• The Chicago Tribune headline on Wednesday read: “Relaxed and personable, Tom Thibodeau ready for Timberwolves challenge.” The Tribune wrote about the dynamic between Thibodeau and General Manager Scott Layden, saying “the arranged alliance contrasted sharply with the frayed relationship with management and ownership that doomed Thibodeau’s final season with the Bulls.”
• Byung Ho Park is tied for the American League lead in rookie home runs with six. Tyler White of Houston has five. Park also became only the second Twin in history to hit five home runs in his first 17 games. … Joe Mauer has reached base in 24 straight games, the longest streak to start the season in all of baseball. It is also the Twins’ third-longest streak to start a season.
• If the Gophers want to revive the interest in the men’s hockey program when it comes to attendance, they should quit playing nonconference games against non-WCHA teams and play those schools instead of Ivy League schools. And the Gophers basketball team isn’t going to draw until it adds top-tier Division I teams instead of playing unknown Division II and III schools. And when it comes to lower-division squads, St. Thomas, Hamline, St. John’s and other area colleges would draw more fans than the opponents the Gophers had on the schedule this past season.
• Vikings tight end Rhett Ellison, who tore his patellar tendon in the Vikings’ final regular-season game, is making good progress and is expected to be ready to play this season.
• Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio will host a three-day basketball camp at Life Time Athletic Target Center from June 10-12 before heading to Brazil to play in the Olympics with Spain.