Wolves center Nikola Pekovic had his official news conference Friday morning after signing a 5-year, $60 million contract extension earlier this week. Here are a few highlights, with more to come on Startribune.com:
Pekovic on whether he was worried as negotiations went longer than some anticipated: "I always knew it was going to get done. I think my agents were more nervous than me. They were calling me like, ‘Calm down, calm down.’ And I was like, ‘I’m fine.’"
On his injury history (he has never played more than 65 games in a season): I want to (play 82 games). The style, how I play, it’s sometimes like injuries are part of what I’m doing. On offense and defense, I play with contact. … I’m trying to work on that with the medical staff. I’m in perfect health, no problems now.
Wolves President Flip Saunders, also on injuries: We are going to be very proactive in what we do medically. I believe at times we overtrain players in our league. You see the number of injuries in the last 5-6 years … it’s not just Pek’s job, it’s our job. We need to have more situations for our players to play at high levels and not be hurt.
Pek on the potential of this year's team: We have great potential. We were talking last year, and we just need to stay healthy. With Ricky and Kevin … we can do a lot of good stuff. ... We can be really good. ... When you are a basketball player, the thing that makes you happy is winning games.
Saunders on what Pekovic brings to the court: He’s a very unique player. … He’s almost a dinosaur. Many teams have gone to stretch-type playing because they don’t have a player on the block who can score on a consistent basis.