Kevin Love suspended 2 games for stepping on Scola

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Love’s frustration with physical play and officiating have been apparent early and often this season.

Emotion got the best of him on Saturday night against the Rockets, and now he and the Minnesota Timberwolves have to pay the price: Love, his team’s leading scorer and rebounder, was suspended for two games by the NBA for “driving his foot into the upper body and face of the Rockets’ Luis Scola as Scola was lying on the floor.”

The play happened in the third quarter of Saturday’s victory over the Rockets after the two tangled while going for a rebound. As Love went to step over Scola, who a week earlier had thrown a ball off Love’s groin while trying to save it from going out of bounds, he looked down at the Rockets forward and stepped on him as he headed back up the court.

It marked the second time last week Love delivered a hard foul after not getting a call on the other end. He raked Pacers forward Danny Granger across the chest on Wednesday, touching off a small skirmish in a loss to Indiana.

Love apologized to Scola both after the game and in a statement issued by the team on Monday following the suspension, and said he has to do a better job handling his emotions.

“I don’t want to be known for that,” Love said after practice. “I want to be known as a stand-up guy who happened to make a mistake with a size 19 shoe and just move on. So everybody knows there were no ill intentions there.”

He will miss Tuesday’s game against Sacramento and Wednesday’s game at Memphis as the Timberwolves (12-12) look to climb above .500 for the first time this season.

Love is averaging 25.0 points and 13.7 rebounds per game and leads the NBA with 39.4 minutes per game. The All-Star forward was contrite on Monday, saying he thought the suspension from NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson “was warranted.”

“It’s been a chippy year,” Love said. “It’s not only us. It’s not only the Pacers, the Rockets or anything like that. It’s a lot of games. The guys are tired. Games are being drawn out and guys are worn down.

“For me and for us, it’s no different. And also for the refs as well. They’ve got to go over film just like we do, maybe even more. So you’ve got to respect them and got to respect what they do.”

Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said he has spoken with Love and the rest of his young team about playing through any perceived mistreatment from the other team or the officials.

Adelman did wonder how Jackson landed on two games as proper punishment.

“Do I think it’s fair? No. Absolutely (not),” Adelman said. “I don’t know the reasoning. They don’t tell you the reasoning. I don’t know the reasoning why two games. They haven’t said anything. You’ve just got to move on.”

The 23-year-old Love, who recently signed a four-year extension worth more than $60 million, has been barking at the officials most of the season.

Adelman said he saw Love get upset with no-calls on two straight possessions before the run-in with Scola “and it led to the incident.”

“You’ve got to play through,” Adelman said. “Play with emotion, but you’ve got to play through it and not let it affect what happens on the court.”

Adelman didn’t say who would start in Love’s place against the Kings, but Derrick Williams and Anthony Tolliver figure to see a lot more time. Williams, the No. 2 overall pick, has had a tough time getting settled into a role with the Wolves.

He has played just 37 minutes combined in the last four games and tweeted on Saturday “anybody ever felt like a caged lion?”

“I guess it’s just patience and hopefully I pick up (Adelman’s) trust and have the ball in my hands more often,” Williams said. “I kind of feel like it’s just a lack of confidence, not in myself, but him in me being in that position. I’ve just got to earn his trust.”

Separately, the Timberwolves sent rookie G Malcolm Lee to Sioux Falls of the NBDL for what essentially is a rehab assignment. The second-round pick has not played this year after having surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Kevin Love agrees to deal to 4-year deal

The Minnesota Timberwolves and star forward Kevin Love have at last reached terms on a contract extension, according to sources close to the situation, beating Wednesday’s midnight ET deadline.

To do so, Minnesota had to grant Love a player option in the final year of a four-year deal worth in excess of $60 million, sources said.

The deal will be signed Wednesday afternoon, after the Wolves complete their morning shootaround in Dallas, a source said. The teams play Wednesday night.

Love said the contract would be signed by tipoff, The Associated Press reported.

Full story on ESPN

Rick Adelman leaves Minnesota without deal

The search for a new head coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves stretches on. The Associated Press reports that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations David Kahn pitched the job and organization to Rick Adelman Tuesday, but he left town without an offer in hand.

Kahn and Adelman have known each other for many years, the AP notes, initially meeting when Adelman coached the Portland Trail Blazers from 1988-1993 and Kahn was a writer for the Oregonian newspaper.

The Associated Press also points out that Taylor “has taken on a more prominent role in the last few weeks” in the coach search, despite once saying the decision was totally Kahn’s to make.

The Timberwolves have previously interviewed Sam Mitchell, Terry Porter, Mike Woodson, Don Nelson, Larry Brown and Bernie Bickerstaff for the job, the AP reports.

Source: Yahoo

Timberwolves naming coach this week?

The last time the Minnesota Timberwolves looked for a coach, Kurt Rambis, Mark Jackson, and Elston Turner all had to come in for second interviews. There’s been no “indication there will be a second round of interviews” this time around, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Some of the current candidates are “expecting an answer this week,” the paper reports.

The paper suggests that the battle to be the coach of the NBA’s worst team is down to 47-year-old New Jersey Nets assistant coach Sam Mitchell, who won Coach of the Year during his 2004-2008 run with the Toronto Raptors; 71-year-old Don Nelson, who holds the NBA record for most victories by a head coach with 1,335; and 67-year-old Bernie Bickerstaff, who is an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers but has been the head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics, Denver Nuggets, Washington Bullets/Wizards, and Charlotte Bobcats.

Source:Minneapolis Star Tribune, Yahoo Sports

Timberwolves fire coach Kurt Rambis

The longer the Kurt Rambis saga dragged on, the bigger the mess got for president of basketball operations David Kahn and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The organization endured a torrent of criticism nationally for allowing Rambis to twist in the wind, tarnishing the team’s image across the league while many accomplished candidates took other jobs as Kahn mulled the decision.

