It was a pretty good day to be Derrick Williams on Wednesday.
MEMPHIS - It was a pretty good day to be Derrick Williams Wednesday.
Williams and fellow rookie teammate Ricky Rubio were named to the Rising Stars Challenge game over All-Star Weekend.
Later that night, Williams got his second start -- against the Grizzlies -- with Kevin Love serving the second and last game of his suspension. Williams finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. In attendance at FedEx Forum to watch him play? About 20 members of his extended family, including his grandfather, L.G. Moore.
This was a pretty big deal. Moore, who grew up in Winstonville, Miss., never had seen Williams play in person. He'd been able to watch Williams on YouTube at times. Williams' mom (and L.G.'s daughter), Rhoma Moore, used to send L.G. video clips. But those were highlights. This was real.
It was Williams' mom who called her dad to suggest the trip. "I told her I would try," said L.G., sitting in a wheelchair at the top of the lower bowl. "I'm 85 now, but I said, God willing, I would come."
He came to the game with John Moore, his younger brother. It's about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Winstonville to Memphis. But Williams also has some family living in the Memphis area.
Sitting at one end of the arena were John's daughter and her two daughters, all three wearing Williams jerseys.
"It's special," Williams said. "It's an honor."
With Love a lock to be named a reserve for the All-Star Game -- reserves will be named Thursday -- the Wolves will have three players headed to Orlando.
"It's a big honor," Williams said. "That's one of the things that has been on my list of goals to accomplish. I have a few more, including that main [All-Star] game."
One name not on that list is second-year center Nikola Pekovic, who has played very well of late.
"I don't know who decides that," Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. "But he's only been playing a lot the last two weeks. But look at what he's doing. He deserved a really good look at it."Man of leisure
While his teammates prepared to play the Grizzlies Wednesday, Love reached out to his fans via Twitter. He tweeted in the afternoon that he'd be at the corner of Hennepin and Lake in Minneapolis in 15 minutes and would give away two backpacks, signed hats, jerseys and more. He drew a crowd of 20 or more on his way to get a haircut.Playoff push
With the Wolves' regional scouts in town for meetings this week, you can bet Wolves brass has discussed trying to trade for a shooting guard who could push the Wolves into the playoffs.
The Wolves saw one such option in person Wednesday in Memphis guard O.J. Mayo, whom the Grizzlies probably can't afford to re-sign as a restricted free agent this summer. Other possibilities include Boston veteran Ray Allen, if the Celtics decide to rebuild on the fly as the March 15 trade deadline approaches.Etc.
• Rookie guard Malcolm Lee, coming back from knee surgery, made his rehab debut with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League on Tuesday, picking up 16 points and six assists.
Staff writer Jerry Zgoda contributed to this report.
|Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson||7||FINAL|
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