Ted Johnson chuckled.
Johnson is the Timberwolves' senior vice president of marketing and communications and the team's chief marketing officer. He can't talk about one of the most marketable things to happen to his team in a while; the team isn't about to announce any Ricky Rubio news until Rubio is done playing in Europe.
Here's what he will talk about: the intense uptick in calls and e-mails coming into the Wolves offices Thursday. "We're still trying to figure out the reason for it," Johnson deadpanned.
Johnson said Thursday was the busiest the team's offices have been in weeks. Months, maybe. He didn't have a number, but Johnson said a number of season tickets were sold. Less quantifiable is the buzz that comes from Rubio trending high on Twitter, blogs and reports of the Spanish guard having agreed to terms to play for the Wolves next season. When fans call the office, Wolves employees can't tell them anything specific. But ...
"They're reading the story you guys and others are writing," Johnson said. "It doesn't stop them from buying tickets. ... We can't tell them whether Ricky [hmm, already on a first-name basis, eh?] is signed or will play for us next year. But they're excited about the prospect."
Johnson has a number of folks whose job it is to make calls, trying to drum up ticket sales. On Thursday, most of them were taking calls instead.
"It's been a fun day here in the office," Johnson said. "Lots of energy. Our team has had its share of ups and downs. This is one of those days that energizes the entire staff."