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.

Wolves in the 'Cuse, prospect walking in Memphis

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves draft news, Wolves players, Wolves practice news, On the road, Wolves news Updated: October 14, 2010 - 6:33 PM

Kurt Rambis gave his guys the day off -- other than the always "optional" workout day -- today in Syracuse after he mentioned a "fatigue factor" that hit his team Wednesday night in Indianapolis.

Former Syracuse stars Wesley Johnson and Jonny Flynn -- as well as Jason Hart, who played his college ball here long ago, and Buffalo, N.Y., native Lazar Hayward -- met with the local media at the team's hotel for about an hour.

The pair appeared at two public functions Thursday night, one where they hung out with former No. 1 overall pick and SU star Derrick Coleman at an Italian restaurant.

The other:  They were the guests of honor at a Welcome Back party tonight at a Syracuse sports bar, which is charging $25 at the door to hang with the two NBA stars.

They'll also sign autographs together Friday afternoon before the night's game against the Pistons at the Carrier Dome.

"This is home for us," Flynn said. "We have a family here at Syracuse. It's all love and it's always great to come back here."

Meanwhile, assistant GM Tony Ronzone and strength coach Dave Vitel are in Memphis today to visit with second-round pick Nemanja Bjelica and watch him play with his Caja Laboral Spanish club tonight against the Grizzlies.

Vitel was there to give Bjelica -- a point guard in a power forward's body who needs to get much stronger -- with a training program to follow.

Give the Wolves this: They are much more involved in player development -- one of David Kahn's catch phrases when he was hired -- than the team was previously. They frequently send representatives on the road to reach players, such as they did when Bill Laimbeer spent two weeks in Serbia with Darko Milicic in August.

Bjelica's team -- three-time Spanish national league champions -- also will play at San Antonio Saturday as part of a Euroleague American tour with CSKA Moscow.

He likely won't join the Wolves until 2012 at the earliest.

 

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