Quantcast

Ricky Rubio voices frustration with being benched in the fourth quarter

Ricky-Rubio-TimberwolvesThe Minnesota Timberwolves (17-22) have not played all that well this season. You could make the argument that they have been even worse when Ricky Rubio is on the floor. The second-year point guard has battled injuries that have limited him to just 14 appearances this season. Of those 14 games, the Timberwolves have won just four.

Minnesota picked up its seventh loss in its past eight games against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Head coach Terry Porter decided to bench Rubio in favor of JJ Barea for the entire fourth quarter, and Ricky was not shy about expressing his displeasure after the game.

“I want to know what happened,” Rubio said according to The Pioneer Press. “We’re going to talk. ‘TP’ preferred to play the other players who were playing. I don’t know what to say. I don’t like it.”

To make matters more frustrating, Rubio reported to the scorer’s table twice in the final quarter but was called back both times. The first time, it appeared that Rubio would replace Barea after Barea committed his fifth foul of the quarter. Luke Ridnour replaced Mickael Gelabale instead, and Barea stayed in the game. Later in the quarter, Barea fell hard to the floor and appeared to suffer an injury. Porter was about to put Rubio in, but Barea waved him off before hitting a timely three-pointer.

“J.J. hit a shot,” Porter explained. “He hit a three. I was taking him out because I thought he was hurt but he said he was fine and made a shot. At that point, I just rolled with him. He was hot and made a shot. That was the only difference.”

That may have been the only difference on Wednesday, but there’s no denying Rubio has struggled all throughout his sophomore season. He is averaging just 4.2 points and 5.0 assists per game, as opposed to 10.6 points and 8.2 assists last year. He’s a crucial part of the team’s future, but Rubio simply isn’t performing. The way he has played is enough to earn most players a spot on the bench in certain situations.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Kevin Love stands by his comments about the Timberwolves

As you might expect, the Minnesota Timberwolves were not thrilled with most of the Kevin Love quotes that were published in Tuesday’s Yahoo! Sports feature story on him. Love has been critical of the organization in the past, and that continued with many of the things he told Adrian Wojnarowski.

On Wednesday, Love stood by the things he said in the interview but claimed there were a lot of positive things he said about the Timberwolves that were not printed. He also admitted he wishes he kept the thoughts to himself.

“I meant what I said, I told (Timberwolves owner David Kahn) there’s nothing to apologize about,” Love said according to the Star Tribune. “The only thing I was sorry about is that I did it in public and if there’s a learning expereince from that, it’s not to do that again.

“A lot of athletes these days say the right thing and aren’t outspoken. I happen to be in this article. I’m not going to go forward and say I have anything to apologize about. I said what I felt. I didn’t mean to alienate my team, my coaches, the organization or more importantly the fans…I said a lot of things about the team and where we’re at this point and I’ll continue to say it throughout the year because that’s how I feel.”

[Read more...]

Kevin Love: Timberwolves ‘hurt’ me by questioning if injury was legitimate

The more he speaks, the more Kevin Love sounds like a superstar who is on borrowed time with the Minnesota Timberwolves. It’s no secret that Love is upset with the direction of the Timberwolves, who have had seven straight losing seasons and have not made the playoffs since 2003. In addition, the All-Star forward was offended when some people within the organization expressed doubt over how he broke his hand.

“Even people in my own organization were asking if it was a legitimate injury, people calling my honesty and integrity into question,” Love told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. “And that’s what really hurt me.”

Love reportedly injured his hand during a round of knuckle pushups, causing him to miss the first nine games of the season. Apparently management felt as though he could be lying, which may have strained Love’s relationship with the group he already holds bitterness toward because of their decision to not offer him a max contract.

[Read more...]

Kevin Love still seems irritated by contract situation with T-Wolves

Kevin Love has developed into one of the best players in the NBA, but the Timberwolves did not appear to view him that way when it came to their contract negotiations.

Love wanted a five-year contract extension from the team — the maximum they could have offered, but they offered him a four-year deal instead. They compromised on a four-year, $61 million contract agreed to in January that gives Love a player option for the fourth year.

Speaking to The Associated Press’ Jon Krawczynski, Love expressed his disappointment with the Timberwolves over their contract agreement.

