Ricky Rubio

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High-scoring Timberwolves now 7-4

Will this be the year the Timberwolves make a run for a title? Will they return to the playoffs for the first time since Kevin Garnett-Sam Cassell-Latrell Sprewell drove the franchise to the Western Conference Finals? This is year 25 for the Timberwolves to celebrate a quarter of a century of no banners. When I started covering sports in this town back in 1978 the NBA did not exist. After 11 games, the 7-4 Timberwolves are one of the league’s most entertaining teams. They get up and down the floor. 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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‘Colorblind racism’: Language of sports filled with barely disguised bigotry

A memorable scene from Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing is Lee character’s argument with a White man over the latter not recognizing the Black players he liked, such as Magic Johnson, as being just as Black as Lee is. The late Kirby Puckett was hailed a Minnesota hero but once he was charged with — but later cleared of — a crime, he suddenly became Black and virtually remained that way until his death. This is “colorblind racism,” which exist among non-Black fans. “It does exist,” admits author and Washington State University professor David J. Leonard. “It is embedded into our language, our system [and] our institutions. 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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Belated recognition of Augustus surprised no one here

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Seimone Augustus last week became the first Black female and the third Black athlete to be named the Minneapolis daily newspaper’s annual sportsperson of the year since the recognition began in 1998. The paper’s selection of the Minnesota Lynx superstar simply cosigned what the MSR consistently said all throughout the team’s championship season — Augustus’ shoulders carried them. More importantly, the award hopefully finally quells any lingering doubts on her status as a franchise player. Those of us who have followed her not only in Minnesota but also during her four-year All-American career at LSU fully knew this fact. Augustus has rightfully has earned first-name status in this town along with other transcendent Black superstars: Kirby (Puckett), Kevin (Garnett) and Torii (Hunter). Continue Reading →

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View’s top stories, overused words of 2011

 

The Associated Press (AP) last week released its list of 2011’s top 10 sports stories. “Another View” has our own top 10, or what should have been the top local sports stories of this year:

The Minnesota Lynx: The only local major league team to participate in their respective league post-season. However, the Lynx went one step further — they won the WNBA championship in October, and the MSR proudly provided more coverage from preseason to All-Star Game, where a record four Lynx players were selected to finals, than any local publication. Faith Johnson: The longtime successful head coach this past spring became the first Black female high school basketball coach to win state girls’ titles at two different Minneapolis schools (North and DeLaSalle). Sandy Stephens: The first Black quarterback to lead a Division I school to a national championship as well as the last quarterback to lead Minnesota to a Rose Bowl victory finally got recognized in November by being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Continue Reading →

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