Welcome to the Friday edition of The Cooler, where certain people will always cause me to listen. Let’s get to it:
*Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett recently returned to Minnesota for a TNT feature in which he sat down with Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Ryan Saunders.
It was an interesting segment touching on several key areas, and it perhaps also signaled a thawing out of the relationship between KG and the Wolves that turned icy in recent years. Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the renewed warmth is happening now that Tom Thibodeau — who played a role in KG’s departure from the Wolves before the 2016-17 season — is gone and Ryan Saunders is the coach. Maybe not.
Regardless, here are some key takeaways from the segment:
*KG, who played with both guys when they were younger, prodded Wiggins and Towns about their relationship with Jimmy Butler. Wiggins said he has “no beef” with Butler, while Towns tried to explain what happened when the Wolves were routed by the 76ers in January when the players were reunited. “Too much emotion,” KAT said. “We went in with a mindset of ‘oh, we want to go show something.’”
*Towns expanded on earlier thoughts as to why his all-star selection this year meant so much to him. “I’ve been putting emotions and feelings into a box for a while,” he said. “When that moment came up it was like the box opened up.”
*Off-camera, Garnett said he was happy for Towns but also said he hopes KAT’s second consecutive all-star berth will “light a fire” under Wiggins’ posterior. On-camera, KG told Wiggins that he’s mad at him for not being an all-star yet. “Next year is a motivation. Next year, that’s what I’m aiming toward,” Wiggins said.
*Towns on how Ryan Saunders is different from Thibodeau; “He’s more of a father that says something lightly, but he’s more disappointed. And you don’t want to disappoint your father. It gives you a different drive.”
*The segment ended with KG and Saunders chatting in the Target Center seats — interwoven with footage of KG and Saunders as a young boy playing around before a game back when Flip Saunders, Ryan’s dad, was the coach.
“Sitting there, it was very hard talking to him,” Garnett said later, off-camera. “I see a lot of his father in him. … I can hear his father in just how he talks and presents himself.”
You can watch the entire segment here:
*Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino had a different reaction to the Brad Davison/Jordan Murphy controversy after reviewing the tape. He still left things inconclusive but his comments on his coaches show made it appear that the play bothered him. Take a look:
*Danny Ainge used an engagement/marriage analogy to talk about Kyrie Irving, and I’m still confused about where things stand. Kyrie does have a ring, but it’s from a previous relationship that he broke off in Cleveland.
*Hey, we did a Vikings podcast on Thursday. Maybe you would like to listen to it?