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Saturday , Jan , 21 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: Kevin Love beats Blake Griffin’s Clippers with game-winning three

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Kevin Love continues to show Minnesota's front office he deserves a max' extension.

Consider last night: Love hit a last-second three-pointer to beat the upstart Los Angeles Clippers. Click the video below, watch Love's heroics, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

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Sunday , Jan , 08 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love: I ‘believe’ I’m better than Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki

I believe I'm the best '4' in the league. I think you have to believe that you're the best. I think Mohammad Ali even said, 'I was the greatest before I knew I was.' I think everybody needs to have that mindset. That's part of winning the mind game from the very start. You have to believe it. You have to hold yourself accountable.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love, not yet.

Yes, Love collects double-doubles for the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves like a teenager collects friends on facebook.

Yes, Love is an emerging All-Star and superstar with a personality ESPN and companies love.

And yes, Love’s play and personality may be the biggest reason the Timberwolves transition from oddball outpost to relevant NBA franchise. (Of course, this depends on Love signing a long-term extension to stay in The Twin Cities.)

Right now: Dirk Nowitzki, not Kevin Love, is the world’s best power forward.

After all, Nowitzki is a former MVP, perennial All-Star, and led his Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA championship.

Don’t forget about Blake Griffin, the dynamic four-man who has made the Los Angeles Clippers competitive, relevant, and must-see television.

However, Love deserves credit for believing he’s the best, as such a mindset will help him grow, improve, and maybe one day become the NBA’s permier power forward.

Just not now.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jan , 03 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers offered Gasol for Love?

Sources say the Lakers offered Paul Gasol to the T’Wolves for Kevin Love after the league canceled the Chris Paul trade. Wouldn’t you?

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Why not? The Los Angeles Lakers had nothing to lose, right?

Commissioner David Stern nixed the Chris Paul trade, so the Lakes again offered Pau Gasol to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.

Not surprisingly, the Timberwolves said thanks but no thanks.

Love is younger than Gasol. Love is better than Gasol. And Love makes less money than Gasol.

The Timberwolves will only trade Love if he turns down a long-term extension. However, the 2011 rebounding champion is under contract for two more seasons and seems interested in staying.

Credit the Lakers for taking a shot at Love. It willl take more than Gasol, though.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

 

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Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Video: LeBron to D-Wade for game-winner against T-Wolves

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: A well executed in-bounds play.

Click the video below and watch LeBron James find Dwyane Wade for a last-second alley-oop to give the Miami Heat the win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

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Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James on T-Wolves: ‘They’re going to be a really good team’

"They're (the Minnesota Timberwolves) going to be a really good team," James said. "If it's not this year, soon."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There's good news. And there's bad news.

The good: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are right that the Minnesota Timberwolves absolutely have the talent to compete in the Western Conference.

After all, JJ Barea, Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams are young, skilled, and dynamic.

Now the bad: good organizations have direction from the top creating a trickle down effect. To contend, not just compete, the Timberwolves need direction from ownership and the front office.

Unfortunately, the Minnesota franchise is owned by Glen Taylor, who is one of the worst owners in sports.

For instance, Taylor couldn’t provide Hall of Fame post Kevin Garnett with a supporting cast, chased The Big Ticket out of town, empowered Kevin McHale who fired defensive guru Dwyane Casey after forty games, and, worst of all, hired David Kahn as GM.

Speaking of Kahn, he has yet to prove he can manage. Sure, he has drafted well, but the former reporter looked unprofessional when he let former coach Kurt Rambis languish for months.

James and Wade are correct -the Wolves have talent. Sadly, talent isn't enough.

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Tuesday , Dec , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Did Rusell Westbrook break ankles or did Luke Ridnour fall?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Yesterday Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook blew by Minnesota Timberwolves table-setter Luke Ridnour.

Here’s the question: did Westbrook break Ridnour’s ankles with a killer crossover or did the T-Wolves reserve lose his footing?

Watch the video, form your opinion, and get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 

--HoopsVibe News.

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Wednesday , Dec , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Lakers again chasing Chris Paul?

