Wednesday's big news took precedence over lots of other newsy tidbit from the season's final day. So here's some of this and that, stuff leftover from all the other news:
Now that the season is over, players soon will scatter to all points for the summer, if they haven’t already.
Before they left, Milt Newton and/or Sam Mitchell in exit meetings – many of them held Tuesday and Wednesday before the team announced it’s searching for a new coach and basketball-operations head – talked to players about getting back to Minnesota over the summer to work more often than many have done in the past.
Of course, there’s still the small matter of who will be coaching and leading this team.
The team has its beautiful, new practice facility so expect whoever is in charge will try to get players to return more often for workouts than in the past, when players mostly disappeared in April, returned in September and followed their off-season workout plans wherever they live.
Asked how much time he’ll spend here over the summer, Zach LaVine said, “I don’t know. Whenever they need me, I’ll be here. We’ve got this great facility. I’ll definitely be around, but I just got to have my time in Seattle, too.”
The Wolves’ plans are complicated by the number of their international players who have obligations this summer with the Brazil Olympics coming up in August.
Ricky Rubio said he intends to play for Spain in the Olympics, particularly after he missed the 2012 London Games while he recovered from that torn knee ligament.
Nemanja Bjelica will play for Serbia in an Olympic qualifier in Belgrade in July with hope his country makes it to Brazil.
“Olympics are a big deal,” he said, referring to the obligation he feels about playing for his country.
Senegal and Canada play a qualifying game in Manila. Gorgui Dieng said he’ll wait and see how his hip – he played with it bruised and hurting in the season’s final weeks – heals before he decides whether he’ll play for Senegal. For now, he intends to go home for the summer to train and visit his parents, who he pointed out are getting older with each passing season.
Andrew Wiggins also said he is undecided if he’ll play for Canada come July.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said.
When Bjelica played in Europe, his season often ended in June. This year, he has an extra two months for himself.
“After seven years, I will have a lot of time to rest, take of myself and work on myself,” Bjelica said. “It will be very important. I came here in not good shape. I need to work on my body. I have a lot of time to work on myself and be ready for next season.”
Prince will play on
Veteran Tayshaun Prince never expected to play 78 games or average 19 minutes a night in this 78 games.
But at age 36, he sure did.
“I feel good, who knows?” he said about the season past and his future. “I’m not retiring. That’s not a question. Who knows what will happen. I know one thing: I didn’t expect to play 78, 79 games this year, I’ll tell you that much. But I feel good for the most part and we’ll see what happens.”
He left open the door when asked if he could return next season or if intends to sign as a free agent with a team closer to contending for a title.
“It’s all up in the air,” he said. “I really can’t speculate. I would love to see some of the things they do here and what opportunities would present themselves. Definitely it’s a possibility to come back, but it’s a crazy business.”
So many dunks, so little time
Looking back, there were so many that LaVine couldn’t pick just one as his favorite dunk of the season.
But he lit up when reminded he had back-to-back games that included a 360-degree dunk each night.
“I dunked on a couple dudes, had a couple alley-oops,” he said. “Man, I don’t know. I have to go with the 360s. I haven’t done that since high school. I don’t know what made me do that.”
Hanging with KG
LaVine plans to go back to China this off-season, like he did last spring. Of course, the goal is to build his brand.
“I feel I have a good fan base out there,” he said. “I got to continue to have fun and build my brand out there. Show I care.”
He took his family to Hawaii after last season, but plans to vacation with in Malibu, Calif., instead because they didn’t want to fly across the ocean.
While in Malibu, does he plan to see KG.
“Hopefully, he has an extra bedroom,” LaVine said. “I’m definitely going to try to stop by to say what’s up the big fella.”
Bjelica finishes strong
After the inconsistent, injury-plagued season he had, Bjelica ended his rookie season by shooting 68 percent – including 64.2 percent from three-point range -- and averaging 12.5 points in his last four games.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy to be here,” he said. “I belong in this league. I compete with the best players. Of course, I have some up and downs. This is normal. I’m just happy because I finish season in good way, like positive.”
• The NBA Board of Governors today approved the sale of jersey sponsorships as part of a three-year pilot program that will begin with the 2017-18 season. The ad patches will appear on the front left of game jerseys opposite league sponsor Nike patches.
They’ll measure 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and adjust to fit the sponsor’s logo.
Each team will be responsible for selling its own jersey sponsorships.
• LaVine on his summer workout plans: “I’ll work on everything like I do every year. I want to come back a totally new player. I have to get stronger, create contact, get free throws. That’s the next step for a dude who can score the ball: Get to the free-throw line.”