Read more at ESPN

Rubio helps family in need, works out with team

When Ricky Rubio held his introductory news conference this week, he jokingly promised that he would keep his credit card in his pocket on his first trip to the Mall of America so his family didn’t buy everything in sight.

That didn’t keep him from busting it out for a good cause Saturday. As a hectic first week in his new hometown drew to a close, Rubio participated in his first charitable endeavor for the Minnesota Timberwolves, going shopping at a Build-A-Bear store with a 3-year-old boy whose family lost almost everything when a tornado ripped through North Minneapolis.

“For these guys, whatever (they need),” Rubio said.

When the Spanish point guard showed up to meet the McPherson family, little Taj was, of course, wearing a Dwyane Wade jersey. Hand-in-hand, Rubio and the little boy stuffed a brand new bear, then went to various stations in the store to pick out clothes and get him all stitched up.

The bear went in a box that Rubio autographed, and Taj, who was extremely shy at first, gave him a big high-five when the day was done.

Read more at NBA.com

Steve Nash to the Timberwolves for No.2 pick?

Steve Nashphoto © 2007 Keith Allison | more info (via: Wylio)

Looks like the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves have been in talks regarding Steve Nash being traded from the Suns to the Wolves for the No.2 pick in tomorrow’s NBA draft.

The word is Phoenix likes Arizona forward Derrick Williams, although Suns officials publicly have denied reports that they have offered center Marcin Gortat and the No. 13 overall pick for the No. 2 selection instead of Nash.

Phoenix officials have maintained that they are not interested in trading either Gortat or Nash.

It’s also interesting that the Timberwolves would be looking to trade for Nash considering they finally have the services of Ricky Rubio.

Source: ESPN

Other pages of interest NBA News

Timberwolves want Pau Gasol for No. 2 pick?

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the second overall pick in the draft, which seems like it should be a good thing, but the Sporting News reports that the team isn’t excited about its choices and has been trying to trade the pick.

The Wolves already have a young guy at forward, Michael Beasley, who fills the same role as the consensus No. 2 selection, Arizona forward Derrick Williams. The Sporting News reports that the team is asking for a lot in return for the pick: “The latest from Minnesota has the team targeting … forward Pau Gasol” of the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for the pick. Gasol averaged 18.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game last season.

The Timberwolves have already been rejected by the Washington Wizards when they asked to trade the pick for 7-0 center JaVale McGee, the Sporting News notes. McGee averaged 10.1 points, eight rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots per game last season.

Read more at Yahoo Sports

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Ricky Rubio confirms he’ll join Wolves

Ricky Rubio is making his long-awaited move to the NBA and will join the Minnesota Timberwolves next season.

The highly touted 20-year-old Spanish guard ended two years of speculation Friday, saying, “I have finally decided to start the journey” to the NBA.

“It is my dream and I want to fulfill it,” he said. “After thinking about it a lot, the time has arrived.”

The Timberwolves chose Rubio with the No. 5 pick in the 2009 NBA draft, but his $6 million buyout clause at Barcelona — of which an NBA team could pay only $500,000 under league rules — made him stay in Spain until it came down to a more manageable $1.4 million.

“This is a day our organization and our fans have been eagerly awaiting from the moment we drafted him, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Ricky to Minnesota,” Timberwolves president David Kahn said in a statement Friday.

Since his debut in the Spanish league with Joventut when he was 14, Rubio has won numerous titles in Europe and also helped Spain reach the 2008 Olympic gold-medal game, where it lost to the United States.

How many twists and turns could one story have. He was coming, he was not coming. Lots of pressure on this kid.

Read more at ESPN

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Ricky Rubio’s comments raise questions

Ricky Rubiophoto © 2008 Manel | more info (via: Wylio)

Recent comments made by Minnesota Timberwolves draft pick Ricky Rubio have raised questions about his future, despite reports earlier this month that his NBA arrival was imminent.

“We are talking with Barcelona and we will soon see,” Rubio said after Barcelona beat Bilbao for the Spanish league title Tuesday night.

Earlier this month, The Associated Press and The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune reported that Rubio, the No. 5 pick in the 2009 NBA draft, finally had reached an agreement to join the Timberwolves after two seasons with Barcelona.

The Timberwolves did not confirm those reports, which followed years of speculation that Rubio, 20, did not want to leave Europe or pay a multimillion-dollar buyout of his Barcelona contract out of his own pocket

Read more at ESPN

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David Kahn hints that NBA Lottery was fixed

In just two years as general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, David Kahn has continually followed up some baffling personnel decisions by making weird comments better-suited for online message boards than for press conferences. He continues to claim that Ricky Rubio is coming to the NBA any day now even when no such hard evidence exists, he praised archetypal bust Darko Milicic as “manna from heaven,” and he welcomed Michael Beasley to Minnesota by saying his problems in Miami stemmed from smoking too much weed. At this point in his GM career, Kahn is not just someone who makes mistakes with the press — he’s reckless and doesn’t think about potential consequences before he speaks.

“This league has a habit, and I am just going to say habit, of producing some pretty incredible story lines,” Kahn said. “Last year it was Abe Pollin’s widow and this year it was a 14-year-old boy and the only thing we have in common is we have both been bar mitzvahed. We were done. I told Kevin: ‘We’re toast.’ This is not happening for us and I was right.”

Pretty funny comments but at the same time not so far fetched. If I were to guess though, I would say that the fix was in for Cavs because of the whole LeBron thing and not because Dan Gilbert’s son was there.

Read more at Yahoo Sports