“I wanted them to say, ‘When people think Minnesota Timberwolves, they think Kevin Love.’ And I felt with my contract we didn’t really do that.”

Minnesota wanted to maintain payroll flexibility, and that is why they did not give him a fifth year guaranteed.

“There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes that people didn’t know about and they will never know about,” Love said. “A lot of people looked at me and said, ’Oh, he doesn’t want a four-year deal?’ No. I wanted to be the guy. I wanted to be THEIR guy. The fact that I worked as hard as I possibly could and made my mark in many different ways, even after last season, I felt I was a little bit slighted. At this point I’m past that now.”

While Love may be satisfied with some of the offseason moves the team made, it’s obvious some of these issue are still in his head. If he really were past being slighted by the contract situation, he wouldn’t be bringing it up now. He also vented in July that he had very little patience for losing in Minnesota.

You better believe that Love will leave the Timberwolves in three seasons if they don’t start winning. They will be an improved team, but can they really keep up with the Thunder or Lakers? That’s doubtful.

Chest bump to Matt Moore at Pro Basketball Talk
Photo credit: Steve Dykes/US Presswire

Kevin Love: T-Wolves had ‘bad blood’ in locker room last season

The Minnesota Timberwolves put together their best record in six seasons last year, and that’s pretty impressive considering they had “bad blood” in the locker room.

In an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, T-Wolves star Kevin Love said he was happy the team got rid of some players who were problems last season.

“If we get everybody back healthy, with Ricky back healthy, if Roy comes in healthy, and if we can get off to a good start, we’re going to be good. But we really have to add as many as pieces as we possibly can, veteran guys,” he told the Pioneer Press. “There was some bad blood in that locker room we were able to get out of there and smooth things out. That should help us out going forward.”

Asked to elaborate, Love responded: “Just what I said. We had bad blood in the locker room. We got that out.”

The players from last season who are no longer on the roster include Darko Milicic, Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, and Anthony Randolph. We can speculate about who was the source of the bad blood — and Beasley’s reputation doesn’t bode well for him in this sense — but it’s hard to pinpoint the problem. We just know that the T-Wolves need to start winning otherwise they’ll risk losing their best player. Cleaning out the “bad blood” is a start to having more success. Ricky Rubio and Brandon Roy’s knees are another key factor.

Chest bump to Pro Basketball Talk

Kevin Love Uses Twitter to Breaks News of Timberwolves Hiring Rick Adelman

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is plugged into all things related to his basketball team. On Monday afternoon, he grabbed attention with the following tweet posted to his account:

The Apollo 13 allusion actually has a dual meaning; ex-Houston Rockets coach Rick Adelman was reportedly negotiating with the team over the weekend. Adelman coached the Rockets the past four seasons until parting ways with the team in April.

During a July interview with LBS, Love told us that Adelman stood out to him among the coaches Minnesota was considering. He told us that playing in Adelman’s corner system was “intriguing” and would be “very fun to be a part of.”

It looks like he’s going to get his wish, which also helps Minnesota’s chances of getting him to agree to a contract extension. Between Ricky Rubio finally coming to America, and Adelman’s imminent hiring, things are looking up in Minnesota.

Minnesota Timberwolves Acquire Ineligible Player Tanguy Ngombo Who Lied About Age

Just when you thought the Minnesota Timberwolves actually had a good draft, we learn they acquired a player who lied about his age. With the 57th overall pick in the draft, Targuy Ngombo, a 21-year-old forward from Qatar was selected by Portland and acquired by Minnesota. Sounds like a typical foreign player you would just stash overseas and watch his development, right? Well one little problem. The player they drafted (in a pick acquired from Portland via trade), is actually Tanguy Alban Harrys Ngombo who is a 26-year-old forward from Qatar.

Not only did Tanguy Ngombo lie about his name by changing the “R” to an “N,” he lied about his age. What’s sad is that SB Nation Minnesota figured it out (with some help from Draft Express) but the Timberwolves didn’t. It’s one thing for MLB players to lie about their age (which they do so frequently) by doctoring their birth certificates, but it’s a complete other thing to draft a guy who actually is an established foreign player. You know what else this tells us? People sometimes get too fascinated with young players instead of focusing on how good or bad they are.

Chest bump to Los That Sports Blog for the story