever player personnel director (1988-1990), the team has not had a person of color in a key front-office position in 22 years, and only three Blacks total in decision-making roles in the franchise’s entire 24 years. Continue Reading →

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Wolves Coach Respert explains player development

A group of former NBA players recently debated on NBA TV on which city has the best hoops. Kenny Smith says it’s his native New York City, but Chris Webber argued for his hometown, Detroit. Last month this columnist and Shawn Respert, a former Detroit Bishop Borgess High School star in the late 1980s, talked about being at the “Big House,” Cobo Hall and “Celiciaville” — sacred places in the Motor City like the Big Apple’s Madison Square Garden and Rucker Park. Winning a city or league title in the “D” was equally important and oftentimes just as prestigious as any pro championship. It earned more than bragging

rights; rather, it was a fitfully earned badge of pride that would last a lifetime. Continue Reading →

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Out-coached Lynx settle for runners-up

 

To win one championship is magical, but it takes more to repeat. I watched Houston win four consecutive WNBA Finals, still a league record, and interviewed each of their Big Three: Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson, as well as their Hall of Fame coach Van Chancellor. Borrowing from former U.S. Senator and once vice-presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, I must say, “Minnesota, you’re no Houston.”

That was a dynasty. Winning two in three years by Los Angeles, and later the same for the Detroit-now-Tulsa Shock, are certifiable dynasties. But for those who foolishly compared the Lynx to the now-defunct Comets, winning one title only makes you a faux-dynasty. Continue Reading →

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WNBA partnership offers internships, mentoring for Black youth

 
But will the Lynx join this national diversity effort?  

 

The WNBA recently has joined forces with 100 Black Men of America to create more mentoring opportunities for Blacks. 100 Black Men was founded in New York City in 1963 and then became a national organization with nine chapters in 1986. Today there are 116 chapters in the United States, England and the Caribbean with members who include corporate executives, physicians, attorneys, entrepreneurs, educators and men from numerous other professions. Two key components of the WNBA-100 Black Men partnership is a Dads and Daughters program and for two members of the Collegiate 100, an auxiliary organization to 100 Black Men, to be considered for a summer internship at the league’s New York headquarters. Continue Reading →

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Rappin’ with Wolves rookie Ricky Rubio

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The MSR recently got a few one-on-one moments with Minnesota Timberwolves rookie guard Ricky Rubio. Considering how the local and out-of-town media have virtually fallen to their knees, anointing him as the NBA’s Justin Bieber, it was very surprising that we were able to ask him a few questions without the usual horde around. At first impression, what Wolves Coach Rick Adelman calls “outside hype” seems not to be affecting Rubio at the moment. “He’s a great kid and wants to learn how to play,” says the coach. “But sometimes he tries to thread that pass — in our league, teams will take that away. Continue Reading →

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