Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Timberwolves’

Ronny Turiaf wired for sound

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com


VIDEO: Ronny Turiaf video bombs Kevin Love’s postgame interview

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Timberwolves big man Ronny Turiaf is one of the best bench guys in the NBA — always engaged, always excitable. (For a case in point, just watch him videobomb Kevin Love‘s interview last night above.)

And even while he’s out injured, he embraces his role as the team’s emotional leader. During a recent game against the Lakers, Turiaf wore a microphone to record what it’s like on the bench during the action. I love how he is more aware of Kevin Love‘s triple-double chase than Kevin Love is…


VIDEO: Turiaf wired for sound

Former Timberwolves GM back to teach deal-making

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

Andrei Kirilenko Introduced to Media

ALL BALL NERVE CENTERDavid Kahn has spent many years working in the NBA, including most recently a four-year stint as president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. That run ended last summer when the Wolves re-hired former coach Flip Saunders to replace Kahn. Kahn made many deals while running the Wolves. While the jury remains out on a few of his moves, the efficacy of most of his moves seems pretty clear.

Even though Kahn is no longer running an NBA team, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a few tips to share. As ESPN’s Bill Simmons pointed out yesterday, now you can learn from Kahn, as Kahn will be teaching a weekend in deal-making at New York University.

According to the course description, students “will be immersed in the concept of dealmaking, with special emphasis placed on lessons learned in real-life deals from the world of sports, entertainment, and real estate. They will gain a deeper understanding of the key steps required to put together a deal, including building relationships, preparation tactics, identifying what’s important for the other party and how to deliver it, learning when to say no, and understanding that the renewal period for the deal starts the moment it has been completed.”

The cost? Only $750 per person.

The Minnesota Timberwolves can’t stop playing Flappy Bird

By Lang Whitaker, NBA.com

Portland Trail Blazers v Minnesota Timberwolves

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Have you played the game Flappy Bird on your cellphone? If not, well, that’s too bad, because the game is no longer on the market — the game’s creator removed it from the app store a few weeks back. If you downloaded the game before it left the market, you can still play, but I would advise against this. Why? Because it’s a horribly addictive game. On this point, I can speak from experience.

Flappy Bird is about as simple as they come: You tap the screen over and over to navigate your bird through a series of openings in pipes. Touch a pipe, your bird crashes to earth. That’s it. It’s easy to figure out, easy to control, but the game is just tough enough to make it maddeningly difficult. But as simple as it is, as addictive as it is, there is some terrible zen to be found by hypnotically getting lost in trying to improve upon what you’ve already done.

This has apparently been learned in Minnesota, where as Steve McPherson reports in a fun piece for True Hoop, Flappy Bird has become all the rage in the Timberwolves’ locker room. The top three scorers? Third is Ronny Turiaf with 113; second place belongs to Ricky Rubio with 187. first place belongs to Chase Budinger, who somehow has racked up 327 points. As someone who has spent, ahem, more than a few hours playing Bird, my brain literally cringed a little when I read that score for the first time.

Anyway, as Budinger explains to McPherson…

Budinger will be difficult to top; he has a deep yet nuanced understanding of the game and what it takes to win. “All you do is tap the screen,” he says. “The bird flaps and you gotta go through tunnels. The way to do best at that game is you need to be somewhere alone and quiet. I think on the plane is a good time to play. Or on the bus, even though you’re moving a little bit.”

“Right now,” says Turiaf, “Chase is claiming that when you play without the sound, it helps you get better.”

Apparently, there’s one player who needs to put it on vibrate. Asked who on the team is the worst, Turiaf replies, “By far, and I mean by far: Corey Brewer.”

“I think his high is six,” Budinger says.

Brewer, trotting through the locker room behind Budinger, growls, “Get off me, man. I got seven. Seven’s my high.”

I have to admit, Corey Brewer is a man after my own heart. Or at least my low score.

Luc Mbah A Moute treats fan club to game

Milwaukee Bucks v Minnesota Timberwolves

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Pretty cool story out of Minneapolis, where Wolves forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute decided to step in and help some fans who traveled a long way to meet him.

