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Best Wishes Freddy! Wolves/NBA News 4.28.10

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Fred Hoiberg is Moving On To Bigger and Hopefully Better Things
From Phil Miller at the Star Tribune:

Since the day he accepted Glen Taylor’s offer to join the Timberwolves’ front office five years ago, running the Wolves franchise was a job Fred Hoiberg appeared destined to hold. Until, that is, he was offered a job he was born to hold.

Hoiberg, who led Ames High to an Iowa state championship before embarking on an all-conference career across town at Iowa State, has agreed to return to his hometown to become head coach at his alma mater.

Hoiberg, the Wolves’ vice president for basketball operations, did not return calls to his suburban Minneapolis home, but the Cyclones scheduled a Wednesday morning news conference to introduce him as the replacement for Greg McDermott, who resigned Monday to take a similar job at Creighton.

And from Randy Peterson at the DesMoinesRegister.com:

Ames, Ia. — Iowa State has re-elected the Mayor.

Fred Hoiberg is returning to town, this time as the head men’s basketball coach. Hoiberg was hired Tuesday as Greg McDermott’s successor after his surprising move to Creighton.

“Bringing him in is the biggest thing we’ve had since Johnny Orr,” current guard Charles Boozer said of the former coach, who coincidentally coached Hoiberg at Iowa State.

Iowa State senior associate athletic director Steve Malchow confirmed the hiring Tuesday night. There was also a team meeting Tuesday night.

Negotiations with Hoiberg, the former Ames prep who was nicknamed the Mayor by teammates during a sterling Cyclone career, began Tuesday afternoon, according to Malchow.

“From my standpoint, it was an outstanding hire,” Boozer said.

- Apparently there are rumors on the street that Fred (and others in the Wolves Front Office) either don’t get along with Kahn, or don’t have faith in him to competently turn around the Wolves Organization.  Who knows how true that may or may not be.  I’m not going to say either way, because I don’t know.  Still, I wish him the best of luck with his new position, and have faith he’ll do a great job.  He was truly one of the great people that came through this organization.
Q&A With Coach Rambis
From Berry Tramel at NewsOK.com:

Kurt Rambis is a Laker icon. Rambis played 14 years in the NBA, including nine seasons with Lakers, winning four league titles. Then Rambis worked for the Lakers for 11 years, as assistant coach, assistant general manager and interim head coach (1998-99). Last summer, he became head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rambis was at the Staples Center on Tuesday night for Game 5 of the Lakers-Thunder series.

The History of MN #1 Draft Picks

Interesting read from Joe Mikolai:

Regardless of the sport, professional sports drafts are always a crapshoot. Some are going to hit and many are going to miss. Many of the executives from the teams that drafted in the first round of the NFL draft last weekend don’t know it yet, but they drafted the next NFL bust.

It happens and it happened last week. We just have to wait and see who emerges, ironically by not emerging. Still, with the NFL draft now come and gone, why not shift the attention to the next exciting sporting event that will surely be covered by ESPN in-depth and that being the NBA draft, specifically the NBA draft lottery.

That lottery is to be held May 18, and as a fan of the 15-67 Minnesota Timberwolves, believe me, we know when it coming as we’ve been waiting for it.

Al Jefferson to the Houston Rockets?

Dave Hardisty, founder of Houston Rockets message board Clutchfans.net, writing in his annual season recap, mentions Minnesota Timberwolves forward/center Al Jefferson as a potential offseason trade target for the Houston Rockets.

While not Bosh, Jefferson would be an enticing addition.  While the injury history is frightening, I have for some time considered Al to be the most offensively gifted center in basketball.  The 25-year-old would immediately become option A in the Houston offense.

Still, if the Bosh route fails, Al Jefferson would be quite the consolation prize.  Given the concerns over his compatibility with Kevin Love, and Minnesota’s purported preference for the latter, I do think Jefferson could be available at a palatable cost.

