Monthly Archives: July 2009

Chilly and a Side of QB’s

Favre announced that he plans on staying retired, leaving the Vikings a little disheveled and possibly heart broken.   “He’s gone his way, and we’ve gone our way,” Childress said after meeting with both Jackson and Rosenfels earlier in the day.  He’s right, the Vikings need to move on and work with what they have.  What they have for the third straight season is not a legitimate starting quarterback.

Even with Favre, the position would have been a question mark, making it baffling as to why the Vikings didn’t look at a few other options.  Instead, they choose to put all their eggs in the Favre basket.  A basket that tends to waver.  A basket that tends to wait until the last minute to make decisions.  A basket that has burned the Vikings and left them in a familiar position.  It is an uncomfortable position that the supporters and the players of the club are all too familiar with.

Favre never made sense other than he knew the offense, used to be great and could sell tickets.  On the field, he’s an aging quarterback who wasn’t going to be much of an upgrade.  Yes, he still has a strong arm, but he doesn’t like being hit, he hasn’t played well in the cold for years, has always loved the interception and was going to bring a lot of baggage to a team that had Super Bowl aspirations.

Their begging of Favre to play has left them with two quarterbacks who don’t feel wanted—not that they should.  But now they are stuck with them and have to lean on them to lead the team.

I don’t think the Favre saga is over, but I think it should be.  Favre will start talking again after watching Jackson and Rosenfels share snaps for the first four weeks as the team struggles to find it’s footing.  I hope Childress ignores his calls, because at the end of the day, is Favre the upgrade the Vikings need?

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Pull that Trigger. Again. Again.

Kahn pulled off another blockbuster by shipping center Etan Thomas and two second round draft picks to the Wizards for Chucky Atkins and Damien Wilkins.   “We may have some other moves to make and it’s still too early to tell,” Kahn said. “I thought this move provided some additional flexibility and thought we should go after it now.”  A rumor has newly acquired Quentin Richardson on the move and judging from Kahn’s quote Richardson might not be the only one.

In all seriousness, it’s time to give Kahn credit.  He’s trying to make things happen and he’s doing it with limited assets.  Granted, right now, some of his moves look like moves to make moves, which should never be lauded, but what should be lauded is that Kahn has pulled off the unthinkable.  He’s made the Timberwolves relevant on a national level when they’ve been barely recognizable on a local level the past few years.

The question remaining is how we will look back on these moves.  Will it be a lot of huffing and puffing, a cloud of dust and still the same terrible team or are the Wolves turning a corner?

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The Truth Hurts

Ricky Rubio has announced he is parting ways with Spanish basketball club DKV Joventut.  The departure gives Rubio three options.  He can sign with another club in Spain, pay the buyout and go to the Timberwolves or take a year off from basketball and reenter the NBA draft.

He has been quoted as saying he wants to play for a winner, which makes the third option scary.  The Wolves haven’t been a winner for a long time, which begs the question, did Kahn speak with the Rubio camp before the draft?  Did a conversation take place before he dumped the starting point guard?  I understand, Rubio wasn’t supposed to be there at five, but when you are an NBA GM, don’t you look into all players that might be around when you make your pick, especially a player that has been regarded as a unique talent?

Simply, Rubio doesn’t want to play for the Timberwolves and by not playing for anyone this season he has a way out. This means Kahn traded Randy Foye, Mike Miller, Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith and Mark Madsen for Quentin Richardson.  Great work Kahn, not even McHale could have pulled off these moves.

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Rubio’s Coming!

The Timberwolves have shipped Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith and Mark Madsen to the Los Angeles Clippers for Quentin Richardson.  The move comes on the same day Kahn flew to Spain to discuss the buyout of Rubio’s contract—coincidence?

 “This is not a precursor of any sort,” Kahn said Monday from New York shortly before he was scheduled to hop a flight across the Atlantic. “We have no feel yet as to whether Ricky will be joining us.”   

According to Kahn the moves were made to bring better balance to the roster.  A roster he he blew up for the fifth overall pick.  A pick Kahn stated that he doesn’t have feel for.  So if he doesn’t know Rubio’s status with the Wolves than why would he trade the starting point guard? 

The Wolves clearly didn’t have the best starting five in the league and Smith only started parts of the season, but wouldn’t a GM want more value for four starters than Quinton Richardson and a player whose future is up in the air? 

Rubio has to be coming, right?  No GM would give up the majority of his starters for an uncertainty and a mediocre player—would they?   I mean that would be foolish and Kahn isn’t fool.

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Could the Shimmy Shake Be Back?