The dozen young basketball players are all from around Avignon in the south of France. They became aware of Mbah a Moute through a friend of his who used to play for the nearby Basket Club Nyonsais. Because Mbah a Moute has roots in Africa (he is a native of Cameroon) and speaks French, this group of kids felt a particular kinship. As Mbah a Moute explained to Fox Sports, “The French connection, and a lot of those kids are also from Africa originally, so their parents are from Africa. Just being fans of a guy from Africa playing in the NBA, just my story, how I made it in the NBA.”

Still, after becoming fans of Mbah a Moute, getting to the U.S. to see him play a game wasn’t so easy. The original plan was to visit Milwaukee to see him play with his then-team the Bucks, but he was traded to the Sacramento Kings before the season. So they instead planned their trip around two games this week — Sacramento at Brooklyn on Sunday, and Sacramento at Philadelphia on Wednesday.

And then the Kings traded Mbah a Moute to Minnesota. The fans decided to keep their plans as they were, which would have meant missing Mbah a Moute. So Mbah a Moute got involved and paid for the entire group to fly out to Minnesota on Monday, where they had dinner with Mbah a Moute and Ronny Turiaf, and then they attended last night’s Bucks/Timberwolves game.

Ironically, Mbah a Moute didn’t actually get into the game last night, but it didn’t dampen the experience had by all. As Mbah a Moute told Twincities.com, “I just can’t imagine kids coming and doing something like that for someone they don’t know. I think it’s pretty special.”

Last night’s Shaqtin moments

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night’s Rockets/Thunder game was a scrappy, physical affair that was reminiscent of playoff basketball. It wasn’t the only entertaining game last night, but it also didn’t provide the lone potential Shaqtin’ A Fool moment. Dwight Howard, Corey Brewer, Taj Gibson, come on down!


VIDEO: Dwight’s pass


VIDEO: Brewer’s dunk


VIDEO: Taj’s dunk

Kevin Love Thanks Timberwolves Fans For All-Star Votes

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When it became obvious that Kevin Love had a chance at being voted in as an All-Star Game starter, the Timberwolves decided to try and get out the vote. Lo and behold, it worked, as Love moved past Dwight Howard and into the starting five with a surge in votes over the last few weeks.

To show his appreciation to the Timberwolves fans who took the time to vote for him, Love took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s Minnesota Star Tribune

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The 2013-14 All Ball YOLO All-Stars

j.r.-tucker

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If there’s one thing I’ve learned from attending a dozen All-Star Weekends, it’s that at its core, All-Star Weekend is about the fans. The fans actually select the starting line-ups, and fans travel from near and far to hit up Jam Session and All-Star Saturday Night and the Rising Stars Challenge and, of course, all the parties.

In some broader sense, the All-Star Game is about recognizing the best players from each conference. Sure, there are a couple of rim-rattling dunks and the occasional long-range shot that falls. And if you’re lucky, really lucky, the game is close down the stretch, and then everyone’s competitive juices kick in and you might just get a memorable finale. The main purposes of most participants in the actual All-Star Game? They wear funky uniforms, get a little run in, hang out with their buddies, and then they go back to their own teams for the stretch run and the Playoffs.

But that’s not why I’m watching the All-Star Game. And I think most people tuning in or even attending All-Star are looking to have a similar question answered: Are we not entertained? No matter what the Fun Police tell you, at All-Star weekend, nobody is looking at efficiency stats or plus/minus ratings. We want to see Shaq playing point guard. We want to see Gilbert Arenas joining the Elvis impersonators and dunking off of a trampoline. Simply put: We want the All-Star Game — and the entire weekend, really — to be fun.

So you can argue all you want about who does and who doesn’t deserve to be named to the actual Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams. Instead, I present to you my annual YOLO All-Stars. (If you didn’t know, YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once.) These are the guys who deserve to be All-Stars based on my own vague All Ball Blog criteria. I considered all of the following elements: hilarity; social media proficiency; general swag; likelihood the player will do something memorable; dunking/dribbling/shooting ability; previous Shaqtin’ A Fool appearances; mentions on the All Ball Blog.

