It’s a long way from tiny Portland, Tenn., to Hollywood, isn’t it?
“Yeah,” former Timberwolves forward Corey Brewer said, “about a five- to six-hour flight.”
Less literally, it’s even further for a kid who grew up with a basketball rim nailed to a piece of plywood in his yard and a pet goat, named “Billy,” of course.
But Los Angeles is where Brewer has ended up in a 10-year career that started with the Wolves and has included stops in Dallas, Denver and Houston as well.
Lottery-bound again, these aren’t your father’s “Showtime” Lakers anymore. But it’s still the purple and gold, it’s still Los Angeles and Magic Johnson is back and in charge.
“When you’re a Laker, it’s one of those organizations like the Yankees or the Dodgers,” Brewer said.
“It’s a great organization. The city, it’s definitely different, but L.A. is L.A. It’s a great place to play.”
The Lakers acquired Brewer from the Rockets at the trade deadline with a first-round pick for sixth man Lou Williams. He was included as an accessory but has become a valuable veteran’s voice on a team lopsided with youngsters.
“I’m not the oldest,” Brewer said. “It’s good to play with these young guys. They keep me young. … The trade, it caught me off guard. But the NBA, it’s a business, man. You can be traded at any time. This is my third time getting traded, nothing I can do about it.
“I feel like I’ve seen everything. If I get traded somewhere, why not get traded to the Lakers organization?”
Brewer started Thursday for rookie Brandon Ingram, who has missed the past three games because of knee tendinitis. Brewer scored 11 points in 18 minutes in the Lakers’ 119-104 defeat.
Prepping for playoffs
Thursday’s game was the second in six days between the teams, and they finish the season series a week from Sunday in L.A.
Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau calls such familiarity good for two young teams.
“That’s what the playoffs are like,” Thibodeau said. “You’re playing the same team over and over again. It stresses the importance of being able to operate under duress. That team is going to know you well, you’re going to know them well, so then it comes down to execution.”
Man or myth?
The Wolves held a Sasquatch-themed promotion Thursday linked to Wolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns’ endorsement deal with Jack Links beef jerky, for which he has done TV commercials with the hairy beast.
Asked if he believes in such a creature, Towns said, “I am Big Foot.”
• Pals since they both prepared together in L.A. for the 2015 draft, Towns and the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell will work out again this summer together, Towns said Thursday.
• The Lakers have shut down veterans Luol Deng and Nick Young so they can play their young players more and keep their lottery chances enhanced.
• Lakers starting center Ivica Zubac sprained his ankle in the first quarter after he played just two minutes and didn’t play again.
• Arizona freshman Lauri Markkanen on Thursday declared for the NBA draft. A 7-foot “stretch 4” forward who can really shoot it, he follows Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, who declared last week. Both will be serious candidates if the Wolves draft eighth or ninth and either is available.
• Established by the family of the late Wolves president of basketball operations/coach, the Flip Saunders Legacy Fund donated $6,000 Thursday to the Timberwolves and Lynx Basketball Academy.