The Lakers are making another run at Chris Paul, who remains in limbo as the NBA league office has taken over negotiations on behalf of the Hornets.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Pau Gasol, it’s not over.

For months the Spanish post has been plagued by rumors that the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to trade him.

He had been linked to Kevin Love in Minnesota, Dwight Howard in Orlando, and twice nearly found a home in Houston as part of a three-team blockbuster for Chris Paul of New Orleans.

Of course, Commissioner Stern and the NBA, who own the Hornets, nixed both previous offers from the Lakers, citing the ever-mysterious ‘basketball reasons’.

Now the Lakers are apparently taking a third run at Paul, and Gasol is again the centerpiece of the purple-and-gold’s offer.

So the rumors will continue. And Gasol could still end up out of town.
 
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Sunday , Oct , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Can ballet save Michael Beasley’s image?

Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley has kept busy during an extended, locked-out NBA summer when he played ball everywhere from China to Manhattan's famed asphalt playgrounds. He has also taken up ballet to transform his body and hired a public- relations agency to improve his image.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Forget Yoga. Forget working with Michael Jordan’s old trainer Tim Grover. And forget elaborate diets.

The newest training trend for NBA players is ballet. Michael Beasley has taken to the classical dance to prepare for the season -if owners and players ever settle on a new collective bargaining agreement.

While unorthodox, ballet has helped Beasley improve his balance, strength, and coordination. Best of all, the Baltimore native is fifteen pounds lighter than his 2011 playing weight of 240 pounds.

Of course, there’s no doubt this news leaking is part of Beasley’s public make-over. Remember, Minnesota police caught him speeding with marijuana and cell-phone cameras captured a confrontation with a fan at a playground run.

Bizarre news is good news for Beas‘, especially when you’re looking to rehsape your image and  score a multi-year extension for mega-millions.

--O.Sandor.

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Tuesday , Sep , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Minnesota T-Wolves get credible by landing Rick Aldeman

It's confirmed: Rick Adelman is new #Timberwolves coach, two league sources say.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Look up. That could be a pig flying over you.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have done what many thought would never happen: they spent a considerable amount of money to hire Rick Adelman, a coach with pedigree.

Yes, we`re talking about those Timberwolves and the Rick Adelman. This oddball franchise that can’t get out the Western Conference cellar reeled in a top-flight sideline boss.

All it cost was cash. Lots of it. Adelman was reportedly seeking, and may well have gotten, a 5-year deal worth $25 million.

But this wasn’t just a franchise paying a coach. The Timberwolves bought credibility. And they kept their superstar, Kevin Love, happy.

Whenever the season starts, the young Timberwolves could be competitive. They may even challenge for the playoffs. Then the pigs will be flying, and hell will be freezing over.

--Oly Sandor

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Sunday , Sep , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves to give Rick Adelman 5-year, $25 million contract?

Rick Adelman still looks like the favorite, but here’s the tricky part: I hear he wants at least $5 million a year, and five years -- not four -- guaranteed. Do the math and that’s at least $25 million, sports fans.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Should the Minnesota Timberwolves spend $25 million over the next five seasons on Rick Adelman?

The answer: yes!

The Minnesota Timberwolves, who have spent the last half-decade making an annual jaunt to New Jersey for the draft lottery with the usual suspects of downtrodden NBA franchises, must change their culture.

Adelman, having made the playoffs in 16 of 20 seasons as a coach, brings credibility. And the veteran bench-boss has a relationship through his son with franchise-face Kevin Love, who the Wolves must appease to get his signature on a long-term extension.

Most importantly, signing Adelman to a big-ticket would show that owner Glen Taylor is willing to reach deep into his pocket and spend for top talent.

Taylor is still on the hook for the remaining 2-years and $4 million of Kurt Rambis’ pact, meaning, if Adelman were signed, the club would be spending $7 million annually on coaches through July of 2103.

Things are improving for the Timberwolves. All that’s left is to take the plunge and spend the money on Adelman.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Aug , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Michael Beasley breaks wrist playing in China?

