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.

Posts about Wolves players

Rubio to NBA.com in Italy: "I like Minnesota. But I want to win, too."

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: June 8, 2014 - 8:52 PM

NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper interviewed Ricky Rubio stay during his appearance at the annual Eurocamp in Italy about his future and Kevin Love's future in Minnesota.

Here's the story with a link to separate video done with him.

While in Treviso, Rubio also did a video interview with Basketball Insiders' Steve Kyler in which he was asked about the Wolves' naming Flip Saunders as coach.

It sounded like less than a resounding endorsement to me, but check it out here and decide for yourself.

Here are the highlights of what Rubio told NBA.com:

* He said he wants Love to stay in Minnesota and still wants to play in Minnesota even if Love doesn't, but made it clear he doesn't want to step backward and go through the process of rebuilding again.

"I like Minnesota," he said. "But I want to win, too. Of course when a big guy like him leaves, you're thinking about what's going to be happening with the team. Are we going to lose a lot? Before I came to Minnesota, the season before they won like 17 games. I was a little scared when I went there. I'm coming from Europe, where I was playing in Barcelona. I think we lost six game or seven games in two season and every loss was a disaster. I don't want to go through a process like every win is something special."

* He's flying to Los Angeles on Monday for workouts, including work with a new shooting coach. But he made it clear the trip doesn't mean he'll play for the Lakers, a nod to Love's visit to Boston a week ago.

* He said he'll call and talk to Love soon after he arrives back in the United States. "He’s my teammate and I want to know how he feels and if he wants to stay or whatever,” Rubio told NBA.com. “But it’s something that I think we had a good relationship and we can talk as friends. Of course I want him to stay.”

Let it begin: Kevin Love tours Boston this weekend

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: May 31, 2014 - 6:21 PM

The Summer of Love -- which I wrote about here for the Saturday paper -- has begun already.

Twitter and the Internet today is peppered with a photo or two of Love visiting Boston this weekend and posing with fans while he apparently checks out the city as a possible new home in a develop that has left Celtics fans online all abuzz.

A website calling Dirty Water News said Love is Boston from Friday night through Sunday (and that day's Red Sox game) and quoted him as saying, "I’m here to just check out the city and see what it’s like.”

And here's a Boston Globe story about a fan whose day Love made.

(photo via Twitter)

What's next? Cleveland?

When a Boston Globe reporter approached him at a Boston hotel, Love said, "I'm sorry man, I can't do nothing, I can't," referring to his ability to talk publicly.

If you ask what he'd willingly go to Boston in a trade and re-sign with the Celtics...well, see my story above, which basically says the Celtic mystique probably appeals to a guy who's all about NBA tradition. There's also a precedent there, of course, with the Wolves and Celtics already hooking up once on a big deal involving a star named Kevin.

The Celtics have the 6th and 17th picks in the June 26 draft, as well as Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green or possibly restricted free agent Avery Bradley to offer as well as a collection of future first-round picks as well.

Joerger interviewed, Dieng is NBA All-Rookie second team

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: May 22, 2014 - 4:48 PM

Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders did meet with Memphis coach Dave Joerger today in an undisclosed location, according to a source. Next step is for Joerger with meet with owner Glen Taylor sometime this weekend.

From there, you've got to except the Wolves will proceed toward finalizing a contract with Joerger, provided the Wolves and Grizzlies can come to agreement on compensation considering that Joerger is still under contract in Memphis.

The question is whether the Wolves are willing to surrender a draft pick and flip-flop picks to a team that has backed themselves into a corner with a coach they don't want back but who still has two years left on his contract

The Wolves own three second-round picks in next month's draft.

Or as long as Joerger doesn't make a bad impression with Taylor. But given their shared small-town Minnesota roots, you got to believe the two men will hit it off.

In other news:

Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng today was named to the NBA's All-Rookie second team.

In balloting done by 125 sportswriters and broadcasters, Dieng received 21 first-team votes and 54 second-team voties. That put him firmly in the middle of a second team that included Boston's Kelly Olynyk, Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo, Charlotte's Cody Zeller and Oklahoma CIty's Steven Adams.

Dieng got there with a late-season push made possible because of both increased playing time provided by Nikola Pekovic's hurting ankle and the fact he no longer picked up two quick fouls anymore whenever he got on the floor.

That finishing flourish wasn't quite enough to make a first team comprised of Philadelphia's Michael Carter-Williams, Orlando's Victor Oladipo, Utah's Trey Burke, Brooklyn's Mason Plumlee and New York's Tim Hardaway Jr.

Other Wolves who were named All Rookie, second team: Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Felton Spencer, Craig Smith, Jonny Flynn, Wes Johnson and Derrick Williams.

 

         
         
         
         
         
         

Adelman focused on finale

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: April 16, 2014 - 7:13 PM

Rick Adelman met with the media before tonight's regular-season finale against Utah at Target Center and it sure didn't sound like he's ready to announce his retirement either before or after the game.

Tomorrow?

That might be an entirely different matter.

Adelman said he will meet soon with Flip Saunders and Glen Taylor to discuss the future. Both sides have two weeks now to opt out of Adelman's fourth and final contract year next season, but Adelman suggested it won't take nearly that long.

"Then it will be determined," he said.

Still, he wouldn't say before the game that this is it for him, for this reason:

"As I said before, I want these guys to finish the season out and I've asked them to stay with it," he said. "Don't start looking ahead, thinking about what's going to happen tomorrow. Get this win tonight. That's how I tried to approach it. If I did it any other way, I wouldn't be doing what asked them to do."

For now, he reiterated that it's important to focus on the one game remaining and getting the Wolves to .500 -- at 41-41 if they win -- for the first time since 2005.

"It would mean something for sure," Adelman said. "It's not what we wanted to do but certainly finishing .500 is improvement over last year, I guess improvement over the last 10 years here."

An interesting tidbit: Coaching superagent Warren LeGarie is in the house tonight. He represents George Karl and many other coaches and said he's here to see and lend support to Alexey Shved's European agent, who's also in town. He gave the distinct impression that Karl isn't interested in a rebuilding job like this one. We'll see...

Kevin Love, Kevin Martin return for Wolves at Sacramento

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda Updated: April 13, 2014 - 7:32 PM

The Wolves are getting their starting Kevins -- Love and Martin, of course -- back in the lineup for tonight's game at Sacramento.

Love is expected to start after he missed Friday's 112-110 victory over Houston because of a hypextended elbow injured two nights earlier against Chicago.

Martin is back after five games away because of what the team called a sore foot but which he said before tonight's game probably is some of the dreaded plantar fasciitis as well.

Meanwhile, Rudy Gay is out for the Kings and former Wolves forward Derrick Williams will start.

Just in time for Williams, who has a couple of his most active games against the Wolves this season.

In fact, since he scored 26 points against them at Target Center on March 16, Williams has scored 48 points in 12 games played -- exactly 4 points a game -- and didn't have more than eight points in any of those.

He played just five minutes -- none in the second half against a small opposing lineup -- and scored two  points in Saturday's loss to the Clippers in L.A.

Kings guard Isaiah Thomas is available to play after he missed the last 10 games because of a quad contusion.

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