To be clear, those categories are listed in no particular order, with no importance or weight to any given specific category. These are just the players I think it would be fun to see in an All-Star Game. If we want to be entertained, these are the players that will give it to us. Meet your 2013-14 NBA YOLO All-Stars…

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers — Always a blast on Twitter, and a man who appreciates good humor.
F – Chris Bosh, Miami Heat — Will be in charge of all videobombing.
F – LeBron James, Miami Heat — Not only is he a force on Twitter, which is good enough to qualify for the YOLO All-Stars, but he’s also the reigning MVP, so that wins him an invite.
G – J.R. Smith, New York Knicks — In the YOLO All-Star Game, untying shoes will be encouraged.
G – Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers — UNCLE DREW!

Bench
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks — The Greek Freak is perhaps the most unconventional athlete in the league, so you never know what he’s going to pull off next. He also loves smoothies, and with the All-Star Game being played in the newly-named Smoothie King Center, what could be more perfect?
Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors — One of my favorites on social media.
Andray Blatche, Brooklyn Nets — Eurostep!
Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons — Will be in charge of Vine videos throughout the weekend.
Metta World Peace, New York Knicks — Still the best.
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers — He may not have made the actual All-Star Game, but I can’t knock his hustle. Besides, he dunked on a ref, which is awesome.
Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards — Anyone with a pet snake named Snakey and a skeleton that rides a Segway is a lifetime YOLO All-Star.

WESTERN CONFERENCE
Starters
C – Robin Lopez, Portland Trail Blazers — He’s a nerd and he’s proud of it.
F – Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves — We’ll have him making coffee for everyone.
F – Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder — If LeBron is on the East, we might as well put KD on the West.
G – Jamal Crawford, Los Angeles Clippers — My favorite dribbler in the NBA.
G – James Harden, Houston Rockets — The beard is fun on its own, but Harden’s also made a heavy push into social media the last few years. Maybe he can perform at halftime.

Bench
Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers — You can’t have a YOLO game without Swaggy P.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trailblazers — Founder of #4BarFriday.
Tony Allen, Memphis Grizzlies — Perhaps my favorite NBA player to challenge his team owner to a game of one-on-one.
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs — Broken nose and all, Bonner is always entertaining.
Harrison Barnes, Golden State Warriors — Always a candidate to dunk on someone. Or to review an episode of “Breaking Bad.”
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings — Hard not to select someone who’s nickname is “Boogie.”
JaVale McGee, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Really the perfect player for this game.
Nate Robinson, Denver Nuggets (Injured) — Go long, Nate will throw you the pineapple.

So there’s my YOLO All-Stars. Who would you put on your YOLO All-Star team? Let us know below in the comments!

Timberwolves Make Alley-Oop Buzzer-Beater On Wrong Basket

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Minnesota Timberwolves were hoping that this season would be when their young core would finally come together and establish themselves as contenders in the Western Conference. Instead, while they’ve been competitive, they’ve struggled to win close games, taking just one game all season that was decided by four points or fewer.

Part of that has been due to struggles to score down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Another pat of that might be scoring baskets for the wrong team. Last night against the Thunder, as the third quarter wound down, Oklahoma City’s Derek Fisher fired up a contested three-pointer from the corner. Rookie Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng went up for the rebound, but somehow ended up accidentally tapping the ball in to the wrong basket, just before the halftime buzzer. I think there’s not much to say here other than #shaqtin.


VIDEO: T-Wolves Score On Wrong Basket

The All Ball Posterized Poll (Vol. 3)

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — If you’re into the NBA’s most devastating dunks, we’ve got you covered over at the new-and-improved Dunk HQ. But because we’re the All Ball blog and we like to look at the NBA from non-traditional angles, we will focus on the flip side of the NBA’s best dunks: What we want to know is, who got got?

So welcome to Volume Three of The All Ball Posterized Poll. We will check in from time to time and examine the worst of the best, and use a highly scientific polling method to determine which NBA player got dunked on (a.k.a. posterized) the most egregiously. And at the end of the season all of our winners will battle it out to determine who it is that most belongs on a poster.