The exact details remain somewhat murky. But here’s what’s being reported by HoopChina: Michael Beasley may have a fractured left wrist.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: When it rains, it pours. Isn’t that so Mike Beasley?

First, the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Derrick Williams, who plays the same position as Beasley, second overall in June‘s entry draft.

Second, Beasley was cited for marijuana possession after getting pulled over by Minnesota area police.

Third, Beasley was involved in a skirmish with a fan/heckler while playing in a streetball run. The incident was captured by cell-phone camera and is now a youtube favourite.   

And now there are reports Beasley broke his wrist playing in an exhibition game in China. The injury does not appear career threatening and Beasley, since NBA players are locked-out, isn’t in violation of his contract. He probably has  insurance, too.

Still, this should alert players about the risks of playing overseas with clubs or exhibition tours.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

 

 

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Saturday , Aug , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Minnesota to hire Rick Adelman?

Rick Adelman is definitely interested in #Wolves job, from great source, he has made calls to line up potential assistants.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would appear the Timberwolves have their coach. Most importantly, it would appear they have the right coach.

Reports indicate that Rick Adelman, the veteran sideline boss, is phoning contacts around the league to find assistants to join him in Minnesota.

So it would seem Adelman and Minnesota, the NBA’s one-time laughingstock, will soon make their union official. If this occurs, all parties deserve credit.

Minnesota executive David Kahn should be praised for hiring the best coach available, and avoiding the temptation to hire his former mentor in Larry Brown.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor should be commended for meeting Adelman’s considerable salary demands while also honouring the final two years on Kurt Rambis’ pact.

Adelman could have retired, however, he opted for the challenge of turning around lowly Minnesota and developing young pieces like Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams.

Adelman joining Minnesota would be good for all involved. Hopefully, it happens and the NBA's version of Siberia can begin a much-needed turnaround.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Aug , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavs open to trading Ramon Sessions?

(Mary Schmitt Boyer) Based on everything I'm hearing, I would be surprised if the season started before January. As for Sessions, I'm not sure if the organization has made up its mind to trade him. I think the team is intrigued by playing any two of these point guards together. If a move is made, I would expect an attempt to get more scoring and athleticism on the wings.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Once again, his spot seems at risk.

Ramon Sessions is a solid third guard and spot starter, however, he has the unfortunate habit of joining teams who are stocked in the backcourt.

For instance, he left Milwaukee because the Bucks had Brandon Jennings and Luke Ridnour at the one-spot. Minnesota deemed him expendable with Jonny Flynn, Ridnour (again), and Ricky Rubio's eventual migration from Spain.

So, the Wolves dealt him to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. And it seemed he finally had a home and regular minutes.

Well, wrong.

The Cavaliers acquired Baron Davis at the trade deadline, assuming the remaining two years and $29 million on his contract, while Kyrie Irving was drafted first overall and anointed The Future.

Both are point guards. It would seem Sessions will get his minutes playing next to Davis and Irving -or he won't get minutes at all.

And the Cavaliers will likely be listening to any or all offers for the nomadic guard.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , Aug , 13 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Jerry Krause: David Kahn ‘Screwed’ Kurt Rambis

"When you take on the triangle, you have to have your whole organization geared toward it," said Krause. "It takes a very specific kind of player to play in it. I saw the Minnesota guy hire Rambis, after he took two players in the draft who couldn’t possibly ever run the triangle. I have no idea if Rambis is a good coach or not, but Kahn screwed him right off the bat." He's referring to Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn, who are not natural fits, in yet another public black eye for Kahn.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Just the latest evidence Minnesota Timberwolves Executive David Kahn hasn't a clue.

At the Hall of Fame induction, Jerry Krause, the former Chicago Bulls GM, criticized Kahn for not giving former coach Kurt Rambis the players to run the Triple Post.

Rambis, of course, was recently fired by Kahn. Not before Kahn made him wait two months to hear his fate -even having Rambis submit a homework assignment before turfing him.

Krause is right: the Triple Post works if you have players with specific skill-sets and strong basketball IQs.

For instance, Luc Longley, Will Purdue, and Bill Wennington weren’t flashy or talented, but were smart, resourceful, and could pass.

