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.

It's all about the big guy

Posted by: Kent Youngblood Updated: February 18, 2012 - 5:08 PM

 And on Saturday, the campaign continued.

It started with Wolves coach Rick Adelman, who in a reprise of his post-game speech in Houston, again plugged Nikola Pekovic as a worthy late addition to the Rising Stars game over All Star weekend.

Then, one player after another sang Pek's praises. Derrick Williams practically laughed when asked if he could block Pek out.. "Can't do too much about him," Williams said. "He's 290, all muscle. It's hard. I'm 240, and I'd have no chance."

Kevin Love was asked about guarding Pek in practice. "I try to stay away from that as much as possible," he said. "it's not fun. He's 290 pounds and he eats weights for a living. So he's a big guy."

And I know I'm not breaking news here, but I have to say that it's a pleasure to talk with Pek. He remains charmingly unaffected by the success he's had. Here are some of his comments today:

--Pek on how things are going: "Everything is going so nice. We are winning the games, playing good. I'm doing well, everything is great. And nice weather." 

--Pek on whether he identifies with what Jeremy Lin is going through: "I'm just trying to stay focused on our work, on my job, what I need to do."

--Pek on what he is most happy about: "Winning the games. That's the best part. When you win the games, everybody is happy. It's been very different than last year, when we lose so many games. You don't have respect, you don't have nothing. I came from Europe, not used to losing. I don't like to lose."

In Sunday's paper I'll write about how Pek's rise has changed the way the Wolves play offense and how it has helped Adelman tighten up his rotation. 

 

In other news: 

--J.J. Barea is a new dad. He missed Friday night's game to be with with his girlfriend -- former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera -- who was about to have a baby. The good news: A son named Sebastian. 

 

 

That's about it for now. Have a good night. I'll get back to you before tomorrow's game with Philly.

 

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