Walker

NBA legend and former Timberwolves great Antoine Walker is facing three felony counts.   Prosecutors are claiming that Walker failed to make good on ten checks totaling $1 million dollars, written to The Red Rocks Resort, Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood.

It was reported in the Las Vegas Sun that Walker has paid $178,000 of the million, but there is still $822,500 in uncollected debt.   The good news for Walker is that there is a team who could really use his services.  New Timberwolves GM, David Kahn wants to make the Wolves an up tempo team and if you look at the Wolves roster, Walker would be a great fit.  He’s slow, doesn’t pass very often, can’t jump very well, isn’t quick (outside of the shimmy shake) and isn’t all that big on hustling.  Perfect!   He’s already played for the Wolves once and his star power would cause a spike in ticket sales.  You can’t see it?  Neither can I.  If the Wolves are going to be a running team, don’t they need players who are known for getting up and down the floor?  Maybe Kahn is tricking all of us and he plan isn’t clear yet.  Maybe, but my hunch is, he envisions Love being one of the streakers on a fast break, which should be as interesting and entertaining as when Madsen chucked up about 15 threes a few years ago.

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Breaking News from Ed Werder

Ed Werder reported this past weekend that Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was the first person from the Childress staff to see Favre throw.  The recipients of those passes were the Oak Grove High school football team in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  There was no comment from Bevell, but Favre said the throwing session went fine.

In the same story, Werder wrote that people close to Favre told him the quarterback wants to play for the Vikings next season.   He went on to report, the thing that will keep Favre out of a purple jersey is his surgically repaired shoulder.  In other Favre news, people are asking Werder to report on Favre when something happens and to stop calling it breaking news when nothing changes in the story.  News informs people and tells them something that they didn’t already know.  Bevell being their does not qualify as news, because it doesn’t change anything.  News on Favre would be his decision to play or not.

More importantly, Werder’s reporting is not taking on the questions looming over this situation.  Can he still play?  If he can, is he a better option than Jackson or Rosenfels.  He looked good for the first half of last season, brilliant the season before and mediocre for the preceding five seasons.  He’ll be coming in with a surgically repaired shoulder, which is never good and even worse for a 39 year-old quarterback. He’s always thrown a lot of picks, hasn’t produced in the playoffs for about a decade and the past few years has become a dandy when he has to play in the cold.

The Vikings are thinking Super Bowl.  I can’t picture Tarvaris Jackson holding the Lombardi trophy over his head nor can I see Sage Rosenfels yelling into the camera, I’m going to Disney World.   I also can’t see Favre bringing the Vikings anywhere.  There is a good chance they will have to play outside to get to the Super Bowl.  Favre’s reaction at the end of last year and more critically, during the NFC championship have me doubting him.  He didn’t look comfortable, which resulted in a lot of passes that were flung more than thrown.  He looked like someone who was scared to get hit.  He looked like two quarterbacks who are already on the roster.

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Allen Iverson is a Timberwolf?

AI

It may read as a ludicrous statement.  You may be asking yourselves, why would the Wolves go after Iverson at this stage of his career?  Well, OK, the more important question would be, why would Iverson want to play for the Wolves?  There’s no KG and no hope of winning, so why would an NBA veteran, who is at the end of his career play for a bottom feeder like the Wolves.

Its simple, Iverson is selfish and doesn’t really care about winning, so the fact that the Wolves have one good player on their roster doesn’t dissuade a player like Iverson.   AI doesn’t see himself for who he is in reality, a sixth man for a team that will make a championship run.  He still sees himself as the guy who led the league in scoring and dribble faked Jordan out of his shoes.

These are the reasons why Iverson makes sense for the Wolves and so why would the team want an aging star who doesn’t help them win.  He still carries star power.  He still has a marquee name and marquee names sell tickets, something the Timberwolves haven’t done since trading the Big Ticket.

Playing in Minnie would give AI the chance to do what he does best, shoot and shoot often.  He may not be the most exciting player in the league anymore, but he’ll bring a few highlight type games next season and I can’t remember the last time one of those happened.  KG’s game in 2004 versus the Kings?  Iverson officially fell into the Wolves lap after he stated that he would not come off the bench.  Memphis would be his only other option and who would you rather play for?  Or should I say who would you rather play with.  Pass heavy and a little top heavy Kevin Love “handles” and Al Jefferson or selfish, treats passing like kryptonite OJ Mayo and lucky to be in the NBA Michael Conley?  I haven’t even mentioned that he would be able to teach our two young guards how to play off the ball, defend two’s and score a lot of points—after he is gone of course.  Is there a better way to look forward to a 25 win season than knowing one of the greatest scorers in NBA history is on your roster?

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