Rick Adelman

Adelman wanted Kirilenko in Minny. Brandon Roy? Meh.


Maybe its’ because Glen Taylor is older and trying to slide out the door of Timberwolves ownership, so he is less concerned with what he tells the media. Maybe it’s because he’s a U.S. Senator who has been trusted with secrets of genuine importance that talking about what goes on behind closed doors at an NBA franchise rightfully seems trivial.

Whatever the reason, Timberwolves owner Taylor has been talking more lately.

The Minnesota Post followed up one article with the bits of an interview with Taylor that didn’t make the first cut — but there are some juicy parts. Like how Rick Adelman really wanted to get Andrei Kirilenko, but Brandon Roy… not so much.

“The coach wanted a guy who could defend more than one position, and David (Kahn, Minnesota GM) found the best person who fit that description in [Nicholas] Batum. We overpaid to try and get him but we lost him. So then we went after Kirilenko.

“The coach says, ‘This is the guy I want. He never talks about scoring, he talks about passing and he talks about defense. I need that player in my system to be successful.’ So that one was clearly the coach….

“Brandon Roy, you might think that is the coach, but that is more David. I think it is David saying, ‘Let give this player to Rick and get the backup in place in case it doesn’t work out.’ Because Rick keeps saying to me, ‘I don’t know if he can play!’ And I tell him, ‘Rick, I don’t know if he can play either!’ So the Brandon Roy thing is a risk.”

It is a risk. But I like the gamble because they didn’t bet everything on it, Minnesota was playing with house money. They still have Kevin Love and, when he returns, Ricky Rubio as anchors. They have Kirilenko now and I like the Chase Budinger pickup for their style of play (that was an Adelman call, Taylor says).

If Roy works out and is just good, not his former All-Star self, that is a quality addition. If it doesn’t work out, you move on, you didn’t base your team around it.

Minnesota is going to be one of the most interesting teams to watch this season. And Taylor talking is just adding to the color.

LeBron says “get it done” message was for both Cavaliers, Thompson

LeBron James
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Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.

So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.

Get it done!!!! Straight up. #MissMyBrother @realtristan13

A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.

When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.

At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.

The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.

China basketball qualifies for 2016 Olympics

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China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.

China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.

This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.

The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.