RandBall Logo



Find breaking sports news and commentary on Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Wild and University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and high schools from Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities metro area and Minnesota.

RandBall: A portrait of Kevin Garnett, the zealous mentor

kgtownsJackie MacMullan, a gifted basketball writer who watched Kevin Garnett play in Boston and is now with ESPN, has written a very good piece about the notion of KG as a mentor.

She goes into great detail over many of his past mentees, noting that Garnett can be — to put it mildly — a demanding teacher.

The crux of the story:

So it is that Minnesota’s decision to entrust No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns to the tutelage of Kevin Garnett is, to put it mildly, a compelling and sizable gamble. … Former teammate Chauncey Billups maintains that Garnett is the most unselfish superstar of his era and the most dynamic leader he has seen. Then again, if Towns is devoured by KG’s fire, he wouldn’t be the first. A partial list of ex-teammates who have endured the wrath of the Big Ticket includes Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Mason Plumlee, Ray Allen, Wally Szczerbiak, Rajon Rondo, Rasho Nesterovic, Patrick O’Bryant and Deron Williams. Some have survived to be welcomed into Garnett’s inner circle; others are forever dead to him. “If you don’t meet his expectations,” says Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, “he has no use for you.”

She builds compelling evidence, much of it to be digested in the eye of the beholder. What is good leadership? What does a good mentor do? Your answers to those questions will likely frame how you view Garnett.

Ex-Viking Christian Ponder to work out for Broncos

bridgewaterFour years ago, Christian Ponder was the No. 12 overall pick in the NFL draft by the Vikings. That same year, he became the team’s starter as a rookie.

Three years ago, he started all 16 regular-season games for a Vikings squad that made the playoffs.

Two years ago, he started just nine games as things fell apart for Ponder as he and the Vikings were exposed.

Last year, the Vikings drafted Teddy Bridgewater — signaling the end of the Ponder era. Ponder started just one game, in an emergency capacity, a 42-10 drubbing at Green Bay.

And now this year, he signed with the Raiders but was cut before the start of the season. His role now? The guy waiting by the phone for teams to call if they run into a QB shortage during the year. Already he’s reportedly had workouts set with the Cowboys and Titans. Neither team nabbed him.

Now? The Broncos, with Peyton Manning ailing, are reportedly set to put Ponder through a workout on Wednesday. Brock Osweiler, a 2012 second-round pick, started and played well last week. But the only other healthy QB on the Broncos’ roster is 2015 7th-round pick Trevor Siemian.

If Ponder is added for depth onto the Broncos roster and Osweiler winds up injured, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario by which Ponder would jump into the starter’s role as long as Manning was still hurt. It would be quite an upward leap for a QB who has really had nothing but a downward fall over the past few seasons.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Gophers women's hockey at MSU Mankato

    2:07 pm

  • Wisconsin at Gophers football

    2:30 pm on BTN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's basketball vs. Auburn

    6 pm on 1500-AM

  • Dallas at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Vikings at Atlanta

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Timberwolves at L.A. Clippers

    2:30 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers men's hockey

    6:35 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Clemson at Gophers men's basketball

    8 pm on ESPN2, 1500-AM

  • Orlando at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Wild at Chicago

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Toronto at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Ohio State at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

How will the Gophers and Vikings do this weekend?

See more polls

Today's Scoreboard

No games for NFL

  • Philadelphia

    NY Rangers


    - End 2nd



  • New Jersey


    6:00 PM

  • Edmonton


    6:00 PM

  • NY Islanders

    Tampa Bay

    6:00 PM

  • Washington


    6:00 PM

  • Dallas


    7:00 PM


  • Buffalo


    7:00 PM

  • Columbus

    St. Louis

    7:00 PM

  • Calgary

    San Jose

    9:00 PM

  • Ottawa


    9:00 PM

  • Winnipeg


    9:00 PM

  • Chicago

    Los Angeles

    9:30 PM


  • Toronto


    6:00 PM

  • Brooklyn


    6:30 PM

  • Atlanta

    San Antonio

    7:30 PM

  • Denver


    7:30 PM


  • New Orleans


    8:00 PM


  • LA Lakers


    9:00 PM

  • Sacramento

    Golden State

    9:30 PM

No games for MLS