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LeBron James Catches Timberwolves Sleeping After Free Throw (Video)

LeBron James had a one-and-one situation at the foul line in the fourth quarter of Miami’s game with Minnesota Friday night. Apparently nobody from the Timberwolves (or Heat except LeBron) realized that, because they were all caught sleeping at the line. Check out this video:

With plays like that, it’s no surprise the Minnesota Timberwolves are the worst team in the Western Conference. It’s one thing not to have much talent and be over-matched in games, but it’s completely inexcusable to just not have your head in the game. That’s truly pathetic. It actually reminds me a lot of this middle school football play which is pretty sad.

Thanks to Ball Don’t Lie for the video

Darko Milicic Will Never Be an All-Star, Sorry David Kahn

Minnesota Timberwolves center Darko Milicic was infamously picked second overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, ahead of superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Detroit GM Joe Dumars pulled the trigger on Darko ahead of even Chris Kaman, David West and Mo Williams — all solid contributors who have made All-Star teams. Milicic has career averages of 5.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, or the elusive career triple-single. During Monday’s Timberwolves-Celtics game, Minnesota President of Basketball Operations David Kahn had this to say about Milicic’s future:

There’s no way. While Milicic is having a “career” year, that’s not saying a lot. This season he’s averaging career highs in points, blocks and assists per game with 9.3, 2.3 and 1.9 respectively. He’s only 25, but in his eighth year in the league it seems like he is what he is — a bust. He’s not the first high draft pick not to pan-out and won’t be the last, but he’s never shown anything to the contrary.

This also isn’t the first time Kahn has made ridiculous statements about Milicic. Kahn and former NBA superstar Chris Webber had an interesting conversation about Milicic last summer, and Kahn was not very happy about it.

Thanks to YouTube user blazersedgeben for the video.

T-Wolves Have Nothing to Show for Dealing Garnett

Don’t confuse this claim with one that would attempt to convince you that the Minnesota Timberwolves would be better off if they still had Kevin Garnett. What I would like to call to your attention is that after trading Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz for two future first-round picks, the T-Wolves have now rid themselves of every piece they received from the Celtics in return for Kevin Garnett in 2007, excluding draft selections. After getting what looked like a ton in exchange for The Big Ticket at the time, this can’t be what Kevin McHale and the Minnesota front office envisioned.

When you deal the greatest player in your franchise’s history — one who, at the time, was still at the peak of his game — you intend to get something out of the players you dealt him for. If the T-Wolves had known that Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, and journeyman Theo Ratliff would all turn out to be duds and trade bait, they would have looked elsewhere to make a deal. Had they envisioned Al Jefferson becoming expendable at the age of 25, they wouldn’t have wasted their time even speaking to the Celtics’ brass. Obviously, Minnesota received something in the form of draft picks and other players when they dealt all of the former Celtics, but at this point it doesn’t appear they’ve gotten their hands on anything promising.

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Kevin Love on Timberwolves Taking Three Point Guards ‘What Are We Doing?’

Heads were being scratched when the Timberwolves took point guards with their back-to-back picks at five and six in the draft. First they went with Spanish guard Ricky Rubio at five and then they took Syracuse guard Johnny Flynn sixth overall. The Rubio selection prompted Minnesota forward Kevin Love to say “great pick” and then he said “dont sleep on flynn people” after the Flynn pick, all on his twitter feed. As if taking both those guys wasn’t enough, they really had people questioning their sanity when they took yet a third point guard with the 18th overall pick, Ty Lawson. Love’s reaction was predictable, and pricless:

what are we doing????????????????? omg we better trade….what are we doing??????????? i dont even know

Be careful what you wish for….i love ty lawson but all point guards?

tweeting on emotion…i need to stay away from the update button…but this is a lot of point guard

I was equally surprised, but I didn’t have the same reaction — I immediately figured they had a trade worked out and that’s why they took the first two guards. They’ll probably keep Flynn and deal Rubio and then let Lawson battle Flynn for the starting job. I’m guessing they went Lawson because he was the best player on their board, so I don’t mind the pick. Honestly though, I figured they had a trade ready to be announced at the same time they made the selection and I’m surprised they haven’t made a move yet. UPDATE: They traded Lawson to Denver.

Thanks to LBS hand Botros for the Love tip. (wow, does that sound awkward or what??)