B.J. Armstrong, Steve Kerr, and John Paxson could knock down shots, play off the ball, and knew their limitations.

Unfortunately, the Wolves were full of youngsters, who struggled with the pro' game and were no match for the complicated, intricate Triple Post.

So, according to Krause, Kahn is lost. Well, the architect of the six-time champion Bulls has the pedigree to say what he likes.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Aug , 08 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Mike Beasley on the Goodman league: ‘The best league in the f_______ world’

“Goodman league. The best league in the f______ world,” Beasley said. “The Drew league is OK. They play indoor, man they don’t know anything about this hard life. It’s the streets out here man.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Where are they? Where are the people who claim to have Mike Beasley’s interests?

Those people - friends, family, coaches, agents, and fellow players - need to check in with the former second overall pick from the 2008 draft.

 The last month hasn’t been easy on Beasley. He was cited for marijuana possession. He became a youtube sensation after shoving a heckler during a game in New York.

Now he’s spouting off to the press about the Goodman League being better than the Drew League because 'it’s the street’.

After personal and professional struggles in Miami, the forward found his way in Minnesota. Those strides have been undone. 

The Timberwolves must have concerns. They won’t give Beasley an extension because of their logjam at forward, and they can’t get equal value in a trade because no team wants a problem.

Worst of all, the Timberwolves can't reach out to Beasley because the lockout bans teams from talking with players. 

Bottom line: Beasley’s doing irreparable damage to his career. Somebody, anybody needs to make him aware of this.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Video: Michael Beasley pushes fan in face at NYC pick-up run

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There's a saying: 'the game is the game'.

The Minnesota Timberwolves' Michael Beasley knew the rules of ‘the game’ when he agreed to play in a street-ball run in New York City.

Fans sit close up. And they heckle, especially if you play in the NBA. Everything is fair: personal lives, video-vixen girlfriends, mothers, sisters, and indiscretions.

Beasley had to know his arrests for marijuana possession and history of mental health issues would come up. This isn’t right or fair, however, it’s the risk he assumed when suiting up for a pick-up match.

While Beasley is not technically an employee of the Timberwolves due to the lockout, he still must act like a professional.

His choice to go after, and make contact with, a fan will have repercussions and consequences for his professional career.

Suppose you’re an NBA GM. Would you trade for Beasley or sign him to a long-term extension for millions with this gem making the viral rounds?

The answer is simple: no. Fans wouldn't have it. Neither would the media. 

Right now, Beasley is failing in both the pro and pick-up ranks. He needs to (re)learn the rules of both games.

Watch the video below, form an opinion, and get at us with thoughts on Beas’ making like Ron Artest and fighting a fan.


 

--Oly Sandor.

 

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Friday , Jul , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love: Players happy Mavericks beat LeBron, Wade and Heat

During his interview, the Minnesota Timberwolves forward (Kevin Love) was asked, “Did guys around the league enjoy the fact that the Heat didn’t win the championship?” You bet, Love responded. “Oh yeah, great amount of joy out of it,” he said. “Plus, for me, they say nice guys, good guys finish last. But Dallas, they just had a slew of great guys and veterans on their team that made for just a great team. “It wasn’t just two, three, four guys on the team, like Miami I kind of felt it was. “Around the league, it was kind of a consensus that guys were happy.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It really was the Miami Heat against the world in last year’s NBA Finals.

Literally.

Most fans were cheering for the Dallas Mavericks. Most media were secretly - or not so secretly- rooting for Team Cuban, too. And, no surprise here, so were most players.

In fact, Minnesota Timberwolves post Kevin Love claims the majority of players felt 'joy' when the Heat lost. The rebounding champion’s comments show that even the Heat's peers, the players, view them as villains.

An interesting conclusion can be drawn from Love’s comments: basketball purists appreciated the Mavs. They appreciated their balance and precise sets, which was in stark contrast to the Heat’s steady diet of ‘iso’ plays for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.

Love's right to suggest the Heat must develop into more of a team to win a championship as well as the support of fans and players.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jul , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Will Wolves appease Love and pay Adelman?

