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.

Homecoming: Kirilenko returns to Utah

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves injury report, Wolves pre-game, Wolves news Updated: January 2, 2013 - 2:23 PM

The Timberwolves have come and gone from morning shootaround at EnergySolutions Arena here in Salt Lake City and Andrei Kirilenko avoided stepping foot in the visitor's locker room in his first visit back after playing 10 years for the Jazz.

"I haven't been in there, I'm afraid to go in," he said. "I didn't even know where the guest locker room is. And now I know."

The Jazz drafted him 24th overall in 1999 and developed a relatively unknown Russian into an All Star and then massively paid him like one with an $86 million contract once upon a time.

"I mean, I had a great 10 years here," he said. "I feel like I know every fan for the first 10 rows. It's going to be fun. It's doing to be a very strange feeling, but I guess that's the basketball life...I feel special when I step in EnergySolutions Arena and see all the staff that worked here for 10 years and I know them by name, every one of them. They're happy to see you and I've very happen to see them. That's special.

"I grew up here as an NBA player, coming into the league 19, 20 years old, become an All Star and get the majority of my career here. There are tons of great moments here. There is no one moment. It's part of my life here.

"I was thinking, `How many games I play here? 500, 400 games here? That's a lot and every game is special.. You really feel special when you play for 10 years for the same team. It's a great feeling."

He said likely will be both cheered and booed by Utah fans when he is introduced tonight.

"I've always been a fan of remembers as a good person rather than just a good player," Kirilenko said. "I think if the people remember you as a good personality, I think it goes a long way rather than just a good player but being a jackass or whatever."

He still has a house in Salt Lake City and his wife, Masha, will be here tonight.

"It looks like a little bit lonely, but it's life," he said about visiting his house on Tuesday. "We're always trying to do the best thing for your family, for yourself, so..."

 

One other thing: 

* Newly signed Lazar Hayward said his two practices with the team have prepared him to play as much as Rick Adelman needs him tonight, what with Ricky Rubio home in Minnesota because of those back spasms and the Wolves down to just three healthy guards again.

Adelman likes to scrimmage a lot in his practice, and Hayward called that approach just right these last two days.

"That's exactly what I need for these guys to get comfortable with me and see how I play a little bit," Hayward said. "I'm definitely ready. I'm just waiting, hoping Coach gives me a good opportunity  to give what the team needs."

Adelman says he'll play Hayward some at shooting guard out of necessity, and Hayward says he is willing and able.

"I played it a little bit in Oklahoma City when I got in the game, so I'm familiar with it," he said. "It's not anything I can't do. It's just guarding it, that's all, just guarding smaller guys. Defense, rebounding, hitting open shots, whatever the team needs, I'll be that."

 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas 7 Bottom 9th Inning
Oakland 2
Boston - B. Workman 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Washington - G. Gonzalez 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Hand
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Arizona - V. Nuno 7:40 PM
Colorado - Y. Flande
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 8:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc
Tampa Bay 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT