After the Timberwolves had finished their morning shootaround, and just before the New York Knicks were about to start, Knicks center Joakim Noah walked down the hallway, stuck his head into the Wolves locker room and asked, “Where’s the boss?’’
Moments later he and Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau were hugging.
Tonight’s Wolves-Knicks game at Target Center will mark the first time Thibodeau will coach against Noah and Derrick Rose, two players who were keys in consecutive runs to the playoff while all three were in Chicago.
We’ll pause here, for a little news.
For Noah, that reunion might not make it onto the court. Noah twisted his left ankle in the first quarter of New York’s loss to Oklahoma City Monday. He is questionable for tonight’s game, according to Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek. Noah will get treatment all day. A decision on his status will be decided near game time.
But, for Noah, Rose and Thibodeau, it was a warm reunion.
Here are some things all three had to say about the always-intense Thibodeau:
Noah: “Thibs is great. And I’m really happy for him. I know he’s somebody who works really, really hard. And really cars about winning. Our run in Chicago is something I’ll never forget. It was some of the best times of my life. So I got a lot of love for Thibs.’’
Rose said he figured Thibodeau had probably calmed down some. When informed that was likely not the case, he smiled. “In Chicago it was really intense. But he was detailed. He told you what to do on the floor. I thought their record would be different this year. But it takes time getting used to one another, to new players and getting used to a new coach.’’
Thibodeau: “Those guys are great guys. Joakim and Derrick, the amount of time we spent together and what they were able to accomplish, certainly proud of both guys.’’
I’ll have more on this subject in tomorrow’s paper. Until then, here are some more snippets from today’s workouts:
--If Noah can’t play, Hornacek said he’d consider going small with a lineup that had Kristaps Porzingis as the Knicks sole big guy.
--Towns, who grew up in New Jersey, was a huge Knicks fan as a kid, for a pretty neat reason. His dad, Karl Sr., was given a chance by the Knicks after coming out of Monmouth University. “So that’s why I have a lot of loyalty to the Knicks,’’ he said. “That’s why I grew up a Knicks fan. Also a reason is that the only channel I could get was MSG (which televises Knicks games). I didn’t have much money; getting cable was big for us. And then MSG coming for free was awesome. I got to watch ‘em, understand why my dad was so honored to be given a chance by such a historic organization. But that’s the same kind of history I’m trying to build in Minnesota.’’