If they're willing to pay $4-5 million a year, the pick clearly seems to be former Houston coach Rick Adelman, a candidate who meets all of Kahn's criteria for style of play, winning track record and the unspoken but important Kevin Love Factor.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is a minor boondoggle by Minnesota Timberwolves standards, but a boondoggle nonetheless.

GM David Kahn has publicly stated owner Glen Taylor, who has never thrown money around, will dig deep into his pockets to pay the right coach.

Fat chance.

Can you see Taylor paying a top candidate $4-5 million annually for a minimum of three years, while also honouring the final $4 million owed to former coach Kurt Rambis?

So why would Kahn state that the Wolves would hire a pricey option like Rick Adelman, who enjoyed success with the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, and, most recently, the Houston Rockets?

Now the Wolves are stuck. If they hire a less expensive coach, for whatever reason, they’ll get criticized. If they hire an expensive coach, like Adelman, they’ll get criticized for wasting their limited resources on a bench-boss.

There’s one way Kahn, Taylor, and the Wolves can quiet the critics: start winning.

--Oly Sandor.


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Wednesday , Jul , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love on NBA.com and lockout: ‘it’s silly’

"They took everything off," Love told The Post. "I laughed, but it's not funny. You take everyone off? You go on our website and it's the dancers and Crutch our mascot. I think it's cool for the charity events, but not using any of the players, it's silly. Let's get this thing resolved and play basketball. It's disheartening to fans and to us. Let's get it figured out.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Last year Kevin Love looked like the second-coming of Charles Barkley with his work on the backboard.

This summer Love sounds like the second-coming of ‘Chuck’ with his candour and tell-it-like-it-is nature.

The Minnesota Timberwolves power forward recently told the New York Post the NBA looks ridiculous for pulling players off league and team websites, and urged the parties to solve the lockout.

Love is right: NBA.com is comical. Commissioner David Stern and the owners look petty for only having cheerleaders/mascots on-line, and their negotiating ploys have often been unreasonable.

Here’s my question for the players: what took so long? Why is a promising 22-year old playing in tiny Minnesota left to tell Stern and union boss Billy Hunter to find solutions?

Where are the crème de la crème of the league like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and others?  Well, they're flirting with teams in Europe. Or pulling in six-figure appearance fees for a night in Asia.

Right now, there’s little chance the NBA opens in November -especially if Love, a promising player in a backwater market, is left to pressure the disputing factions.

Hopefully, others follow Love’s lead.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Jul , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Would David Kahn and Larry Brown Fail in Minnesota?

After interviewing Rick Adelman and Don Nelson over the weekend, the Timberwolves intend to interview Larry Brown and possibly one or two others in this first phase to replace fired coach Kurt Rambis.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It makes some sense -more than hiring Don Nelson, at least.

Larry Brown is best when spreading his ‘Play The Right Way’ mantra amongst a young, impressionable group. After all, Brown considers himself a teacher of the game, and clearly he suffers for his students.

Well, the Minnesota Timberwolves are young and impressionable. They've won just 32 games since 2009, so Brown’s message would, at least initially, hold weight.

The on-court dynamic would be fine -for a while. The off-court end of things sounds dicey.

Yes, Wolves GM David Kahn has known Brown since their days at UCLA. In fact, Kahn considers Brown a mentor, who guided him as a young, impressionable reporter on the west coast.

This is a problem. Brown, to be effective on the sideline, needs a strong counterweight in the front office, who can laugh off his idiosyncrasies, worrying, and perfectionist nature.

There was the legendary Donnie Walsh in Indiana. There was the enthusiastic Pat Croce in Philadelphia. And there was Joe Dumars, who at the time still possessed his magical touch in Detroit.

This trio knew when to listen and when to ignore Brown. Not surprisingly, this formula worked in Indiana, Philadelphia, and Detroit.

Kahn is already a disaster. He would misread, misquote, and mishandle Brown, which, in turn, would have a negative impact on those young, impressionable, and talented players.

The nomad sideline boss isn’t right for the Wolves. But this is about Kahn's inadequacies, not Brown's.

--Oly Sandor.


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