Knowing how sensitive the subject is, Wolves forward Gorgui Dieng chose his words carefully when asked about President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending travel with seven Muslim-majority nations.
Dieng is a Muslim. He is from Senegal in Africa, not one of the nations named in the executive order.
“I saw it, but it’s very sensitive stuff,’’ Dieng said. “I think if you’re going to say something some people will take it….it will be two groups. Some people will take it against you, and some others will be for you. So, for me personally, I’m just going to have no words to say about that.’’
And then Dieng tried to lighten the mood: “All I know is, I’m paying a lot of taxes here,’’ he said, smiling.
Dieng does more than that. Working with the local nonprofit Matter and the Wolves’ Fast-Break Foundation, he helped rebuild and equip a Senegal hospital.
And he has found a second home in Minnesota. He signed a four-year, $64 million extension as the season was getting underway, has bought a house here.
“I think I’ve got a right to be here,’’ Dieng said. “And I get into this country the right way. I’m doing it the right way. I’m here to work. I’m not a citizen, I’m here to work. And I am a green-card holder. I’m here until they kick me out.’’
Here are some more items from this morning’s shootaround:
On a lighter note, Karl –Anthony Towns, who played so well Saturday despite dealing with a nasty cold, said the day off Sunday was much-needed. “I got a chance to rest and get a lot of energy back,’’ Towns said. “I came out today, a little affected, but not nearly as much as last game. I feel better, more energy, there is a pep in my step as well.’’
The Wolves are getting Orlando on the back end of back-to-back games. But the Magic is coming off an impressive road victory at Toronto, and there is a chance Evan Fournier – who hasn’t played since Jan. 13 because of a sore right foot – might play tonight. He and Aaron Gordon (ankle) are listed as questionable, though Gordon played Sunday in Toronto.
In any event, the big frontcourt of the Magic – which includes 7-0 center Nikola Vucevic, 6-10 forward Serge Ibaka and the 6-9 Gordon present challenges for the Wolves defense. “Their size is a factor,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “They have great athleticism, guys who can go off the dribble. So we’re concerned. We have to be ready.’’