Eleven months ago, Timberwolves rookie Ricky Rubio converged on Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant late in a game at Target Center, planted his left foot to impede Bryant's path and ... tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a twist of fate that changed everything.
The Lakers came to Target Center for the first time since then Friday night, this time to open the month of February.
After such a long recovery road back from knee surgery that repaired two ligaments, Rubio was asked if he felt any trepidation about seeing Kobe and the Lakers again.
"No, that's long time ago," he said. "I don't want to think about, I don't think about it. That's the past."
Replays showed Rubio plant his leg and the knee flexed an instant before Bryant brushed by him.
"I don't remember touching him," Bryant said. "I just remember him going down and turning around and him being on the floor. I don't think anybody really realized the extent of the injury, but it became concerning when he couldn't get up. It's always the ones that don't seem to be like much are the ones that are really [serious]."
Enough time has passed that Wolves coach Rick Adelman no longer has to deal with Rubio's playing-time limit.
"They say he can play 32 and that's about what he's going to play anyway," Adelman said, "so I don't really think about it."Superman flies away
Lakers superstar center Dwight Howard flew home to Los Angeles to have one of those platelet-rich plasma procedures done on his hurting right shoulder Saturday. He will rejoin the team on its traditional long (seven games this season) February Grammys trip in Detroit.
That meant veteran Pau Gasol started in his place, which meant a popular point of conversation, if not contention, didn't apply for one night.
"That's one story you guys won't have to write," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters, referring to his decision to bring Gasol off the bench for most of the last month. "You might have to work a little bit."
Said Gasol, when told he was starting: "I know, right: Big news, headlines."Point, counterpoint
Rubio on Thursday came to Gasol's defense, saying with a laugh that if the Lakers didn't want to treat his friend and Spanish national teammate properly, "We are more than welcome to get him."
D'Antoni responded by saying, "When he gets a team, he can coach. He can make that decision. But, c'mon ... "Give him some Love
Here's something for that dwindling minority of Wolves fans -- if any are still out there -- who believe their team is better without Kevin Love's inattention to defense and ball-stopping tendencies: Kobe's in your camp.
"I agree," said Bryant, who played with Love on last summer's U.S. Olympic team. "You can send him my way. ... It's idiotic. It really is."
Love is expected back in Minnesota on Saturday after spending more than two weeks in New York City rehabbing his right shooting hand after having surgery there to repair two broken bones.Barnes suspended
The NBA suspended Clippers forward Matt Barnes one game for hitting Wolves backup center Greg Stiemsma in the throat Wednesday at Target Center. Barnes was ejected and served his suspension Friday at Toronto.
|NY Mets||4||Top 7th Inning|
|Boston||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Toronto||0||Top 2nd Inning|
|Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|Calgary||0||1st Prd 7:21|
|St. Louis||1||1st Prd 6:05|
|Minnesota||0||1st Prd 9:08|
|NY Islanders||7:00 PM|
|Holy Cross||13||1st Half 9:47|
|Western Ky||23||1st Half 7:13|
|Navy||12||1st Half 10:36|
|Temple||3||1st Half 17:32|
|UAB||21||1st Half 9:08|
|Boston Univ||14||1st Half 11:14|
|American Univ||12||1st Half 8:50|
|Wisconsin||36||1st Half 6:09|
|Fairfield||5||1st Half 10:47|
|Arkansas||35||1st Half 7:29|
|Morehead State||29||1st Half 5:57|
|USC Upstate||17||1st Half 8:42|
|Fla Gulf Coast||14|
|Lipscomb||15||1st Half 8:21|
|Southern Ill||12||1st Half 10:50|
|Texas State||6:30 PM|
|SC State||6:30 PM|
|Delaware State||6:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||6:30 PM|
|Norfolk State||6:30 PM|
|NC A&T||6:30 PM|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Southern Miss||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State||7:00 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:15 PM|
|South Alabama||7:30 PM|
|Alabama State||7:30 PM|
|Alabama A&M||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St||7:30 PM|
|Central Arkansas||7:30 PM|
|Portland State||7:30 PM|
|Southern U||7:30 PM|
|Alcorn State||7:30 PM|
|Houston Baptist||7:30 PM|
|SE Louisiana||7:45 PM|
|Eastern Ill||8:00 PM|
|VA Commonwealth||8:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|Northwestern St||8:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|North Texas||8:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||8:05 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|UC Riverside||9:00 PM|
|(18) Texas A&M||57|
|East Tenn St||73|
|Savannah State||49||2nd Half 17:00|
|Virginia Tech||27||2nd Half 15:54|
|Central Arkansas||37||2nd Half 6:25|
|Houston Baptist||41||2nd Half 11:31|
|Gardner-Webb||47||2nd Half 9:28|
|Georgia||38||2nd Half 15:31|
|Old Dominion||48||2nd Half 10:40|
|Ark-Little Rock||46||2nd Half 14:47|
|South Alabama||47||2nd Half 11:37|
|Georgia State||41||2nd Half 13:45|
|Sam Houston St||29||2nd Half|
|SE Louisiana||36||2nd Half|
|Northwestern St||22||2nd Half|
|Stephen F Austin||18|
|Alabama A&M||31||2nd Half|
|Alabama State||21||1st Half 3:54|
|Southern U||34||2nd Half|
|Alcorn State||24||2nd Half|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Wofford||22||2nd Half 18:17|
|Abilene Christian||20||1st Half 7:37|
|La Salle||17||1st Half 9:37|
|Illinois||15||1st Half 11:43|
|TX-San Antonio||10||1st Half 9:31|
|Valparaiso||19||1st Half 7:40|
|Missouri State||13||1st Half 11:00|
|Georgia Tech||7:00 PM|
|(15) North Carolina|
|Florida Atlantic||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Wichita State||7:00 PM|
|San Francisco||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Weber State||8:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Long Beach St||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Northern Ariz||9:00 PM|
|Southern Utah||9:00 PM|
Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?