- Please, take his attitude and salary off our hands.  Brooks, Scola, and draft picks would be nice (wistful thinking.)  Just kidding, I shudder to think about Rockets GM Daryl Morey negotiating a trade with our own Trader Kahn. We’d probably end up giving them Jefferson, the rights to Rubio, Target Field, and Glen Taylor’s Printing Business.  Egads.
More on Al Jefferson to the Rockets

I think we might have overlooked this one. Jefferson has always been a favorite of mine as well, and I think he would add a rare dose of flexibility to our team. He’s not a natural power forward, but he is quick enough to play the position. In that regard, perhaps the Rockets could pair Jefferson with Yao in the starting lineup, and then rotate Big Al in at center with Jordan Hill or Luis Scola coming off the bench, depending on who we would keep.

As long as we’re talking about injury histories, let’s not forget how closely Jefferson falls next to Chris Bosh on the scale. Each has only played in one full season, and while Jefferson has missed more games per season in his career, he’s coming off a 76-game year. I’d like to think that with all of the Rockets’ season-killing injuries in the past that health is a factor when it comes to making additions, but there are only a handful of good-to-great players out there that don’t miss 5-10 games a year due to injury.

Mark Madsen to the Hall of Fame!!!
By Matt Schawb at the Contra Costa Times:

Mark “Mad Dog” Madsen starred on some great San Ramon Valley High basketball teams in the early 1990s, but longtime Wolves coach John Raynor was perhaps even more impressed by Madsen’s humility.

“He was a self-effacing person, always deflecting any praise,” Raynor said recently. “And that’s who he is as a human being. He’s not putting that on. That’s who he is. He is an incredible ambassador for the human race. It’s way beyond basketball.”

Madsen, a Utah resident, will be among four inductees Thursday during the 20th annual Tri-Valley Sports Hall of Fame event at the Palm Event Center in the Vineyard in Pleasanton. The other inductees are Justin Andrade (bull riding), Derek Guffey (swimming) and Marci Porter Lucier (rowing, America’s Cup sailing).

- Ok, not the NBA Hall of Fame, but c’mon, he deserves some props!

Minnesota Lynx to Start Season Without Agustus and Wiggins

From Tim Leighton at the Pioneer Press:

Training camp got off to a hellish start Sunday for the Minnesota Lynx.

The team’s sky-high optimism — and first day of practice — soured mightily with the announcement that starters Seimone Augustus and Candice Wiggins will miss all of training camp and, likely, beyond.

Augustus, 26, who spent the offseason rehabilitating her surgically repaired left knee, had surgery Saturday to remove benign fibroids from her lower back and reproductive system.

- Sorry everyone, slow news day.

 

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Telfair to Get a Championship Ring Without Ever Actually Playing?

By Chris Broussard at ESPNNewYork.com:

By now, Sebastian Telfair was supposed to be having the kind of games Derrick Rose has been producing in the playoffs against Cleveland. Six years removed from one of the most storied high school careers in recent New York City history, Telfair figured to be an All-Star, a max player and a marketing marvel at this point.

Instead, as Rose has carved up the Cavaliers, Telfair’s watching from the Cleveland bench in slacks and a handsome blazer.

Telfair, 24, is no longer the Brooklyn legend with a world full of potential. He’s a 15th man. You wouldn’t know it by talking with the former Lincoln High point guard. As confident as ever, he believes he’ll still be a star one day.

- I always liked Telfair. Best of luck to him going forward.

LeBron Hurts Arm as Cavs dispatch the Chicago Bulls in Five Games

From ESPN:

LeBron James seemed to reinjure his right elbow in the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ series-clinching victory over the Chicago Bulls.

James scored 19 points — 16 in the second half — and added 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Cavs finally saddled the stubborn Bulls to win the series 4-1.

James doesn’t know when he injured the elbow, which he said bothered him the entire second half. TNT showed replays of James landing on the elbow and grimacing after trying to block a shot early in the second half.

James revealed after the game that he underwent an MRI and X-rays on Monday. Results came back clean, according to the Cavaliers.

Boston Will Beat The Cavs In Round Two

From Dan Shaughnessy at CNNSI.com:

The Celtics will beat the Cavaliers in Round 2 of the NBA playoffs.

There. I said it.

Call me a knucklehead. Call me old-school. Call me a fool (Cedric Maxwell did). This was my pick before the start of the playoffs.

- Oklahoma City Blown Out By Lakers to go Down 3-2

- Dallas Mavs Blowout the Spurs to Stay Alive

From CNNSI: Some of the Best All-Time NBA Playoff Series

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