Sid Hartman has been a major voice on the Minnesota sports scene for several decades. He writes a column four days a week, and has a weekly radio program on WCCO830 at 9:30 a.m. Sundays. He also can be heard at 7:40, 8:40 and 9:20 a.m. on weekdays.

Glen Taylor says Love 'has a long way to go' to catch KG

Posted by: Sid Hartman under Wolves players, Vikings draft Updated: March 29, 2012 - 5:24 PM

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has now had two great players on his payroll -- Kevin Garnett for 12 seasons, and Kevin Love, who is in his fourth season.

Love, who won the NBA's Most Improved Player award last year and is headed for it again this season, is breaking all sorts of team records, including some of Garnett's.  And he isn't making anywhere near the money that Garnett made, some $200 million during his career here.

At this point Taylor refuses to rate Love as a better player than Garnett.

"Kevin [Garnett] did it for many years. Love is doing well now, but he has a long way to go to catch up with the long successful career that Garnett had," Taylor said.

Garnett, who still has a home in the Twin Cities, doesn't hold any love for this franchise, according to his quotes in the Boston press. This despite all the success he had and all the money he made here.

Garnett said: “It’s always special to come back to true fans and your foundation. But as far as that franchise, I have nothing positive to say. So I’ll just let it be that. I think Kevin Love’s playing at a high level. I think he’s rejuvenated the city as far as basketball goes. Other than that, nothing else.”

It will be interesting to see how much he is booed tomorrow night when the Celtics make their only appearance here.

One hero who doesn't get credit for what he did for this franchise is Kevin McHale. He not only drafted and made Garnett a great player, but he also was responsible for the draft-night trade that brought Love here in 2008.  And McHale also drafted Nikola Petrovic, who has a chance to be one of the best big men in the NBA.






Mbakwe says there's a good chance he'll return

Posted by: Sid Hartman under Tubby Smith, Gophers injuries, Vikings draft Updated: March 23, 2012 - 5:29 PM

Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe, who got the good news from the NCAA Thursday that he has been awarded a sixth year of eligibility after being injured in the first six games this past season, is going to test the draft but he says there’s a good chance he will return to play for the Gophers.

“I feel great. I’m happy. I was pretty nervous the whole time waiting to find out what was going to happen with the NCAA,” Mbakwe said. “But I’m happy, I’m ecstatic and I’m just waiting to see what my next move is going to be and just continue to keep getting me knee better.”

“I don’t know yet. I still have to work some things out and see what the best option is for me,” said Mbakwe when asked if he will return to the Gophers. “Right now I’m just playing it by ear and taking it day-by-day.”

“Yeah there’s still a possibility [of entering the draft]. It’s my lifelong dream and something I’ve been working hard for,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough decision. I want to play back with all my teammates, I missed them and I’m not happy with the way this last year went. It would be nice to finally take this team to a tournament.”

Mbakwe said he won’t hire an agent any time soon as he tests his viability in the draft market before the NBA draft in June. That will keep him eligible for the Gophers if his chances to be drafted by the NBA aren’t positive.

“I’ll see what the interest is,” Mbakwe said. “I know teams, the biggest question is going to be my knee and showing them that my knee is fine. That’s why I’m continuing to work hard on that.”

Gopher coach Tubby Smith, who was optimistic all the time that the extra year would develop, wants the 6-8 cager to play next season but his comment was “that the decision about playing is all up to Mbakwe”

Mbakwe reported that his “knee is doing really good. It’s getting better. I’m starting to do more things, I’ll be running in a couple of weeks. I’m really happy about it.”

“Yeah I’ll be able to play. I’ll be playing again this summer.”

Mbakwe graduated in December but he’s still in school taking classes.

“I’m taking two lab courses. I have an independent study that I’m taking and a design class that I took and completed.”


U rec center under construction

Posted by: Sid Hartman under Gophers recruiting Updated: March 22, 2012 - 4:45 PM

It has been kind of a secret, but the University of Minnesota is in the process of building a recreation center that will almost double the size of their present recreation facilities.

The $59.6 million center will have 145,000 square feet of things like basketball courts and other facilities that the students have been pushing for and that the university has lacked.

Some of the features of this building will be a larger fitness center, a center for outdoor adventures, multipurpose rooms, an elevated track, recreational sports office space, and a full-service cafe.

The building will be close to the University Aquatic Center and will also include a wellness resource center and an indoor cycling studio.

It will be completed in the fall of 2013 and is being funded by student service fees.

Memories of the 1937 Edison high school team

Posted by: Sid Hartman under Gopher coaches Updated: March 21, 2012 - 6:22 PM

This is the time of year for a lot of people to rate all the great high school basketball teams. While others rate teams that they read about -- because they weren't born yet -- I can talk about teams that I have seen, including a team that was approached to fix the high school championship game.

The team was the 1937 Minneapolis Edison boys basketball team that went 15-1 and won a state tournament. They beat Crosby Ironton 38-27 in the title game.

Edison had, in my book, the greatest starting lineup of any high school team. Don Carlson, a future Laker, was on that team after playing for the Gophers. Joe Mernik, one of the greatest high school athletes in Minneapolis history, later played for the Gophers football team and was on the 1940 national championship team, kicking an extra point as the Gophers beat Michigan 7-6 in a key game. Willie Warhol went on to play basketball for the Gophers. The Edison center was Walt Andrewski.

Around tournament time it developed that a local fan tried to fix the game by bribing one of the Edison players, something that never happened before in state high school sports.  The Edison player reported the attempt to police, and the fan was arrested.

The Edison coach was Ray Parkins, and for years his team dominated the city of Minneapolis when there were only eight schools. The football team, coached by Peter Guzy, was almost as dominant.

In those days, they played every Friday at the Minneapolis Auditorium -- two games in the afternoon and two games at night. All the state tournament games were played at Williams Arena, with crowds of more than 15,000.



Weber could be Manning's backup

Posted by: Sid Hartman under Gopher quarterbacks Updated: March 20, 2012 - 4:57 PM

Adam Weber, the former Gophers quarterback, will benefit a great deal from all the quarterback changes going on with his current team, the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos signed superstar quarterback  Peyton Manning, 35, today.

Weber, who was promoted from the practice squad late last season, has attended Manning's camps. Now he has a chance to be the backup to the future Hall of Famer.

Denver backup quarterback Brady Quinn has signed with Kansas City, and Tim Tebow is likely to be traded, so Weber, at this point, looks to be No. 2 in Denver.

Eric Decker, Weber's top target with the Gophers, is one of Denver's top receivers.



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