The winner of Volume One was New Orleans’ Jeff Withey, who was placed on a poster by Lakers’ wingman Xavier Henry, his college teammate. The winner of Volume Two was Atlanta’s Al Horford, who was posterized by Victor Oladipo.

But can anyone top Withey? We have five brand new nominees. We checked in with NBA.com’s own slam dunk specialist, LeMont Calloway, for his informed perspective on the matter. “What I’ll say most about these defenders is that at least they’re trying to show help-side D,” LeMont notes. “There’s a defender or two around the league who wouldn’t even dare, let alone probably couldn’t even make the proper rotation. (Calling you out Boozer!) But, it’s like Bill Walton used to say: What are big men doing trying to take charges anyway?”

Now, to the latest nominees …

1. Terrence Ross on Kenneth Faried
LeMont’s Take: “Not only does this one have all the qualities needed to make it a great posterizer (elevating over a jumping, contesting defender, finishing tough), but the still shot of the play makes for an amazing visual. From Faried’s honest attempt at defending to Ross’ acrobatic cock-back wind-up, you have to appreciate both players’ intensity.”
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VIDEO: Ross on Faried
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2. Kevin Martin on Tayshaun Prince
LeMont’s Take: “No shots fired, but has Kevin Martin ever had a play like this in the NBA? Wanna know what sticks out to me the most about this banger? It’s the fact that Martin’s swagged-out slow walk after the dunk suggests that Kevin Martin posterizers, like a LeBron jam, for instance, are household plays. It’s like Martin is saying, ‘This is what I do.’ Love it!”
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VIDEO: Martin on Prince
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3. Taj Gibson on Bismack Biyombo
LeMont’s Take: “Bulls announcer Stacey King knows a poster when he sees it. And if there’s one Bull who has a pretty good resume of big facials, it’s Taj Gibson (ask Nikola Vucevic or a 2011 D-Wade about their Gibson experiences). Game film is key in this game, and if Bismack Biyombo was paying any attention, he’d know that Gibson usually means serious two-handed business at the rim.”
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VIDEO: Gibson on Biyombo
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4. Anthony Davis on Big Baby
LeMont’s Take: “I feel pretty confident calling it right now: Anthony Davis may turn out to be one of the best big man to utilize the pick and roll. A lot of his dunks and alley-oops this season have come in this manner, and he’s only going to keep learning and getting better at it. It just so happens that his play-cousin Glen Davis is part of the education.”
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VIDEO: Davis on Davis
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5. Lance Stephenson on referee Ed Malloy
LeMont’s Take: “No man is safe from getting dunked on. Not kids on Nerf hoops, not unsuspecting rookies, not even referees. How many people can say they dunked on an official and got away with it? Lance Stephenson can, and he’s probably the envy of many a player in the NBA. (I’m sure there are plenty of guys who’d love to dunk one on Joey Crawford.) The Pacers’ spark plug may be ticked off that he didn’t make the All-Star team, but hopefully he was able to unleash some of that anger here, even if it was at the expense of a ref.”
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VIDEO: Stephenson on Ref
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Now we need your vote! Who got dunked on the worst?

Corey Brewer’s Breakaway Jam Falls Short

By Jeff Case, NBA.com

Breakaway dunks are the stuff of excitement and showtime (remember what Paul George did a couple weeks ago?). But for the Kings and Timberwolves the last few days, they’ve been the stuff of embarrassment and plain ol’ dunk fails. On Sunday night, Derrick Williams of the Kings tried to go for some Dunk Contest flair and ended up, welp, not coming anywhere close to that.

Then there was last night in Minneapolis as the Wolves hosted the Lakers. Corey Brewer leaks out (surprise!) for a fast-break bucket off a Lakers miss and catches a dandy outlet pass from (double-surprise!!) Kevin Love. He’s got a couple steps on Nick Young, so he takes flight just inside the key … and … #DunkFail!


VIDEO: Corey Brewer can’t quite finish off the breakaway jam