Minnesota Timberwolves Know How to Help the Fans, Dropping Ticket Prices

In these harsh economic times, not only should cuts be reflected in the amount of money players are being paid and the revenue a club generates, but first and foremost, ticket prices. Apparently the Minnesota Timberwolves have the right idea, and for that, they should be patted on the back. Check out this great announcement by the T-Wolves, a pattern I recommend most teams follow:

The average price for season tickets will decline 18.2 percent — 11.4 percent in the lower deck and 44.3 percent in the upper deck. More than 75 percent of all season tickets will be priced at $35 per game or less, with prices ranging from $5 per game in the upper deck to $1,550 per game for seats next to the bench in the Lexus Courtside Club.

The Timberwolves also introduced a new nine-month, zero-interest payment plan for all season ticket purchases, and a “No-Risk Pledge” that guarantees season ticket holders a full refund for their unused tickets if they lose their jobs in 2009.

Those specials are for people who sign up for season tickets by July 1st, so of course there is some caveat. The team knows it’s putting a product on the floor that isn’t too competitive, so the least they could do is cater to the fans. Seriously, 75% of season tickets at $35 or less? Now that’s a very fair range right there. And I also love the “no-risk pledge” thing, just as long as there isn’t small print involved. Now that’s the way to handle your customers and reward your fans! I hope other teams take notice and follow suit.

Did the T-Wolves Get This One Right?

Two years ago they made the mistake of shipping out Brandon Roy before he had ever played a game for them. They got back Randy Foye. Exactly. So when the Timberwolves took O.J. Mayo with the third pick, as we predicted here at LBS, I wasn’t too surprised. I just really couldn’t figure out what Minnesota’s plan was; they have just a group of players that play the same position, hardly a way to build a team. Well, they at least made a move that makes more sense for the team-building concept, but they might have Minnesota Timberwolves ticket holders holding their collective breath once again. The T-Wolves traded O.J. Mayo along with Antoine Walker, Greg Buckner, and Marco Jaric to the Grizzlies for Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins. In essence, the T-Wolves and Grizz swapped draft picks and bad contracts, but Minnesota probably got the best player (not counting Love or Mayo) in Miller.

Like I said, I couldn’t understand why Minnesota drafted Mayo in the first place based on the structure of their team — Randy Foye, Rashad McCants, and Corey Brewer (three of their recent picks) play essentially the same position. Now it makes more sense since they leveraged their position into getting Mike Miller along with Love, whom they may have wanted all along. While I still don’t like the Timberwolves roster, the move makes more sense. As for Memphis, I still don’t like their team, but I think O.J. Mayo will sell more Memphis Grizzlies tickets than Love would have, which given their trade of Pau, is probably all they care about. Both teams may have had top five picks, but I still don’t see either team coming anywhere close to the playoffs.

The team that I think will improve the most from last year to this year will be the Heat. I like Michael Beasley a lot as an offensive player (I’m still suspect on his defense). Adding him plus having Dwyane Wade healthy and playing a full season will mean a lot more wins than last year. Yes, I realize it would be hard not to improve when you only won 15 games last year, but I’m talking an improvement where I see them returning to the playoffs and revitalizing the interest in South Beach. Maybe no longer will Pat Riley say they need to refund the fans buying Miami Heat tickets after their pathetic performances last year. I expect a big turnaround.

T-Wolves Set on O.J. Mayo?

I love the way drafts work. Anything an executive says is either the truth, or a fabrication in order to throw everyone off the scent. Such a fun mind game. But after the Timberwolves worked out O.J. Mayo, it was hard to take GM Jim Stack’s comments as anything other than telling. Simply put, seems like he’s drinking the O.J. Mayo koolaid.

“He basically told us that he didn’t do anything wrong, which I tended to buy into what he was saying,” Stack said. “He didn’t have a car, but did he get driven around quite a bit by this (Rodney) Guillory guy? Absolutely. But after some things came out, he said later on that there may be some layers behind the scenes that were going on that he wasn’t aware of. And he definitely distanced himself from those situations after he found out more information. At the end of the day, I think it really taught him some lessons about being careful with his inner circle and understanding where people are coming from.”

“I think he’s a kid that’s been on his own since he was a lot younger probably than any of us. He basically was on his own since seventh, eighth grade. He lived with his grandfather a little bit, but basically he’s been looking after himself for quite a while. So there’s a maturity level there that I think maybe some of these other kids don’t necessarily have.”

With the third pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select O.J. Mayo, USC. Either that or I’m taking the bait. With Beasley and Rose set to go 1-2, looks like the third pick is a lock now, too. I’m pretty pumped about this draft, that’s for sure. I really think this one will be able to compete with the ’03 draft in a couple years. Maybe not as many superstars as LeBron, Melo, Bosh, and Wade in the top five, but lots of good players, no doubt.