Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Three Wolves on All-Star ballot

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves guards, Wolves players, Wolves practice news, Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: January 4, 2012 - 1:57 PM

So what is the big news from the Wolves shootaround today? That's easy. Ricky Rubio got a haircut. Stop the presses.

Greetings, Youngblood here after the Wolves morning shoot.

Yes, the excitement around the rookie has reached the point where Rubio has to be asked about his hair. He went with Kevin Love to get it snipped yesterday, and some of the players were giving Rubio a hard time about it today.

Which, according to Love, is just as well. "I didn't think he needed a haircut," Love said. " The guys are giving him some grief today about it, which he needs. He's a rookie. Derrick (Williams) needs some of it, Malcolm (Lee) as well. So he needed it today, to be brought back to Earth a little bit, like we all do sometimes."

OK. We've got that out of the way. What else? Here are some nuggets before tonight's game at Target Center against the Memphis Grizzlies:

--Love, Rubio and Michael Beasley are on the All-Star ballot. There are 60 players from the East and 60 from the West on the ballot.  Players were chosen by a four-member media panel: Bill Simmons of Grantland, Sekou Smith of nba.com, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star and Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated.

--Memphis PR says star forward Zach Randolph will not play tonight because of an injured knee.

--It does not appear guard J.J. Barea (hamstring) will play tonight for the Wolves.

--Veteran Luke Ridnour might be appreciating what's going on here the most. And you might not think that, given that Rubio is garnering all the attention. But Ridnour is the oldest player on the Wolves' active roster, and he's played on playoff teams before. I think last year with problems both on and off the court drained him. He appears rejuvenated right now. He talked today about how much he loves the way the Wolves are moving and sharing the ball. "It's fun to come in, just the atmosphere in the locker room, the fans," he said. "It's something we definitely were missing last year. To have that back? I've been lucky enough to be on teams that won. You can sense the atmosphere. It's totally different this year."

--Wes Johnson is coming off a perfect 6-for-6, 14-point performance against San Antonio. Johnson struggled with his shot over the first four games, and it was a relief for him to finally hit some. "It did feel good, seeing my shot falling," he said.

--Rubio will be able to get together with Memphis center Marc Gasol tonight. Maybe. Gasol and Rubio are both from Barcelona, Spain, and have been friends for years. They played against each other as professionals and with each other on Spanish national teams. Memphis is staying in town tonight rather than flying out right after the game. "We'll hang out after the game," Rubio said. "If we win."

Rubio was asked which Gasol -- Marc or Pau -- was the better player. Rubio was way to savvy to fall for that one. "I don't know how to say, I played with both of them. Both have great skills."

Rubio also had another interesting thing to say. He was asked if, while sitting on the bench in the first quarter, he heard fans calling for him to play. "Yeah, but I don't like that kind of stuff," he said. "Because, I don't know how to say, there are five players playing on the court and we have to focus on them. And Luke played very well and he did a great job for us. He gave us a victory." 

--One final note, this one from Anthony Tolliver. He was asked about coach Rick Adelman having him and Kevin Love on the court at times, spotting up for three-pointers and how that forced teams to adjust. Tolliver had an interesting response: " We're making teams adjust to us rather than always adjusting to them," he said. "That was something we didn't do last year, I think, very much. We never dictated things last year. We were always adjusting to the other team. Now we're making the other team adjust to us. That's a huge reason why we're having some success."

That's about it for now. I'll get back to you tonight.

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